Journal: Settling In

Day 2 already felt more normal and settled in even though we had two new students join us in the middle of class.

Students: 7
Countries of Origin: El Salvador, South Korea, China


  1. Students will complete a CASAS listening test and the textbook’s diagnostic test
  2. Students will practice reading for understanding
  3. Students will practice saying and remembering each other’s names

What surprised me:

  • Today the room was only about 80 degrees, plus we had a fan.  Sweet!
  • Some of the students bring such a huge level of upbeat energy to the group, it’s like night and day when they leave or enter.  This shouldn’t surprise me, but it did today anyway.
  • Our grant is requiring additional daily student paperwork starting tomorrow.  (Seriously?)

What I did well:

I think they had fun with the flyswatter game, and I think it did help review letter names.  During the reading section, I understood where they were getting tripped up, explained it, and checked for understanding in such a way that they proved to me they got it.  I thought to ask them if they wanted homework, and they said yes.  I have high hopes that it’s at a good level for them, and plan to check on that tomorrow.

What I’d like to improve upon:

I seriously need to watch my teacher talk, in terms narrating, asides, and giving others a turn to talk.  Also, I had an odd 10 minutes to kill because some of the students were taking a listening test but others didn’t need to, and the practice activity I came up with was weak at best.  I need to have some small, modular activities up my sleeve (i.e. dictation, short writing prompts, conversation prompts, etc.) that tie directly to our day’s objectives so that I’m not wasting their learning time.

Thoughts for tomorrow:

I definitely want them to keep on practicing names.  We didn’t get to do a grid activity today, so I think we’ll do one first thing after the introductory name practice.  I know I want to do a focused listening lesson for a good chunk of tomorrow’s class time.  My next step is to pick which unit we’ll study first using the results of the diagnostic test to help and take the content from there.  And I need to not forget to offer feedback on the reading homework if they want it.

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