Materials Lite?

So as for this Dogme thing….

I’ve done some Internet research.  And I like this idea of not needing this lot…..

But this is my class survival kit.

In here I have all the emergency items to keep a class afloat with very little notice.

In my survival kit, I have the sticker rewards, the bingo templates, the colourful paper to quickly implement that urgent consequences game.  On top of this lot, there is the dice and Tony the cuddly football.  So, this Dogme thing….means….getting rid of all my security blankets?  Just wondering.


7 Responses to “Materials Lite?”

  1. David Warr Says:

    No. Keep them.

    My very very first lesson was a nightmare. Funny now, but not at the time. I was in Hungary, I hadn’t done any practical teaching in the course I took, the teacher said don’t worry, tomorrow you will just be observing, not teaching. Everything went fine for the first 3 lessons, I just watched, then she said, change of plan, the teacher’s not here, you must teach, she pushed me in the room and bolted the door (well, it seemed like it). Panic!! I didn’t even have any dice on me! I started drawing the Blockbusters hexagons on the board for a quiz. You know the board? Terrible. It had squares, rectangles, whatever shape terminlogy you can think of, it was there, and the pupils hadn’t a clue what I was doing. Only as I got to know them during the year, I became friends with them and realised they weren’t this frigthening bunch that I had imagined they were.

    Now, whenever I meet new students, I don’t need a security blanket, but as I alluded, it can take time to feel like this, well it did for me. In the same way, I don’t carry dice around with me all the time in case I sit next to someone on a train and can’t think of anything to say 😉

    In the first lesson these days, I play “guess my name”. “John?” “Very good…” I go over to them as if to shake their hand in congratulations, thne pull it away….”but no. Do you know a John?” “Yes, my neighbour.” “Oh, really, is he nice? Do you talk to him?” … “No, my name’s not John.” “Peter?” “Very good….(same walk) but no. Why did you say Peter?” ….. Finally, they guess David. That’s about a 30 minute activity (assuming they guess a few other names first), whereas I could just say “Hello, my name’s David. Errrrr, DICE!!!”

    Keep the blankets as long as you need them.

  2. crazykites Says:

    The dice is fun! And they LOVE Tony the football. I have a class who make things for him. I should make more use of him as a character rather than just something to throw around.

    Good game there with the Guess My Name. I have to write things down a lot to remember for the future. First lessons are always hard. I have to remember also that the creativeness of the game is not so important. Simple ideas work just as well, if not better, as they are more simple to understand.

  3. David Warr Says:

    Yeah, am not saying don’t use dice, just don’t feel that without them, you’ll be scared to death. I also agree about Tony. He has feelings too, you know.

  4. crazykites Says:

    I know!!! We all love Tony. I’ll post about him some time.

  5. Richard Says:

    Tony the football sounds great, I’m all for random props with kids. I used to have a Taz hand puppet and when they were good, they were allowed to control Taz and say whatever they wanted, in English, of course!

    In fact, thinking about it, during one class last year, we created an imaginary friend for one of the students. It was one of those intro chats that go off on a tangent, and before we knew it there was an imaginary boy who had a dog and most of a life history! Then on random occasions during the rest of the course he would be referred to during classes. One real boy in the class got quite agitated (in an amusing way) when the girls started talking about the imaginary friend (whose name I have forgotten), and he would pretend to shoot an imaginary gun at the imaginary boy, highly comical.

    No course book is going to generate this level of interactive imagination!

  6. crazykites Says:

    I think having a little character is funny. When the boys throw Tony, I become all maternal and stroke him as if he’s real and he’s got hurt, which they find amusing.

    Last week, I took a rug in and it was Tony’s magic carpet which he used to go on holiday during the puente here in Spain. I let them draw pictures of his holiday. They could decide where he went and what he did. Then this led on to a coursebook reading/listening comprehension where they talk about Atlantis. I said that Tony went to Atlantis and asked them to imagine what he did there. With one class this worked really well. With another class, exactly the same age but somewhat more boistrous and less innocent didn’t “fly” quite so well with the idea and just copied each other, then told me that Atlantis didn’t exist full stop. You win some, you lose some. In fact, the older they are, the more willing they seem to be to suspend their disbelief. If I didn’t have to stick to the coursebook, we could have made more of Tony’s holidays in story board form. I’m unwilling to abandon the book too much as I have to cover so many units a term and it’s quite tight. Also, as a new teacher, I’m learning while I’m teaching, so the coursebook is a good guide for me. I simply haven’t got that many original ideas to fill 22 hours a week. The textbook allows me to sleep at night. If it weren’t for the textbooks, I’d be sitting there all night trying to have an idea.

  7. Richard Says:

    The flying carpet thing sounds like a great idea, but the way kids are means that success can be rather hit and miss. Personally, I think the key thing is to go with the flow. If the lesson isn’t working because they’re just not getting into it, sometimes it’s worth just shrugging it off and doing something else instead. In this case, maybe the unbelievers could have decided where Tony did go, as they didn’t believe he went to Atlantis, and worked on that instead?!

    I agree about the course book. I think that in terms of dogme, for less experienced teachers it’s more about feeling that you can leave the book alone completely, or adapt it or use it, depending on the lesson and what your aims are – it’s the knowledge of choice and other possibilities that counts. It seems like you have recognised these things and so can adapt when you want! : )

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