Journal: ADD and Coffee Talk

This doesn’t seem to be formatting properly.  Sorry if it’s a super-skinny post.

Anyway, one of my students has a lot of trouble paying attention.  It’s not a lack of understanding; his speaking and understanding are right up in the top of the class.  For some reason he was a little outside his own control today, randomly switching seats to chat in his home language with another student and actually striking up a conversation during a listening activity (and seriously ticking off the students sitting around him).

We had a good chat after class, with affirmations and a new strategy, as well as clarity that it’s one thing to not be focused but another to interrupt the other students.  We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Students: 7

Countries of Origin: El Salvador, South Korea, Dominican Republic, China

What surprised me:

  • The initial conversation this morning was very slow.  Once instruction started though, they got completely obsessed with planning a party for the last day of class and wouldn’t be quiet.
  • One of the students brought in donuts and coffee in the middle of class.  Sweet!

Today’s Objectives:

  1. SWBAT listen for details.
  2. SWBAT ID and demonstrate meaning of Simple Present (SiPr), especially compared to Present Continuous (PrCo).

What went well:

Throughout the class I saw more and more evidence that they understand what SiPr means (generally, a fact or habitual action, like “Earth revolves around the sun.” or “I garden every morning.”).  And knowing that they have a different meaning from PrCo helps them understand why they have different forms.

(Have you ever noticed that for nouns, the plural gets an S at the end, while for verbs (in SiPr) the third-person singular gets the S?  SiPr is indeed simple, but it’s still confusing.)

When one of the students brought in donuts and coffee after a break, I incorporated that event into studying the difference between SiPr and PrCo (He is pouring coffee. vs. Dunkin Donuts makes good coffee.).  It was helpful!

What I’d like to improve upon:

I feel like I let things get a little out of hand today.  The side conversations (not just with the student who struggles in particular with paying attention) were really a lot.  It’s fantastic that they’re talking – these relationships and English conversations are important.  I just need it to be a bit more contained.

Plan for tomorrow: be clear about my plan for the day, emphasize that we have time to talk, but that we need to do other things too.  After all, there’s only a week and a half left of summer classes!

Thoughts for Tomorrow:

I’m happy with my lesson plan for tomorrow.  We’re getting into some more practice IDing the two tenses (SiPr and PrCo) and deciding in which contexts which one is best.  Better yet, the format mimics a kind of test question I know confuses them (and thoroughly works through what it means):

John (reads / is reading) everyday.

We’ll also be writing using these two tenses, and I’m looking forward to really intentionally modeling how we’ll take information we gathered from classmates in our grids and using it to write sentences.

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