# Lesson 2

0) Students had to finish building their rules (models) at home, so they came with their own rules, which we had to check. I highlighted several times that what we are building are hypothesis that we are going to check. Their models can be different in the beginning and practical application will show if their models work or not.

1) I put down the template on the blackboard and asked one student to provide her answers, putting down what she was saying. I asked one student to provide answers for “Factuality”, another one for “Degree” and the third one for “Proof”. Here you can see the ‘rule’ that we got as a result.

I DO NOT THINK MY PROCEDURE WAS THE BEST. I WOULD SAY A BETTER ONE IS TO MAKE ONE STUDENT PRESENT HIS/HER RULE AS A WHOLE AND THEN MAKE OTHER STUDENTS COMMENT ON IT, DISCUSS IT, INTRODUCE CHANGES IF NEEDED.
I HAVE ALSO FAILED TO INTRODUCE THE IDEA OF BANKS ON TIME. I HAD TO ASK STUDENTS TO START COLLECTING BANKS TO SUPPORT THEIR RULES.
I’VE ALSO NOTICED THAT STUDENTS WANTED TO HAVE ONE CORRECT ANSWER AT ONCE AND WERE ASKING IF THIS ‘RULE’ IS CORRECT OR NOT.

2) After we came up with a ‘collective’ rule I gave students one exercise and asked them to do it. Since we spent a lot of time on checking the model we didn’t manage to do properly the first exercise. Students had time to do only 1-2 sentences. They got more exercises as their home task.

AT THIS POINT MY PROBLEMS HAVE STARTED AND I CANNOT PROPERLY DESCRIBE MY LESSONS SINCE THEY WERE PRETTY CHAOTIC. THE IDEA WAS TO DO MANY EXERCISES APPLYING OWN MODELS AND INTRODUCE CHANGES INTO THE MODEL AT THOSE POINTS WHEN IT DIDN’T WORK. HOWEVER, SINCE I SKIPPED QUITE MANY IMPORTANT THINGS (E.G. COLLECTING A BANK, SUBDIVIDING ‘NON-FACT’ INTO POSSIBILITY/PROBABILITY, ETC., INSISTING ON PUTTING DOWN EXPLANATION NEXT TO EACH SENTENCE STUDENTS DID) AND NEVER STOPPED TO DO COMMON SUMMARY/CONCLUSIONS, MY STUDENTS GOT CONFUSED AND LOST IN ALL THESE NEW RULES.
ONE MORE MISTAKE WAS NOT TO BE BACK TO OUR AIMS AND CHECK IF WE DISCOVERED SOMETHING NEW AND REPLIED OUR QUESTIONS.
I HAVE ALSO SKIPPED GIVING THE FINAL POST-TEST AND CHECKING IF THE RESULT HAS CHANGED.

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# Alexander Sokol 2013-01-03 12:13
Renata, a few questions / comments.

1. Given what you did earlier, I am not sure the transition from all modals to models used to express degrees of certainty was clear to your students. You started with one set of modals (those you gave them in the table), then you suddenly moved to different modals (did they understand it?). Moreover, you asked them to make rules at home. This may work with very delligent students only. Average ones will either ignore the task or bring your rules from the book. In both cases, you are likely to have a problem. If we are speaking about different parts of work on the system of Creative Grammar Tasks, I believe rule making must be dealt with in class. Possible parts for home work is checking the model or bank collection. And here you've got to be very explicit about what is to be done and how it is to be submitted.

2. I believe one of your mistake was to give names of features / parameters to your students. This is the key part of building a rule and when we do it instead of them, the whole process loses its value. BTW, you are not saying here why you decided to do this. Was there any specific reason for giving them the parameters instead of getting them to come up with their own? My assumption was that you felt that they were stuck but as you are not explicitly saying it yourself, I think it's best to specify.

3. My main problem with what you call a 'collective' rule is the difference between individual - whole class I wrote about as a comment on one of your previous posts. I always avoided 'collective' rules till much later in the process as in early stages that bring more harm than good.
# Renata Jonina 2013-01-03 17:32

1. Well, I do not think I moved from one set of modal verbs to another - degrees of certainty. The table given to them contained modal verbs and concept questions that led to the parameter 'degree of certainty'. I call this set 'degree of certainty' but at the initial stage we never spoke with students about moving to any specific group.
Thank you for sharing experience with where the model must be built. Since we made the first 'parameter' together in the class, I gave them the hometask to finish it at home. Now I'll know that this is the task for class work.

2. The reason for giving student parameter is that I didn't know it is the key point of building the rule and it must be done by students. So I believed I had to show how to do it at least with one example. Do you suggest that students come up with their suggestions and I only interfere if they go to the absolutely wrong direction or I do not interfere at all?
Yes, we can say they got stuck but they still had their ideas so the question here is 'do we let them check these ideas' even knowing they will get stuck later on.

3. Yes, thank you. I remember we discussed it.
# Alexander Sokol 2013-01-04 23:20
2. Renata, you can see some of my ideas re the procedures described here:
http://www.thinking-approach.org/index.php?id=2363

What the teacher does in each specific situation depends on many factors. Generally when working with Part 4 of the grammar system it's important to help learners become aware of the steps to be made to come from the answers to concept questions to a draft model. If you look at the tasks at the end of Part 4 of each grammar system, you will see my ideas on how learners can be helped. Have you tried offering this sequence of tasks to your learners after doing concept questions? If not, may I ask for the reasons?
# Renata Jonina 2013-01-12 16:15
2. Thanks, these procedures are clear. It would be nice to have one brief example like this for every step but i understand that one should learn how to do it and not to stick to one written procedure, which will never be the same in different contexts.

No, I haven't tried offering them that sequence of tasks. The reason is that I got lost before it and made too many mistakes so I just skipped whatever I could.
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