Here, I will share tips for effective implementation of AIM. I always welcome your questions, comments and successes!
In this first blog, I am going to talk about two key AIM activities: story retelling and story extension. As AIM teachers, what we strive to do is to help students – as quickly as possible- develop proficiency so that they may use the language in meaningful, authentic, spontaneous and creative ways. Our goal should always be to spend a significant portion of the kits on story retelling (Kit step one) and story retelling and extension (Kits step two and above). Without these activities, students do not benefit from the full AIM experience. In fact, they are missing what I consider the most important activities for the development of proficiency!
These activities are the key, culminating activities for each kit for several reasons:
1. They allow students to apply all that they learn through the structured, basic language manipulation activities and teacher-led whole-class activities – building on and improving with each kit!
2. AIM storytelling activities are carefully scaffolded as they are based on the original story – a safe, known context, characters and plot.
3. For the beginner AIM student, story retelling develops the ability for circumlocution – an essential skills for those new to a language
4. For the more experienced AIM student, story retelling develops an awareness of how to ‘build -out’ a story – involving critical thinking and analysis – Important literacy skills that transfer to other subject areas!
AIM creative storying activities are the most important for assessment tools, providing a true snapshot of student proficiency – what they can do!
5. The products produced by students – published or not – are the most beautiful, concrete testimonials of student achievement to include in the student portfolio!
Have a look at the video below. They have worked on a story retelling with teacher modelling and are now writing in partners. Notice how students develop oral language in tandem with written, how they support each other, working collaboratively, sharing ideas and how they learn to refine skills through peer correction. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!