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Teaching strategy: CONSTRUYO – MUESTRO – EXPLICO

Teaching strategy: CONSTRUYO – MUESTRO – EXPLICO By Leticia Daza, SLL ES Teacher Asociacion Escuelas Lincoln – Buenos Aires Argentina I wrote this article because I wanted to share the amazing experience and the remarkable impact it had on my students’ oral results that I am having with this strategy that I called: CONSTRUYO – MUESTRO – EXPLICO or CME, with my Spanish Language Learners students at a Lower Intermediate level from 4th – 5th and 2nd Grade Elementary at Lincoln School in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For teaching a foreign language, research shows that evidence based teaching strategies are expected to have a major influence on student results in learning a new language. According to Killian (2015), he talked about the top 10 most important strategies and one of them being the Evidence Based Teaching Strategy number 2: Show and Tell. Show and Tell is a valuable teaching strategy to promote oral skills and it was originally designed to provide children the opportunity to speak in front of their classmates while showing a personal item. Through this informal practice it helps them reduce stress, related with speaking in public, and allows them the opportunity to reinforce the practice of the oral skills in the new language. It allows as well, good speaking habits, such as looking at the audience while talking and speaking in a loud and clear manner to their audience. On the other hand, I observed that Show and Tell is something they either love or not love that much. I had students, which were happy to choose items to bring from home and share with the class, but at the moment of speaking or explaining something about it, some of them didn’t feel confident because of the new language. Consequently, some of them wouldn’t even talk but stood silently while holding their object, missing out on the purpose of promoting the oral language development which is the main goal of this strategy. Additionally, I perceived that the children became impatient from sitting and listening while waiting for their turn. As an SLL teacher I had the need to do something to promote this excellent strategy for reinforcing the oral speech of my students. Doing some research, I found an amazing conference in TED Talk from Sir Ken Robinson talking about creativity in schools, Do schools kill creativity? And I was inspired by what he stated, that creativity is as important as literacy, thus the following question came to my mind, Why don’t give students a chance to create something instead of bringing something from home to Show and Tell to promote their creativity and oral skill? So I did it. I talked with my students about that idea, explaining to them that they don’t need to create huge items but something that interests them the most. I provided them with some tools to enable their creativity – crayons, paper, iPads, recycling objects, and they could also bring things from home as well. They can choose to create whatever they wanted, or they can choose to do something related to our lesson or subject that interests them. Then, I designed a Google Doc to share with them, asking them to fill out the table with the following questions in their iPads:

After they are done with their creations, (where they can work in pairs or individually), they needed to show and tell their classmates about it. I was amazed on how this CME strategy works, it takes about 30-40 minutes total. The followings are my findings:

  1. The students are so motivated that they started to think or plan days before their constructions on our CME Fridays

  2. They organized themselves in pairs or individually according to what they wanted to work on. The amazing thing is that depending on their creation they would choose a different classmate every time.

  3. They used technology on their IPads to complete the shared CME table with me and also to do some research online about certain items that they wanted to recreate

  4. Some of them also wanted to record the process of their construction using apps like explain everything, iMovie and etc.


CME2

Finally, I only can say, that in a few months my students are doing an outstanding job and they feel involved, engaged, confident and happy using this strategy by working collaboratively, speaking in public, given instructional steps to show their work, integrating technology, and all in Spanish. As Benjamin Franklin said “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn”


CME

References

Killian Shaum (2015), Top 10 Evidence Based Teaching Strategies for those who care About Student Results. Retrieved December 1st, 2015 from http://www.evidencebasedteaching.org.au/evidence-based-teaching-strategies/

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