Thursday, June 03, 2004
ooof another day goes by...beautiful hortensias on the way to work, so snapped a few view at tabulas...
as usual my day begins at the printer/copier, and then had a wonderful conversation with Jeff prior to class, he's so on the ball and calm and inspiring, one of my favorite people, makes my day :) (Is that why the class goes so well?)
Laid out the homework and the answer sheet for the Review Test, so I save time handing it out later. Really had a ball with the names today, went round opening up my file with all the marks, and I had just been reading work on the train, so it kind of slotted faces to the work. Must have seemed funny, really working openly, repeating names over and muttering them and testing myself as the students did their vocab.
I explained since their homework was so good i'd like them to round robin and share, drawing a wee diagram on the board to illustrate a round robin, and then explained again in Japanese, and then it was my go-go-go time, after ten minutes things seemed to have stalled so I asked them all to send a pair from each group of four to the next group, and remixed groups so they got new input. Coaching some of them to speak clearly and emphasize important words in delivery, since other people can't see their papers if they mumble. About four or five students had been absent and absolved themselves of doing the homework, so they were asked to listen in to various robins and make notes... Good work going on.
I added the twenty minute round robin in response to my conversation with some Tuesday students who said I move too fast: this way it slows down the progress and gives them time to get a feel for things...BUT there is an element of not preparing in some students, wanting to just do the stuff in the time-frame of the class and be done with it, which may make the class confusing for some...I rely heavily on active preparing of the tasks outside the class to fuel the lesson.
Then we all took a five minute break, and on realigning I explained it was half way thru the course and did a quick rerun of our achievements, and then said we would now look at how to make use the knowledge gained so far to make decisions about investing, and work on a roleplay to learn.
Handed out the pre-role play task, and after running through the pronunciation rather carefully ( even managed a wee joke about Mitsubishi inbetween) they dug in to it, looking up unfamiliar vocab and generally deciding on which criterion they thought were important for investing. Homework is to read the back of this and the role-play role sheet, I said, and I will review test you on these criteria next week, and we will pool your work so far at the board next week, so now it's time for the review test.
I walked round, it's an open book test, so I lent my book to some students and talked them through some of exercises/test questions if they needed me. I noticed one of the students who handed in the most brilliant paper did so because he has difficulty understanding what is required of him, and thus did too much. Such excellence and dedication, but his paper test score doesn't reflect it: good to have the mix of free written work, and tests, because some people really shine in the latter, or again in the former.
Unfortunately had a student cribbing: your neighbor's paper is not your textbook!!! Hmmm, couldn't look me in the eyes but denied he was cribbing....I've had a guy taking out a cribsheet in a formal exam at school and i just whipped it off him, rather than stop the test and rip up his paper, and later a veteran colleague said it is better to do that, and teach them a lesson early, than let things slip by, and later on in life they're still not clear about things. At the time I thought of taking in a mirror and asking them to apologize to themselves...
but this, now, is my own class, the test in class time, and perhaps i'm not so clear about how I want to run it. On the one hand the tests are for me to get an idea of how much they are in control of the work we've covered so far, and suggest areas which need redoing, and at the same time they are for the final grades. So cribbing defeats the point.
But they are also pretty good wee review exercises, and I don't want the students to see them as threatening...so i wander round and help and encourage, saying if you need help call me, not your neighbor. So I kind of soften the seriousness of things, so maybe i lead them to think a wee sneaky peak is ok (it's definitely possible...)
I guess I just wish things like this wouldn't happen, and fudge, now I have to decide whether to accept the marks the student gained on his paper or not. I should have ripped it up on the spot...I just asked the student if they would admit to cribbing, asked the neighbor why their paper was in full view right of their body....all of us felt uncomfortable, and although i definitely sent the message that i was not happy, i didn't state the consequences clearly, and send clear messages....
Also realized my sentence matching was open to interpretation, and will have to redo some of the Tuesday marking. I decided to give half marks for the alternative options, which are not the best, but possible at a pinch. Decided this on the train, marking on the way home.
Renata 4:57 pm