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Getting there


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Today I ditched all the work in group thing, just saying to everyone to make good use of people around you and work with a friend, and then kind of moved in to a sink or swim explanations moving through the worksheet with time to think about questions inbetween type lesson. The reason for this being I wanted to get home on time to pick up the Japanese granny from the hospital, so time factors, but also it's a well-worn smooth Japanese way of studying from junior high up, so students get on with it.. In fact it's kinda less effort sometimes than doing a groupwork project type thing, but then the sharing and talking is going to happen next week as we work with graphs anyway. One other factor is that it's less exhausting for me, to not have to dash round so many groups and explain the same thing over and over, and meanwhile other groups are waiting for clarification sort of thing.

So after the vocab time, where I was busy handing back papers as a name-learning technique, spot-checking some students about memorizing and marking honestly, and scolding and warning here and there, I asked students to tot up the wordcount, hand in the homework, and then I launched into reviewing the course so far.

Models of the economy( market/product, financial, happiness, sustainable), and measuring things you can't see, like discussion and economy, establishing criteria. Seeing how the criteria depend on the model. Thinking about which criteria are missing, or where the weakness in the model is.
Then moving into measuring using economic indicators and observing how it changes, setting up prognoses, and justifying them with information: having sources and justifying sources. Being able to describe trends in figures and graphs.

Then I handed out the worksheets, and we worked through the first question, looking for economic indicators. Took a break. Then moved on to how to quote sources (including counting the number of sources and checking the quality/reliability of an article), and next, how to justify sources, finally I let everyone get on with lifting expressions manipulating figures from the text, and then did a wee run-down on adverbials being one key to seeing trends of going up and down, moderately, impressively, considerably, slightly, all examples lifted from the Economist articles, so they would know how to solve the last exercise. Last ten mins explaining the homework, modelling how it would be used in Day 6, agreeing with students (kept changing my mind on this, but got some noddings and signals of agreement when I decided to also give credit for finding the graph, writing the quiz and the personal opinion) to give 15 credits for doing the homework, 15 for the spoken interaction, and 30 for the mini-test at the end of class.

make sure you use today's work, quoting sources and justifying your sources, ok? great, let's wrap it up for today (two mins early, yippee!)

Best moment was when there was an earthquake, which i didn't notice, but students told me, and then i noticed the slight tremor. Well, I joked, if I die now, I'll die happy, I love being here and doing this, economics and everything. Could hear people laughing (in surprise?) and whispered translating for friends.

Got a couple of students doing the homework from teh yahoo group and not having the crossword, which surprised me, the graph I have not posted up, but it can be done quickly at the beginning of class if the student has studied the terms, so I did that with one student, also spent the break checking the agreeing and disagreeing with them and explaining the why and wherefore. (In my break, dammit! Sigh, no break today, breaking my own rule...) Glad they were interested in knowing about it even tho they would get no credit, and they also thanked me warmly for the explanation, which was gratifying.