One thing that went well: Unlike yesterday, today I remembered to bring the DVD with the listening exercises on it!
Ok, that’s cheating.
One real thing that went well: We ended with sort of a truncated jigsaw reading. I think the big success was the reading itself – it was really interesting! It was a magazine-style quiz with ten different scenarios. Each scenario highlighted norms in different countries and cultures, and the questions were either, “What should you do?” or “What was your mistake?” I gave each group two questions from the quiz, and they read them and discussed their answers.
Since we were short on time, I didn’t mix up the groups as I normally would in a jigsaw. Instead of mixing up the groups for phase two, I had a volunteer from each group read one question to the whole group and give their suggested answer. Then, I told everyone if the book agreed or not. We also related it back to US culture. This saved a lot of time (we were running a bit short), and it was also a great, high-energy way to end class.
One thing to be improved: With grammar, sometimes I feel like I’m digging us into a hole rather than clarifying anything. Today was one of those days. We didn’t do too much – I cut it a bit short when I felt the shovel in my hands. I hope to start to dig us out tomorrow. Aside from making sure my points are clear, I need to do my best to steer them away from obsessing over exceptions and weird overlaps (i.e. “Have you eaten dinner?” vs. “Did you eat dinner?”).
One surprise: We’re studying Present Perfect. We also watched a DVD dialogue in which one character said to another, “I never forget a face.” A student asked why this wasn’t in Present Perfect: “I have never forgotten a face.” She even backed it up: it emphasizes the past up to the present, and it’s about an experience (or rather, the lack thereof). I thought it was a brilliant connection! We talked about it being a normal phrase, and why it’s in Present tense, and the slightly strange tone it would take in Present Perfect. But still, really great insight.