Journal: Speed Dating?

Today we had 23 students.  I finally used Google Voice to get a local phone number, and today I repeated my Day 1 speech about good attendnace, wait lists, and how important it is to contact me when you’re absent.  Now the students have a local number that will call my non-local cell phone, and they also have my work Gmail address in case tehy’d prefer to email me.

We’ve been doing grid activities every Tuesday morning for warm-ups.  They really had the hang of it last week, so today I made it more difficult by having students fill in the questions at the top of their columns.  It was an extra step in the directions, and the variety of questions confusion about who was writing down what answers where.  We got through it slowly with everyone on board, and when we do it again next week, it will be much smoother.  And once it’s smooth… I have a new warm-up tool that I can weild as I see fit.  Mwahahaha.

We hammered in the form and function of simple present today, and as a final fluency activity I borrowed what I’m told is a speed-dating set-up: two concentric circles of students, the inner circle facing the outer circle.  Students were “partners” with the student directly facing them from the other circle.

I gave every student a verb card, which they held in front of themselves.  Students were to make up a true sentence using an adverb of frequency for their partner’s verb.  For example, if my partner’s card was “go running,” I would say, “I go running sometimes” while one of the elderly ladies in the class might say, “I never go running.”  Then my partner would make up a true sentence based on my card.  Then, the middle circle rotated one person to the right and we all had new partners.  Since there were 23 students and 1 teacher, we each went through 11 partners, so there was a lot of practice!

I think it worked well because it was the second day of a pretty familiar grammar point and because I modeled the process with student volunteers.

I have never seen this class, or perhaps any other, be so enthusiastic after an activity ended.  When I asked them how they felt about the English and about the activity, there was a huge, loud, resounding positive reponse.  Woah.  I guess we should do that one again!

Before signing off and racing to my volunteer gig, just a quick note to check out the homework blog.  Since I had more students than computers, I had a couple of volunteers go computerless and write about their typical day using the target grammar.  Then, I recorded their voices reading their stories on my phone (thanks for the Christmas present, honey!  It’s so shiny and useful!), uploaded the audio files to Dropbox, and put links in the homework blog along with comprehension questions.  Very fun!

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