In today’s edition of thank goodness people are generous, I bring you the best new idea I didn’t think of, and basically didn’t understand until I saw it in action: Running Dictation.
What is running dictation? A great activity for my energetic and squirrely freshmen in Spanish 1, although clearly would be great at any level (I can’t wait to try this with my 4’s next week!). As we are reading Piratas del Caribe y el mapa secreto, I took 8 of the “put these events in order” sentences from the Chapter 1 Teacher’s Guide and printed them out in a large font. I cut them apart into 8 separate papers and had my student assistant tape them on the lockers outside my room.
To do the activity, students divide into groups of 4, and each person gets a job. I used: Runner, Secretary, Illustrator, and Editor. The first runner goes out into the hall and scopes out a sentence taped there. The runner has to memorize the sentence and bring it back to the group. The secretary then writes the sentence on the paper, with support from the editor and runner especially to spell things right. Any question and the runner goes back to the source for clarification. Then the paper is passed to the illustrator, who draws a quick sketch of the sentence. The roles switch, and the process repeats.
My kids were crazy…but engaged! One of my least engaged gals was an amazing runner, and didn’t seem all that frustrated when she had to make several trips to the hallway to check on one particularly tough sentence.
So, what can go wrong? What “tips” to make it work?