Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to the salt mines...

Aka school. The new semester has started. I think most of the people who read this blog have already asked me about how my trip home was, or if not, I actually saw them, so I won't bother rehashing that in detail. A quick summary though would be "heart-warmingly wonderful but way too short". It was good seeing my grandparents again and spending time with both them and my sister (and my parents of course but I saw them fairly recently anyway), and those wonderful and understanding friends of mine that I managed to squash in around the edges. Apologies to those that I neglected - I really am a terrible person and deserve cat aids.

Oh and just for Timmy, so you don't get bored, here are some pictures. Haha^^

With JP, my travel buddy in Phuket
With Kate, Rekha and Lucy in Canberra

Getting rained on with Fran

Roast lamb dinner with Kate and Chris

Mum ♥

With T-bo in the 'Gong

mmm birthday seafood banquet courtesy of my awesome Grandparents!

Anyway, so that aside, I had a really wonderful teaching morning today! It was one of those rare times when everyone is in a great mood and everything goes more or less according to plan (100% to plan would just be downright freaky). My first years loved the Jai Ho video I showed and the food bingo game I played with them and their ferociously competitive little natures meant that they even demanded we keep playing past the bell until there was a winner. Second years were even better, as the lesson we are doing is rather dry and last year was a bit problematic since there was nothing I could do to spice it up beyond a few funny pictures in a powerpoint, but they really got into the debate I asked them for at the end and about 80% of the class managed a good non-BS opinion about their topic by the end. Even those that did BS, like the one who said he agreed with corporal punishment because it was very "sexy and wild", were hilarious so I forgave them. For those of you not on Facebook, these were my favourite quotes (for those of you who are, !)

Me: Do you think it's good or bad to give children candy whenever they want it?
Jun-Kyeong: It's bad because the candy is mine.

Me: Ok so why do you think corporal punishment is bad?
Seung-Euk: Colourful penniesmen is bad because I must have it too often.
Haha. You don't know how much I wanted to laugh every time Seung-Euk said "colourful punishment" or variation theorof ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ  I love it during this time before the good effects of the holidays have worn off and they revert to little vampires trying to suck out my spirit and patience. At any rate, I walked out of my second class with 2-5 (boys) feeling very happy and thinking that having class 1-6 (also boys) in the morning was a vast improvement. This feeling soon evaporated however as I realised that it now meant that due to these timetable changes, I no longer have class 2-5 (a relatively good class bar the general afternoon and boyish inability to concentrate or stop shouting out the first thing to cross their minds) last thing on Fridays - I now finish with class 2-6, who are absolutely appalling, at any time of the day since they are all the worst students from all the first year classes last year. Seriously, who in their right mind would group these students together??? Positive attitude with them is like throwing jelly against a wall, which is pretty much what also happens to my patience after 15 minutes with them. Anyway, hopefully they enjoyed their holidays sufficiently to get bored at home and we can get through the lesson on Friday. Be positive! Only 6 more months :)

So anyway, I'm still feeling that glow from this morning. I have one of my favourite 2nd year's girl's classes next and then the endearingly silly (read: stupid) but enthusiastic 1st year boys class after, so I think Tuesdays are quickly going to become my favourite teaching days.

Oh and one more thing - a comic strip for you! It's about a 'real' mystery about a girl walking home from school late at night who meets a woman looking for her lost baby. In the cartoon, the woman asks the girl where it is and the girl says "over there" and tries to keep walking...

Don't forget to turn your sound on before you watch it. And if you scare easily don't watch this when you're by yourself or at night. Might take a little while to load.

scarrrrrrryyyyyyyyy o_O!

For those of you interested in the food lesson, here is the link to download the powerpoint. The lesson is based on my textbook (Cheonjae Education's Middle School English 1 , Thomas Orr et al; chapter 7: 'Namaste from India') obviously, but it's easily adaptable.

How it works:
Announce that we are playing international food bingo (make bingo grids of 4x4). But first we need to go through the foods we will use. Students must guess what each food is and which country it is from (explain that each country is only used once or you'll get the same three or four countries screamed at you over and over again.. which will probably happen anyway) using the pattern in the slide. Whoever can guess the answer and make a full sentence (first hand up of course) for each food before we repeat as a class gets a point/other reward. Or just the satisfaction of beating everyone else perhaps. After allowing students to guess, lead students through each slide before moving onto the next one. I usually just say the "when I went to ..." and get the students to finish with "I ate ..." because of time limits but you could get them to finish the whole sentence. This whole process works as a kind of game in itself if you have enough competitive students. After going through them all, show students the final slide, ask students to fill in their sheets (with only the foods usually but they can do the countries if they are REALLY low level) and hand out the bingo grids. You should have printed out this final slide also. Read out the first half of the pattern sentence and students should guess the food and finish it, e.g.teacher: "When I went to England...? (What did I eat?)" students: "I ate fish and chips". If you are doing this for particular grammar, you shouldn't move on to the next one until they have finished the sentence properly, rather than just let them shout out the food. Winner gets whatever prize of course.
This also works well as a co-teacher lesson because during the slide the CT can help prompt the students make the second part of the sentence, and during the game you can alternate picking countries. Doing it my way usually takes about 25 minutes, but you could easily drag it out to 40-45 (i.e. a whole lesson) if you were being really thorough.

P.S. Please don't anyone wish cat aids on me.

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