Journal: Class Clown

Today one of the older gentlemen in my class stated that he understood that women in America get offended when they’re asked their weight.  He then proceeded to (jokingly) ask the women in the class how much they weighed.  They seemed to get that it was a joke and they laughed, but it’s just not something I’m comfortable having happen.

When I talked to him about it after class he said something to the effect of, “Yes, I know I can’t say it out there to strangers.  But here I like to joke with my friends.”  I’m actually thrilled that the class is that kind of a comfortable environment for him.  I’m just not thrilled with the inappropriate joking.  I think he understood that I think he’s a nice man but that I don’t want to hear this type of joke anymore.  We’ll see how much follow-up it takes!

Students: 7

Countries of Origin: El Salvador, China, South Korea

What surprised me:

  • I forgot to unlock one of the doors to the building when I arrived, and I accidentally defined a word with an extra “not” up on the board.  I guess the mornings are catching up with me!
  • How much they got into our discussions of agreeing and disagreeing.
  • How challenging the vocabulary was to them even after reviewing it in multiple ways.

Today’s Objectives:

  1. SWBAT understand and use yesterday’s vocab through listening and speaking.
  2. SWBAT use Is/are there questions and statements correctly with regards to count and non-count nouns.
  3. SWBAT listen for details.
  4. SWBAT agree or disagree with a food-related statement and give at least one supporting reason.

What went well:

The vocabulary reviews were varied and made them know the word’s definition as well as how it’s used in context, both passively and actively.  We got up and out of our seats a lot, and did both small group and large group work.

I was also pleased with the listening activity (yay book!) and the segue into (dis)agreeing.  Also, I was right that they wouldn’t necessarily know what agree and disagree meant and using the video as context and a simple picture on the board really helped explain it.  Vote With Your Feet really forced them to practice their old vocab as well as what agree and disagree mean.

We had an awkward amount of time left at the end, so I had them do a small quiz on count and non-count to help inform what I need to do to improve upon my grammar point.

What I’d like to improve upon:

I was definitely guilty of a grammatical side-note today.  I know perfectly well you can’t “just mention” something, for example that “How many” is count and “How much” is non-count.  It doesn’t prepare them for when they see it in a formal lesson; it’s just confusing.  I’ve done a good job of limiting this type of aside, and I need to limit it more.

The chain drilling of count and non-count questions and answers first thing this morning was interesting.  They still have a hard time deciding what’s count or not (even when they pulled the noun out of a hat and all the count nouns had “s” at the end), probably because it makes very little logical sense.  They also aren’t making the connection that if I ask “Are there any chickens?” the answer uses are, not is. It was definitely good to get more practice in, but we’re now in a situation where a handful of students get it but a handful doesn’t get it.

Based on their count/non-count quizzes, I think I’ll assign one group of students a more open-ended writing prompt and work more on count/non-count with the couple of students who are still struggling.

Thoughts for Tomorrow:

Start with flyswatter practice on th, ch, sh, and ph.  Repeat today’s count/non-count chain drill.    We’ll use the video interviews to practice listening comprehension and then do some writing practice agreeing and disagreeing (the book’s prompts look good!).  Think of something (maybe more writing) for some students to do while I do some one-to-one count and non-count with others…

And unfortunately, I’m just not having the thinkiest time right now, so I’ll have to finish planning this evening!  Maybe I can plan Thursday’s review session while I’m at!

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