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Getting there


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Raining like last year.

Started off more holistically this time, asking students for what they remember of class rules. Got 'no Japanese' and 'Respect the teacher' which i expanded to and yourself and other students, and said, yes, fine by me, so we need to speak English during pairwork and discussion activities, with Japanese fine to check and make sure you know what to do if you need it.
Everyone in this class does this really well, so I guess I was starting off with something that Tuesday people really need to hear again!

Then moved on to explain course set up and grading, and translating one part into Japanese on student request. They felt confident with having understood, so they didn't need the second bit about the article report translated. Great!

Then I proceeded asking students to close eyes and visualize being in a really good presentation at school, modelling myself, to hear the voice, soft, loud, clear, see the visuals, remeber how it felt to be drawn into the knowledge, and then step up and into the presenter, and be there creating that feeling yourself.
When I opened my eyes, everyone was having a ball listening to me but not following the what to do bit which i was modelling, so i explained in Japanese that visualization techniques are one way to gain confidence, and do well, like in sports. A few students I called on by name then offered memories of their experiences which I listed on the board, since no-one felt inclined to talk to people round about. We got having the presenter look at you and smile, a husky, sexy voice, a big clear voice, and interesting, exciting new knowledge. Ok, I said, and think about how we measured the economy, and now we're going to use the same techniques for presentations, these three are already the beginning of a list of criteria, let's get some more, and do a ranking. ...and moved into the worksheet. All went smoothly in the same A B pattern as Tuesday, with me saying at the humor stage to make a fool of yourself, ( making a funny face, and we all burst out laughing) but not to make a fool of others without prior consent in your team because it can be hurtful. Meanwhile we were all chortling, which was fun, about how stupid my face was and how some people guffawed so loud, and what a relief it was to be laughing, nice moment.

K, so ranking please, individually thinking of reasons, and then into a mini-discussion. I wandered round, chatted informally distracting one student with summer chit-chat about motorbikes, and then off to someone else to make sure they were understanding, checking pronunciation, etc. K, and now take a moment to discuss...here again, I had time to prompt/model two reviews of last terms responding and recapping three point format, (exactly, you're saying....I agree, because....) sort of thing.

Before the break I asked for students to make groups and have their worksheets with them, and explained the workstations would be round the class with a small diagram. This small chalk diagram of how it would happen plus the positive attitude of this group worked wonders, because the whole thing was done so smoooooothly, everyone had been round all the stations and had time to sit down and write me a group report, not to mention I had time to show everyone what I had noticed in a teacher follow-up and still have time to hand out rubrics and explain homework. WoW! I asked one of the students if they had ever done a workstation type study pattern before, and they said no, it was the first time, so no wonder Tuesday guys were initially also at sea... In this class some groups positively called me to confirm, we're not sure what to do, they asked, and I modelled for some, also worked here and there with people, and inbetween I was asking students in Japanese to make sure they put materials back in folders when they left a workstation.

I did a quick Japanese run through of the yahoo group and the rubrics, the vocab sheet, for three newcomers this term ( ah yes, we welcomed them with clapping and making sure their names were known to all at some point as well) then popped off to the computer office to book a computer room for research. With a bit of luck, we will be in the puter labs for research days, YES! exciting. They will call me with a schedule.

Now then I admit today I didn't come home to blog immediately, but got stuck in the bookstore buying 'the Economist' because I flipped through and speedread the new Harry Potter book, right to the gory end of Dumbledore, poor man. With Sirius Black and Dumbledore gone, who on earth is there left to fancy in the book? Dobby? Renata, Jumping off the Highest Turret..............