Learning Strategies Through Play

ACTFL Handout – Play and Learning Strategies

Predict! Elaborate!
Teaching Learning Strategies Through Play In Elementary Classrooms
ACTFL 2002 Salt Lake City, Utah
Presenters:
Catharine Keatley,
Associate Director National Capital Language Resource Center
Jill Robbins,
Language Learning Specialist

As you play the games or use the toys, please try to be aware of  your thoughts. Write your thoughts here:

Blocks    Build a bridge
Dolls / CarsPlay with a
partner
Brain teasers Solve the brain
teasers
Mystery bag Guess what is in
the
bag.
Matching Game  FriendsEach thing in Tray A
has a friend in Tray B. They share the same first sound. Put the
friends together.



LEARNING STRATEGIES

STRATEGY

DESCRIPTION
1
Organize / Plan Set goals.

Plan how to accomplish the task.

Plan the task or content sequence.

2

Manage My Own Learning Focus my attention on the task.

Determine how I learn best.

Arrange conditions that help me learn.

Seek opportunities for practice.

 

3

Monitor Task Check my comprehension:

  Does it make
sense?

Check my production:

  Does it make
sense?

Check my progress on the task.

 

4 Evaluate Check how well I have accomplished the
learning task.Check how well I have applied the
strategies.Decide how effective the strategies were
in
helping me accomplish the task.

5

Use Background Knowledge Think about and use what I already know to
help me do the task.

6

Make Predictions Make logical guesses about what will
happen.Anticipate information to come.
7 Make Inferences Use context to make logical guesses about
meaning.
8 Personalize Relate new information to myself.

 

9

Use Real Objects / Role Play Manipulate real objects as I use the
target
language.Act out roles in the target language
speaking either out loud or silently.

10

Use Selective Attention Listen or read for specific information.

Focus on key words, phrases, or ideas.

 

11

Find/Apply Patterns Apply a rule.

Make a rule.

Sound out and apply letter/sound rules.

12

Use Resources Use reference materials.

Ask questions.

Use a model.

 

13 Transfer, Use Cognates Apply my linguistic knowledge of a
different language to the target language.Recognize cognates.
14 Substitute / Paraphrase Use a similar word or descriptive phrase
for unknown words.
15 Summarize Create a mental, oral, or written summary
of information.
16 Group/Classify Relate or classify words or ideas
according
to attributes.
17 Use/Create Graphic Organizers Use or create a visual representation
(such
as Venn diagrams, time lines, and charts) of important relationships
between ideas.
18 Take Notes Write down important words and ideas.

 

19 Talk Myself Through It(SelfTalk) Reduce anxiety by reminding myself of my
progress, the resources I have available, and my goals.
20 Cooperate Work with others to complete tasks, build
our confidence, and give and receive feedback.
21

 

Use Imagery Use or create an image to understand
and/or
represent information.

 




RELATING PLAY STRATEGIES TO

ACADEMIC LEARNING STRATEGIES

Toy
or Game
Strategies Academic
Applications
Blocks      
Dolls
/ Cars
Brain
Teasers
Mystery
Bag
Matching
Game

Reading Comprehension –
Making Inferences

French

Level:
Grades 1  2

Materials:

A cloth or paper bag, small identifiable objects
to put in the bag, and an attractive, interesting book at students’
instructional level

1.Preparation:

Students work in pairs. Each pair has a bag.
Each
student has a selection of small objects – unknown to the other
student.
They take turns with one student putting an object in the bag and the
other
student guessing what it is, only by feeling the bag.
Teacher asks students how they are able to identify the
objects,
and helps students articulate idea that they are using “clues” even
though
they cannot see the objects.

Teacher shows students the book to be read and
asks if they know all the words. (If the book is at the instructional
level the answer should be “no.”) The teacher then asks the students
how they might read the book anyway and understand the story. Lead
students to make the
connection that one way is related to how they identified objects in
the
bag – guessing from clues.

2. Presentation:

Teacher models – or asks a student to model –
using clues  picture, word, title, or text clues – to make guesses
about the
story and/or the meaning of vocabulary words. When students understand
the
process, explain that this strategy is called “making inferences” (you
might
want to call it a shorter name like “guessing”) and compare again to
the
mystery bag game. Explain that we make inferences all the time. Elicit
examples
of when we make inferences in normal life and in play (if someone is
wearing a heavy coat we assume it is cold, if your friend has a big
smile, you assume he is happy.)

3. Practice:

Ask students to work in pairs or small groups
reading together, making and discussing inferences about the story.
Move from group to group and ask them what clues are helping them
understand the story and/or vocabulary. Encourage students to make
inferences – and to check the inferences as they progress through the
story.

4. Evaluation:

Ask the students if making inferences is helping
them to understand the story. Discuss why  and/or
why not.

5. Expansion:

Give students an example of another situation
where making inferences can be helpful in school, for example in a
specific science setting. Ask the students for more examples where
using inferences can help them do their current school work. 


References

Chamot, A. U., &
J.M. O’Malley (1994). The CALLA Handbook
. White Plains, NY:
Longman.

Chamot, A. U., S.
Barnhardt, P.B. ElDinary, J. Robbins (1999). The Learning
Strategies Handbook
. White Plains, NY:
Longman.

Chamot, A. U. & K.
Anstrom, J. Delett, V. Karwan, A. Bartoshesky, C. Keatley (2002). The
Elementary Immersion Learning Strategies Resource Guide
. National Capital
Language Resource Center, Washington, DC: National Capital Language
Resource Center.