Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Spy - Week 8AB

Mid term exams start on Friday of this week so with both first and second grade students I played a game.  Well, they played and I moderated.  It is a spin on the classic 'Taboo' board game.  I divide the class into three teams of ten.  On a power point I have a series of pictures of random people, places and things with the corresponding word across them.  At the top of the slide are two 'taboo words' that cannot be used as hints.  One student comes to the front and stands in front of his team, back to the screen.  I display a new pic on the screen and the team must use English to give hints so that the standing team member will say what is on the screen.  The team members must be careful not to use the taboo words, hand gestures or Korean to help their teammate arrive at the correct word.  There is a thirty second time limit per turn.  The team that has the most successes is the winner.

The students really love this game and get really excited while playing so I like to use it just before exams so that they can have a break from studying.  In fact my co-teachers encourage it.  I like it because every student on every team must take a turn at the front where they listen to their teammates.  The only downside is that the dominant students do most of the hinting.  I still haven't figured out a way to get the quieter students to take part in the hinting.  That issue aside, everyone has fun.  After exams I'll get back into proper lessons.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Spy - Week 7B (Preview)

This week's topic was 'Extreme Sports'.  This is the lesson I've chosen for my module two assignment.  Unfortunately, my students were in Jeju all day Monday so I only had the chance to do this lesson twice this week.  I did record it once but since it was my first run at this lesson I feel that it could have been better.  But, I suppose analysis of an imperfect lesson is the whole point of the assignment.

I started by making small talk with the class as a whole about their trip to Jeju.  It turns out they did not have a good time because  it was raining and their homeroom teacher was in a bad mood the whole time.  I guess she didn't want to be there. One student in particular gave me a lengthy explanation for their lack of fun.

I introduced the topic by writing it on the board and asked 'What makes a sport extreme?'. The question was open to anyone.  I got some one word answers like dangerous, exciting, thrilling, fun etc. .... I wrote them on the board.  In retrospect I realize I should have asked a few follow up questions like 'Why is it dangerous?'(something I did do the next time).  After that I asked the students 'What are the 3 kinds of extreme sports?'  As a cue I offered the first one myself: 'Land'....  after that different students volunteered 'Air' and 'Water'.  At this point I decided to show the video clip.  It is a montage' of cool extreme sport tricks.  I told the students to watch the video and try to remember one example of each kind of ES that they see because I will be asking them afterward.
The the video was about 4min and the students really enjoyed it.  I think it was successful in relaxing them.  After the video I asked one student to give me an example of a Land ES (in a full sentence).  I did the same for 2 or 3 more students while writing the answers they gave me on the board.

Once again, before I started I forgot to list what we would be doing.  Also, In the preview I recorded I didn't do it but the second time I did the lesson, after the video, I modeled an answer on the board: 'One ____ extreme sport is_____'.  This was better because when I individually asked a student to give an answer he was not tempted to give me a one word answer.  Also, rather than asking 'What is one land/air/water extreme sport?' myself, I had the students choose someone at random and ask.  This resulted in much less teacher talk.  Unfortunately, I didn't record it that time.  :(

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Spy - Week 6B (Preview)

The topic for this week was 'Martial Arts'.  I started the lesson with a brief greeting and open conversation about the fact that from Thursday to Sunday the 2nd graders will be on Jeju Island.  I asked a few students if they've ever been to Jeju and if they've ever been on a plane. 
Then I introduced the topic.  I wrote the topic on the WB and explained what would happen in the lesson:
1. Martial Arts Q and A warmup
2. Video clip
3. Q and A PPT
4. Handout and Q and A production

Then I asked an open display question: 'What is martial arts?'
The students responded with 'Fighting', 'performance', 'dance' etc
I wrote them on the board.
Then I drew a crude table on the WB with three headings. 'MA' 'Where?' 'Why unique?'
After clarifying the meaning of 'unique' I wrote 'tae kwon do' under 'MA' and started a Q and A session by choosing a S in group 1 and asking 'Where is tae kwon do from?'
The student would say 'Korea'.  Then I would ask for a complete sentence and he would say 'Tae Kwon do is from Korea'.  I would write 'Korea' under 'Where' and instruct the S to ask 'Why is it unique?' to a S in group 2.  That S would reply something like 'strong kicks' and I would encourage a full sentence. 
We did this kind of S to S Q and A for 2 more martial arts.
After that, as a way to relax the Ss and activate schema, I showed a 3.5min video clip of a Kung Fu master fighting a Karate master.  I set up the clip by asking the Ss where each martial art comes from.

I felt good about this lesson.  The Ss really enjoyed the topic and the video and when it came time to describe why each martial art is unique, they gave me some interesting answers. 
Tom, this week I used the strategy you suggested about having the Ss turn their paper over when it came time for language production and it went well.  I did have to do a lot of cueing but it was a good start.  I think the more they practice this kind of non-reading L2 production, the better they will get.

I realize now that in the past I was more concerned with information than practice.  I bombarded the Ss with vocab and simply checked their comprehension.  This week I significantly scaled back the vocab and info and focused more on speaking practice of only one or two sentences. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Spy - Week 5B (Thursday)

I tried the Alien Attack lesson again today and with a few changes but the result was more or less the same as Monday.  In terms of the introduction, this time I explained and listed on the white board what was going to happen in the lesson: 

1. Q and A about alien movies
2. Alien attack video clip
3. Alien attack strategies (vocab)
4. Handout
5. Ss alien attack defence Q and A

I have no reason to believe that explaining the lesson in such a way before starting made any impact on the success of the lesson, but it's probably a good habit to get into.  I'm sure the keener students and my co-teacher will appreciate it. 

Just like on Monday, the students did well with the 'What's your favourite alien movie?' Q and A and enjoyed the movie clip.  Also, this time I tried asking some follow up questions like 'Why do you like that movie?'  'I didn't see that one(even if I did)....What's the story?'  This was good because the students found it easy to talk about something they liked.  But, it did use up a lot of valuable class time minutes. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

I Spy - Week 5B (Monday)

I had second grade students all day today where I tried out a new lesson plan.  The topic is 'Alien Attack'.  I chose this as a topic because I thought it might be fun for high school boys to come up with some fun ideas about what to do in the event.  As a way to activate their schema, I started by modeling the Q and A 'What is your favourite alien movie?' 'My favourite alien movie is....' Then I started with one student (S1) at one table and asked him the question.  S1 had to answer in a complete sentence and I wrote his answer on the white board.  S1 then had to choose a student at the next table(S2) and ask the question I modeled.  S2 answered the question in a complete sentence and I again wrote the movie on the board.  We did this until we had 7 or 8 alien movies on the WB.  I concluded this warm up by revealing my favourite alien movie to the students.  We then watched a five minute clip of 'Mars Attacks' wherein the aliens unleash a surprise attack on earth.  The movie is from 1996 so the students were not familiar with it and therefore interested them.  After the movie I introduced the vocab...
The warm up went smoothly and the students were clear on the topic but I realize now that I neglected to tell the students the TO of the lesson.  I imagine once I started introducing the vocab they were a little confused about where I was going or what was the point of thinking about aliens.  On thursday when I teach this lesson again I will make it clear to the students from the beginning that we will be learning some new vocabulary and then trying to formulate a Ss ask Ss Qs senario where the students must use their imaginations to find and suggest a way to fight against an alien attack.