The exercises in this practice book are keyed to the reader, “STONE FOX”, which is available separately.
In this new workbook accompanying the reader, STONE FOX, the exercises are divided into two sections.
- The first of these you may well recognise if you know any of the English readers in the series Materials for Language Teaching .... These exercises are text-centred and called Understanding, Speaking and Writing.
- In the second section, Grammar Skills, I have provided exercises to cover the basic grammar normally worked on at this level. These too are keyed as far as possible to the text of the reader.
Obviously this division is in large part arbitrary, as the presence of exercises on tense-changing in Part 1 makes clear. What could we understand, speak or write without grammar?
Still, it would be fair to see a difference of emphasis in the two sections, and I hope the separation may prove useful in classroom practice, giving teachers the chance to concentrate on different grammar topics as needed, partly independent of the main reader work, while still linked to it.
Why practice books?
For twenty years, many ‘Edition Waldorf’ readers have come with exercises included.
Why change to practice books now?
Here are some thoughts on practice books as a natural next step.
Similar to the familiar ‘Reader Exercises’ in their concept
- The practice books are wide-ranging collections of material.
- Here the teacher is in command, not the author’s programme.
- A real and extensive choice lets you find just what best suits a particular class.
- So these practice books are NOT ‘one size fits all’
- Different classes can work with completely different selections from the things on offer.
But practice books bring more space, more material and more variety
All the grammar the class needs is now included
- This grammar is not just ‘new material’.
- Basics and revision exercises mean that colleagues have material for classes — or individual children — who need extra work or even remedial exercises.
- All of this material is still keyed, as far as possible, to the reader text.
More structure and different kinds of exercise
- The larger page size of A4 means that we can structure the material more visibly.
- And the format makes it easier to add different types of exercise, such as tables (see the ‘Crash Courses’).
More support for teachers, but still with great freedom of choice
- The practice book can offer welcome support to less-experienced colleagues and those (like many class teachers) whose primary work-focus is not language teaching.
- At the same time, those who want to are free to chart their own course.
- Practice books speed (to an extent ...) the drudgery of marking.
- Question and answer are now together, and children are freed from copying down questions. No more hopping between reader and children’s work to double-check a point ...
- The Teacher’s Key is a free pdf-download. Even experienced colleagues may find this a help, and others will welcome the support and overview it offers.
‘Inner differentiation’ in classes is easier
- For most teachers, practice books will make ‘inner differentation’ in classes more achievable.
- Fast-track students can more easily work ahead and at their own pace.
- And the similar structure of many exercises provides helpful support to those moving more slowly.
More overview and clarity for parents
- Many parents welcome practice books. Work is in one place, and it’s easier to see how students are progressing.
- In special cases such as long illness or extreme laziness, the state of the practice book makes an immediate impression on parents. In contrast, an empty exercise book is seen as proving nothing!
- The practice book also makes it easier for parents to help their children. No more complicated combinations of exercise books and photocopies, where no one but the teacher can see how things fit together! An exaggeration, of course, but still, more clarity usually pleases parents.
See for yourself!
- At the bottom of this webpage you will find a download link for the Teacher’s Key.
- It contains the complete text of the practice book, answers to all the exercises and advice and tips for colleagues on using the material.
Download your own free copy and see for yourself!