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Exercises

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Learning a New Skill Exercise Teacher Instructions

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> This exercise is made up of two components. The teacher first models their own experience with learning a new skill, then the students freewrite about their own experiences.

You begin the exercise by describing a personal experience with learning a new skill. Explain where you were, what you were doing, and the scene around you in order to model the kind of detailed description you want your students to give. You will then discuss how that experience made you feel, and what you felt you gained. Also, to lead into a connection to literacy, you should think out loud about what enabled you to become proficient in the skill. Practice will be key. This should then lead to the question of practice at what, which should lead to a need to understand the "customs" or language of the skill.

After you have modelled this kind of description and analysis of an experience learning a new skill, you should ask the students to freewrite for several minutes on their own experience learning a new skill. Have them describe the experience and reflect on what enabled them to gain proficiency.

After the freewrite, you will discuss how this exercise is like the Literacy Narrative Essay that asks them to think about a time when they became proficient at a language. The freewrite should have generated at least one time when this was probably true. In order to become proficient at a skill, for example, we generally need to learn the language associated with the skill.