This week in English class, we are learning the words for activities: sleeping, eating, studying, resting, walking, talking, playing video games, watching television, driving, riding a bicycle, and so forth. It is no surprise that some of these words are easier for them to learn than others. Standing in line is easy because line is close to linea. Shopping is something they seem to enjoy. Working, writing, and reading are terribly difficult because they do not inspire the imagination with remembrance of fun. And, writing, pronounced with a Spanish accent, sounds more like reading than writing. So confusing. 

The best solution to get them working is to play a game. As soon as I start keeping track of points with the promise of BOTH bragging rights and something sweet and spicy for the winner, we are learning again.

In the last ten minutes of class, I introduce the homework and explain that they need to write one paragraph with six of the words to earn a sucker on Wednesday.

Greedy Ariadna (who has already won the most treats) wants to know if she writes six paragraphs, if she will earn six treats.

I want to tell her learning is its own reward; instead, I consent to six suckers for six well-developed paragraphs and hope that she’ll do one.

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