I figured since my French 1 students had such a hard time learning être, learning regular ER verbs was going to be a very difficult task. I braced myself for confusion with them.
Much to my surprise, it went amazingly. I introduced it last Thursday, and they already seem to have a great grasp of it. Before I taught them how to conjugate it, I gave them definitions and examples of subjects, verbs, conjugations and infinitives. I then explained to them how to conjugate regular ER verbs in French.
Any homework I give immediately following the introduction of a topic is just given completion credit. Either you did it or you didn’t. If I do completion credit, I walk around and stamp their paper (so if I make an error in the gradebook, they can show me the stamp and prove me wrong). On those days, we still correct the homework together so they can check their work and maybe clear up any lingering confusion. To get a feel for how they did, I just ask them “how’d you do?” and they all respond with a thumbs up, a thumbs sideways or a thumbs down. It’s a super easy way to get immediate feedback on how well they are grasping what we are learning and if we can move on or not.
Anyway…the day after I taught them ER verb conjugation, we went over a practice worksheet that had been assigned for homework, and at least 70% of them gave me a thumbs up. That is HUGE. I was very pumped that they grasped it SO quickly, especially since être was such a struggle.
Today, to reinforce a bit more, we played avalanche in class. They just rocked it! They rarely made any mistakes. I did end up teaching them a song to reinforce those endings (which can be found HERE), which I think helped a lot too.
To any readers, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! I, for one, am looking forward to our break with immense impatience.