Sorry for the unannounced hiatus last week. Family emergency.
One thing that went well: The complicated fluency activity actually went pretty well! The purpose of it was for students to practice taking and leaving messages in small groups. There were six groups, different roles in each group, and message scenarios – in other words, there was plenty of room for chaos. Modeling it took a little time, and getting it organized took a bit more time. However, it turned out to be pretty doable, fairly engaging, and long enough to justify the time investment of getting it rolling in the first place. I’m thinking about modifying it a bit for tomorrow and then re-using it. We’ll see.
One thing to improve: This class frequently hesitates to volunteer to put answers on the board. It can be kind of painful. I need to be more creative about answer-checking.
One surprise: Well, in retrospect it’s not at all surprising. You know those little phone message form things that lots of offices use? With little check boxes for “Call back” or “Returning your call” and teeny tiny lines to write messages on? I have an irrational dislike of them. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to write very small, or maybe it’s my dislike of forms in general, but I’m much happier taking notes on blank paper. My class, however, was pretty enthused about the forms in the textbook. This shouldn’t have surprised me: the check boxes allow for less writing, and the form supplies built-in reminders about what to write down. So at the break, I quick made them some phone forms. Note to self: just because I dislike something doesn’t mean the class does!