Have you ever wanted to observe the class of someone you follow on Twitter? Have you ever wondered what magic and wonder the most prolific ELT bloggers make in their classrooms? Are teacher’s lessons as grandiose and amazing as their blog posts make them seem? Or, do they have troughs and peaks of engagement, excitement, and learning – just like anyone else?
Blog Challenge: out of curiosity and intrigue, and as a means of reflection, write what you did in your class(es) today, from checking attendance to giving a test to blowing students minds with the most dogme-inspired, task-based, mobile-assisted, coursebook-free, PARSNIP-full lesson non-plan ever. You don’t have to explain why, unless you’d like. Just give the raw, nitty-gritty details.
8:30-9:20: Grammar Class (mid to high-beginner level)
- I greeted the class, as I usually do. This involves some chit chat, any announcements, weekend plans, etc.
- I checked homework.
- I explained the learning objective for the week (question formation – based on observed need from previous classes)
- We listened to a model conversation, then discussed new vocabulary and difficult sentences from the conversation.
- The students read the conversation to each other, then closed their books and read a gapped-conversation with each other, working to fill in the gaps orally based on memory or grammatical knowledge
- While students worked with each other, i assisted one student who did not have a partner
- We looked at the questions from the conversation and I showed how they could be used in conversation and changed.
- Students asked each other the questions, substituting as they felt fit,
- How do you like _________?
- What do/does _________do? (asking about jobs)
- What do you like best about _________?
- Then, the students reported back about their partners to the class.
- We played an X/O game to check comprehension of the conversation,
- Students stand up.
- I show them a statement about the conversation.
- If it is true, they make an “O” with their arms. If it is false, they make an “X”.
- If they are wrong, they must sit down.
- You keep playing until you have a clear winner or winners.
- I assigned homework: study new vocabulary on Quizlet and identify questions in a dialogue as information questions or yes/no questions
- Tomorrow’s plan: we will look at the grammar of the questions, and then practice making, asking, and answering questions!
11:45-12:35: Listening and Speaking Class (intermediate level)
- I greeted students.
- I gave feedback to different groups of students on their listening journals, in particular, those who were doing them incorrectly.
- We played a “popcorn” vocabulary game:
- I divided the class into two groups.
- I said the meaning of a vocabulary word.
- The first student to “pop” up and shout the word could remain standing.
- The first group to have all members standing was the winner.
- I checked homework from book.
- We looked at the homework (a vocab gap-fill for two paragraphs of text) and I assigned each student one (long) sentence. I showed an example of how to find thought groups and how to mark the intonation of a sentence based on these thought groups. Then, I had students analyze their sentences, practice their sentences, and read their sentences aloud.
- I introduced students to a short lecture they would listen to.
- We reviewed important signal words they should focus on while listening to the lecture and taking notes.
- I played the listening, one “section” at a time (introduction of topic, outline of lecture, first main point, etc.)
- Students took notes, and then we discussed what they wrote, what the main idea or point was, and what signal words were used
- We listened to about 1:00 of the lecture, which lasted about 15 mins with these activities.
- I assigned the homework of listening to the rest of the lecture at home and continuing note-taking.
- Tomorrow’s plan: discuss lecture, listen again, and analyze signals and new vocabulary.
1:55-2:45: Reading (advanced level)
- Before class, I met with one students and explained that they had missed four classes and three assignments and were very close to an “F”. They told me that they are very busy in the morning and that they wanted to repeat the level anyway. I explained that they cannot randomly come to class as it disrupts the flow of the class and that they are likely to learn very little if they don’t complete the assignments.
- I greeted students. I made an announcement about a weekly international food event and encouraged them to join if they could.
- I reviewed with students how to access their grades for their assignments and how to view my feedback on Google Classroom.
- I introduced the theme of the next few readings (film) and had a class discussion about the theme as a warmer/interest builder.
- We looked at and practiced a vocabulary strategy that could be used during reading: skipping words, or substituting placeholders for unknown words.
- Students began reading a short text about Hollywood’s history called “The Dream Factory”.
- Students were not allowed to use dictionaries – they had to rely on guessing, skipping, or substituting.
- After each paragraph, students summarized the main idea. The point of this was to see how much they understand when faced with a plethora of unknown vocabulary.
- Tomorrow’s plan: discuss reading and new vocabulary, re-read with newly defined words to compare comprehension and assess strategy success.
3:00-3:50: Writing (upper-intermediate level)
- I greeted class. This was my last class of the day so I was particular chatty/enthusiastic.
- I gave an inductive grammar worksheet I made that had example sentences with bolded verbs. The activity asked students to group the verbs based on the patterns seen. This was based on some common errors I observed in their writing.
- Afterwards, we reviewed the worksheet and we verified the verb + verb rules (i.e. verb + infinitive, gerund, base form, etc.). I assigned example sentences with each verb type for homework and showed where they could find a list of verbs and their rules.
- We read a brief article about motivation and discussed the best ways to motivate people, intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation
- We thought about motivation in the context of problem solving.
- We looked at an example of a problem (Students getting low grades) and then I had students brainstorm the possible causes, effects, and solutions of this problem
- I assigned a short reading from time magazine about paying students to get good grades. This will further contextualize the discuss we had and prepare them for thinking about their own problem-solution interests
- Tomorrow’s plan: discuss reading, vocabulary, begin brainstorming a problem-solution essay.