Journal: Conversation Request

The necessary drudgery of the new semester (pre-tests and paperwork) is wrapping up and class is already starting to feel normal.

We had ten minutes at the end of class, so I asked the students if they had questions.  I gave the example that sometimes my old students would ask me vocabulary questions.  Today they asked if we could do conversation for the last ten minutes.  It went well (we started with “What do you like?”), and they asked if we could do this everyday.  I said yes.

Is this sounding familiar to you? Maybe I should plan to never plan open conversation time but always add it in when they ask for it.

Students: 8ish
(people had to go take tests, go to appointments, etc., so I don’t really know how many students I had today.)

Countries of Origin: El Salvador, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Mexico, Peru,

What surprised me:

  • I’m realizing just how multilevel the Level 1 students really are.
  • They were very receptive to the actual flyswatters (we used rolled-up looseleaf yesterday, and it was floppy).
  • How uncomfortable I was doing Introduction Posters (My name is __.  I’m from ___.) with them.  It was the crayons.  Something about busting out crayons in a group of adults feels like I’m treating them like children.  That being said, more than half of them got into decorating their posters, and the crayon made it much easier to read than plain pencil.

Today’s Objectives:

  1. SWBAT name, hear, and ID the ABCs correctly and quickly
  2. SWBAT ID and describe 8 jobs.
  3. SWBAT use and understand specific language relating to dates: today, tomorrow, yesterday, days of the week, date, and two ways to say 2010.

What went well:

Follow-up on yesterday: I found two photocopiers today, and I came in with a much more in-depth plan than I’d had for the first two classes.

More on today: My instructions were comprehensible, even when we were playing Catchphrase with job vocabulary (students often miss that they shouldn’t say the vocabulary word, but just give clues).

We used a lot of modalities (even art!) and there was a nice mix of sitting and moving around.

What I’d like to improve upon:

Something about the flow of the material seemed jumpy to me.  I also need to get a few more tricks up my sleeve for vocabulary introduction and practice, especially with such a wide range of prior knowledge in the classroom.

Thoughts for next week:

I’m looking forward to doing some listening comprehension with Top Notch TV, and I feel much more comfortable using the textbook now that we’ve done our own intro and I have a gauge on where the students are at (the textbook’s pages are really densely packed with information).

I’m also thinking about implementing student jobs, including a materials manager (get out the pencil box and make sure the pencils are sharpened) and a conversation leader (think of two questions per day).

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