Thursday, July 01, 2004
Feeling kind of relaxed this Thursday because I have an idea of how the lesson and response will go, and what to look out for...My prints are made, with the suggested reading on the back, the papers are ordered to hand back, and the marks are calculated so that the A students can be notified. Enjoyed a chat on summer assignment reading with my fav colleague in the staffroom, perhaps I shall assign an economist article over the summer too.
Got to class relatively late for me, ten minutes before starting time, and moved the desk to the door (singlehanded, grabbed it in the middle after asking two students who had parked themselves there to move...I saw one guy hesitating about helping me but it was too much bother to ask, I just picked it up) to lay out the papers to be handed back, joining in a conversation about the football as I did. Portugal won...
After arranging my own things on my front desk (perched on a podium so high I disappear if I stand behind it!) and writing up a quick time scheduled outline of the class on the board, I double-checked two students' vocab work, this time explaining the difference between cooperation and corporation, again latin roots...they have these cool electronic dictionaries to check up, but they don't explain word origins/etymology, just give a translation of the prefix as though it is a regular word. Perhaps something to explore next term? I don't think anyone has explained prefixes and suffixes to them??Something to check.
Did spot checks on the vocab, about four or five sheets, and then explained the examination before a short break. I had two or three students come in the break to see their marks, two students close to an A grade who wanted me to mark the homework for this last day in order to get an exemption from the exam. I said it was too late, that I had taken seven out of their scores to date, and they protested that I had said seven best scores out of ten for an exemption, not nine, and whether i couldn't email them with the results of number ten and an exemption. I said I was sorry, that it had taken me a lot of running around to set up the online terra system, but that I hadn't got used to using it smoothly yet, that I would work on it in the summer break, and that this time I could not comply with their requests, that I would still use their seven best scores out of ten after marking, but would they please come to the exam. The other A students are straight A even out of nine...
I can see they really don't want the bother of coming, which is hardly an A grade attitude...perhaps they are afraid they won't do well in the review, even tho it is open book.. I asked one of the students the reason for being so desperate for an exemption again on the way out, they said it was more a case of not wanting to get up so early in the morning!!Ha!
The questions ate up my break, so I asked the class to wait a moment, that I needed to dash to the loo, and off I ran, back in under two minutes to go through the collocations. This time as oppose to the Tuesday class I took more time to focus on using a marker pen to highlight the words and phrases that are used together, actuallly demonstrating by highlighting myself visibly holding up a piece of paper, and then noting the relevant expressions on the board. This is how best to learn words, I said, use it for your vocab sheet section four. Learning strategies, I guess, ???Big words....what happened to tactics?
Then they set about reading each other's homework and commenting, again I had opening phrases for commenting up on the board. I could see some students were really putting thought into it, others (some of them my achievers!!A graders!!) just dashed off a phrase using my intro and skived...not really in the mood, letting up after the intense work so far. I guess it shows how much they are influenced/motivated by getting the grade...other people wake up to the grade at the end, too late, and then scabble desperately to get a good mark.
At any rate I think a sort of paced solid rate of work is something important, I tend to give too much and burnout, too. I kind of think the marking scheme, which I borrowed from a colleague, RogerDowney, S.J. lends itself to pacing, because you only use the seven best marks out of ten, so you can have an off day. Some people who built in holidays on the strength of that didn't do so well, because the test is always on the previous week's work. It's a pretty clever scheme if you're going to test and take control of the grades. Next term I want to try out goal-setting and setting your own grades in the first class...
There wasn't much time to do the new pay related vocabulary, a scribbled tree diagram on the board with remuneration, pay, wages et al and I read the answers lodged in the text, repeating each sentence as they corrected their work. Off I go home with soooooooooo much marking to do, don't want to think about it, and the review test to be done...running for the train, I made it with a minute to spare, surprisingly...off to my knitting teacher's exhibition in Takashimaya , lugging the heavy bag, sigh, so this entry is late today...
Renata 5:25 pm