I was in class helping set up Mac’s equipment for his aide when class started.
The topic the students were about to begin was plurals. The conversation went something like this…
MRS R: OK, who can remember what a plural is
MAC: “glar” (with a kick of the legs and a look of purpose)
STUDENT “O”: Mac’s trying to say something
MRS R: Mac, do you know what a plural is.
Since Mac didn’t have his foot switches unpacked at that moment he provided his old faithful “lip smack” YES response to assure her he did.
MRS R: OK, Mac knows, does anyone else
A few hands went up and offerings of definitions of all manner of items in grammar the closest being ‘two things the same’ (close but not quite).
No one really gave the desired answer. Mrs R was checking with Mac whether he thought any of those answers were right… he didn’t.
So she offered him some more choices.
MRS R: Is it the name of a specific person, thing, or place?
MAC: (without any delay) NO
MRS R: Is it when two words are joined to form a new word?
MAC: (again, a speedy response) NO
MRS R: What about something that means more than one eg a person, thing or instance?
Mac stopped his wriggling and turned his head to one side but didn’t answer straight away.
STUDENT “O”: I think he’s thinking
MRS R: Have you got an answer for me Mac, does it mean “more than one?”
MAC: (after a second or so)… “YES”
What I found most interesting in this clasroom exchange is the comments of Student “O”.
Firstly he accepted Mac’s ‘noise’ in the first instance was not just a noise but in fact was Mac trying to “say something”.
Secondly, when Mac didn’t give an instant response he commented that Mac must be thinking.
“I think he’s thinking”
… it made me realise just how far we’ve come since May last year when I blogged about our “Weekend at Bernie’s moment”… we are a long way from “he looks dead”. 😉