Journal: High Energy Day!

Today was super fun!

What surprised me:

  • We got a computer lab!  For the exact days and times I was hoping for!  Wooo!
  • I had 19 students!  Yesterday we were at only about 11.  Several were people who moved up from my class from last semester, so it was like a chain of mini reunions as familiar faces walked in the door.
  • How long one tiny grammar point, just quickly “covered” in the book, took to practice. 
  • The student who asked me to do the Homework Blog over the break told me that she used it a lot!  I’m not sure if she meant the blog specifically or my Computer Class page of resources, but either way, I was very excited to hear that at least one student got extra study guidance from it.

What went well:

I think I did a good job of staying out of the spotlight today.  I liked the emphasis on students learning each other’s name.  First we used a standing chain drill, then quizzed volunteers to try to say everyone’s name in the circle.  Then we sat back down and took turns being the teacher, asking one student how to spell his/her name and writing it on the board.

Overall, I like our textbook, particularly the TV series it comes with.  One of its weaknesses, at least for my classes, is that it crams a ton of material into not just one unit, but any given page.  I took one tiny piece of the grammar suggested for Monday’s lesson and we practiced it (meaning, accuracy, and fluency) for a large chunk of the class time.  Also, it was great to do a lesson in that format.  I learned it in TEFL class, and it’s just a great format. 

I was pleased that I had the good sense to ask students to self-identify their computer level before we went down to the lab.  Some people had already publicly told me they were computer beginners, so I wasn’t afraid to ask everyone who needed help getting to the internet to raise their hand.  I asked them to look at each other and to sit together when we got to the lab.  I explained that I wanted to help them without running all over the room.  It worked out well.

What needs improvement:

A couple of grammar details surprised me during class.  I didn’t have a problem handling these surprises, but they could have been prevented if I had prepped the point itself (as opposed to our practice of it) more thoroughly.  This is the type of thing that will get more and more automatic as my accumulated knowledge grows, but right now I need to keep on it!

Thoughts for Next Week:

I already miss having a beginning routine like we did last semester.  I don’ t think the dates practice will serve this class as well as it did Level 1.  Ideas I’m kicking around include spelling dictation practice and vocabulary games of some kind. 

Looking forward to starting the “Getting In Shape” unit!  I’d also like to incorporate some additional reading into our work.

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