Goal 18: Sharing a Story about Take2 of the DISAPPEARING TEXT!

This goal of the 30 goals project is ” a piece of cake”! Participating in this whole challenge has been about sharing my story! Since I’ve begun the words seem to come pouring out!

So, today’s story is about my second attempt at adapting Jason Renshaw’s disappearing text strategy. I’m really excited about this. Tried it twice today!

Lesson one went very well. There were only 3 students (3 were absent!), two VERY weak 12th graders (20 year old girls) and one bright, 10th grade boy. Once again we created a text on the board about the holiday of Purim. The weak girls suggested the content (in Hebrew) and the bright 10th grader supplied a lot of the vocabulary and sentence structure in English. Again, 6 sentences.

Then we started erasing words. At first one by one they came to the board to complete the words. But then just the girls took turns at completing missing words and they turned to the boy who fingerspelled the spelling of the words for them. Suddenly these girls were paying attention to those pesky “is” “are” which don’t exisit in Hebrew. These are girls who don’t remember the meaning of simple words such as “walk”. But here, because they helped create the text, at least during the lesson, they remembered the meanings of the individual words and focused on whole sentences and structure! Wow!

Two hours later I became ambitious and tried the strategy again with a rambunctious group of sevenĀ  10th and 11th graders (with 2 other pupils doing other things in the back). These kids use four different coursebooks, big differences in level. It was noisy but they liked creating the text. They were surprised enough by the idea of me erasing words to be fairly quiet when I had them come one by one to complete two missing words each.

But then I had a bit of a problem. When I ereased words the second time, the pupils who weren’t writing gradually stopped following. There were seven of them and the process went too slowly. Ideally we should have split into groups for the second “word filling” time, but how was I supposed to do that? It’s a tricky issue to divide them into two equal groups (fair share of different abilities) and, since they just invented the text, I didn’t have the text to hand out to each group! They wouldn’t copy the text off the board – that most certainly doesn’t work with these pupils.

Any sugesstions?

I’m really pleased about the addition of this new strategy to my “toolbox”!

NOTE: This counts as completion of goal 16. Teaching frontally in such a manner is definetly a change in my learning center!

4 thoughts on “Goal 18: Sharing a Story about Take2 of the DISAPPEARING TEXT!”

  1. Hi Naomi,
    It’s great to hear how you’re putting Jason’s ideas into practice. Your context seems like such a challenging one, compared to my nice ‘easy’ adult classes at a language school! Will they agree to copy one sentence each in a group? Or take a photo of the board with their phones?
    Hope that helps!

    1. Oh, every class is demanding in its own way when you are trying to get them to do the most they can!
      Hmm, your suggesting involving the next experiment – encourage them to use the cell phone in the lesson!

  2. Hi Naomi

    I loved reading this post… so encouraging to here how it works for other people. A friend at work also tried the Live Reading today with her students and they loved it.

    Was thinking about your second attempt… what about giving them time to think about it and then you filling it in but taking signed suggestions from all of them. That way they’re all involved but you’re the one with the pen so they don’t get bored?

    Or giving them a time limit and then have them running to the board to fill in one word before running back to hand the pen to the next student who then runs to the board and fills in the next word? They would need to be focused so they knew what to write as soon as the pen got to them?

    I’m still trying to get by head around your context and how it works… so these suggestions might not actually work.

    Thank you for sharing this!


  3. Yoy seem to be able to ” visualise” my lesson quite well! These are relevant ideas and I’m going to experiment with them!

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