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Getting there


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Before I blogged I clipped together today's marked economic definitions minitest, homework gap-fill vocab on company structure and the note-taking sheet to have a wee look at the overall performance of today.

My first impression is that in brainstorming opinions I am not getting the quality of deep thinking that I had from last year, and which I offered as a scaffold. I also see in comments a laziness to respond seriously in some students, but I'll make copies and pore over it at a later date. So my first reaction is that last year's method of doing the company structure worksheet in class, handing out the naked Japanese article and asking for an intro to the topic, summary of the article and personal opinion has worked better overall...but then since this was the beginning of the topic, what really will settle the issue is the quality of the research homework for next week, when students describe and share their own ideas on a company.

Basically I didn't even have the time to do the worksheet.... after doing a spot check on the vocab and marking down lax checker and learner for not memorizing, I first apologized for forgetting, yes, forgetting to take in the marked worksheets from last week!!!!!(One student had kept badgering me about that during vocab time, and I asked them to wait til later for the explanation, and then after the explanation they were like, that is ONE BIG Mistake, basically because they want to know how their average score stands with respect to the A...but then since they didn't attend last week, when I did have their paper, nobody took them up on their distress.)

Then I offered up some economics textbooks for grabs, nicely supported by a wee article on reusing and recycling in the Edo period in the Nikkei, with a quote in that article from my superior, Professor Kito of Sophia. I see by the end of the class they had all gone, so I hope they will be used.

Then students each marked a peer's homework papers, with me reading out the completed text and finally the numbered answers. Turns out four students hadn't completed the homework, so four people could just relax. After that I talked about my spiel on the summer homework and how this homework was a model of an intro and summary, which was a BIG mistake, nobody had a clue, it was too early, so it just wasted a good five minutes in warblings...what was nice was one of the students started questioning in Japanese, and kinda took over, and asked about the second term, and said that's the infamous suit job thing is it?....and everyone was laughing and relaxing....but I wanted to study and get back on track, at any rate I asked students to think what a last year's student had added over and above what I had given them and read out a sample last year's student passage twice, to total silence and perplexity, so then I said, well, what's missing is a personal opinion. So what is your personal opinion, what do you think is the most important?

Then I handed out the worksheet which models three opinions from last year, read them out, and handed round white bits of paper B5 for everyone to begin formulating an opinion. There was silence and concentration as this was done, I walked round supporting slower students by pointing to phrases they could use in the previous students' ideas....then I asked students to get in groups of four and five and round robin with opinions, but to not just read in turn, but rather use phrases like exactly, and to repeat the opinion you've just heard, or to paraphrase with "so you're saying...." to show you're listening, before moving on to the next opinion.

I only had time to listen in and support two groups in this process, far right window side, tend to flit in that direction, I should make a point of going up left, methinks. Then I said ok, now you've heard four people's opinion, go network and get written comments from at least three other people, moving round the room and give written comments, sharing ideas. This is when some of the comments show skiving.... After a while I noticed ladies were just sharing with ladies, and men with men, so I said last-minute, please make sure you have at least one member of the opposite sex commenting on your ideas....I had been squatting in the centre of the ladie's group explaining again that your networks are a kind of valuable asset you need for work, and company's are on the look out for people who bring strong networks and networking skills, and if you didn't have any members of the opposite sex in your networks you were losing out on half of society...

By this time we all needed a break, and then there was only five minutes before test time, so I said finish this worksheet for homework, and I'll post the answer key on the web, and then research and write about a company, so that you can explain it to other people next week.

In the break a student came to ask about the summer homework, making it clear to me that introducing the summer thing had been a mistake, because it was unclear, and I will be handing out rubrics anyway, which is what i said to them.

The test was fine, I mean, silence, concentration, focus, and general full attention on the issues at hand. well done!!! We all marched out since I collected papers on the dot at the chime.