I have a very good vibe going in my regular Spanish I class this year. With just 16 students, I was a little nervous at the beginning of the year. Too few students can make for a dead class. I shouldn’t have worried — I have a great bunch of kids. This means I can do some fun things I’ve always wanted to try. One of those things is Patito.
In any CI classroom, props play a big role. I depend on my collection of stuffed animals to stand in as actors when kids are too shy, to be objects to throw around, and to give us something to talk about. One of my stuffed animals is a small duck named Patito. (Actually, Patito was stolen last year. ¡Qué triste! A kind student has replaced him with Patito II.) A couple of weeks ago, I proposed sending Patito home with a student every weekend. The kids were to take pictures of him doing a few things so that we could talk about him come Monday. They seemed game, but we got snowed out and had to wait until last Friday. Our online attendance system has a random student generator that I used to pick my first victim, but before sending Patito off on his adventure, I made sure to write my name on his tag. This proved prescient.
Later that day I got an email from a coworker: “Are you missing a stuffed duck?” I had been foiled again! I went to retrieve Patito and snapped some shots of him in the chorus room playing piano and serenading a very comely green ducky that happened to be there. I’ll show those pictures today and hopefully this Patito thing will catch on. Perhaps I should have started with a willing volunteer!