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Master of The Universe :D
December 11th, 2014, 19:48
Hello, everyone

I'm interested in hearing from my peers and seniors, you all, about how a successful team-teaching, or ALT-led class is run.
Please respond with, best case, examples or, that failing, ideal hypotheticals we can discuss at length hopefully?

The following is just detail and background. Please skip it, if you like.

After a year and half as an ALT teaching at 4 SHSs, I feel like my lessons are becoming progressively worse each week, up to the point that I currently feel I've failed miserably at this job.
Using Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas as the listening section in a lesson is a new low for me and I sense the bottom is close.

I'm not looking for pick-me-ups or excuses or easy ways out; I just feel like some constructive input and examples of good team-teaching classes would help greatly to provide a new a base for future lessons. I'm not out to steal your lessons plans, either! I'd just like to pick your brains on this. ALL OF THE BRAINS!

The current formula, as requested by my supervisors (which usually consists of PowerPoint, worksheet and some kind of "fun" activity to practice the content if time permits), is not working - many students sleep, talk amongst themselves, just, in general, don't pay attention and by the time the "fun" activity swings by only a few seem to still be interested.
And, even though I do do this on occasion, I'm really against playing a game for the whole lesson, although, they are sometimes great supplements to learning - Jeopardy works really well as part of a multi-topic review lesson, for instance.

Most of the schools I teach at (3/4) are labelled as "low-level" which I feel is disgustingly unfair to the students, but that's a topic for another thread entirely, and something way out of my control.
Having said that, though, my JTEs usually request lessons which are mostly vocabulary based, and while I might be teaching the students a few new words, I don't feel like that's enough, because they haven't been taught how to properly formulate their own sentences.
So it's kinda like giving bits of an assemble-it-yourself deck chair sans instruction manual to someone who doesn't know how to use a drill, glue or a screwdriver.
They can identify all the pieces of wood and plastic and screws but can't put it all to together.

The lessons where I have been ambitious and proactive and tried to teach a useful grammar point to enable students to create authentic content, have all hit far below the mark, and that's one of the things I'm hoping to address.
Perhaps I'm just being way too difficult and unrealistic here? Maybe I should actually be happy with this... I dunno...

ALT teaching and teaching a foreign language to students in Japan are new to me, but I taught EFL to foreign students back home for 2 years and had far greater success with that than I am at the moment.

I'd appreciate all your input and thoughts on this.
Thank you in advance!

word
December 11th, 2014, 20:05
Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but... bro. If you're at this point after a year and a half...

Master of The Universe :D
December 11th, 2014, 20:13
You mean that I've only just started using All I want for Christmas?

But, seriously now, do you mean that I'm a bit late to the party with trying to fix it?
If yes, then lemme say this: I've been trying to fix it for a long time now and felt very early on that my decision to re-contract was probably not the wisest one, but despite my efforts between then and now, things have just gotten worse and it's to the extent now that I'm actively seeking to remedy it by going beyond the usual group of ALTs I normally talk to about this stuff.

Or do you mean that I'm a bit early?

Jiggit
December 11th, 2014, 21:39
Don't worry, even if you were doing significantly better lessons than you are now you still wouldn't be making any real difference.

Master of The Universe :D
December 11th, 2014, 22:09
Lolololololol

Tah! But, Optimism... I miss it.... You know?

Master of The Universe :D
December 11th, 2014, 22:12
Also, I have this Pinocchio-like ambition of becoming a proper teacher soon, so honestly looking to improve.

I wanna be a real teacher, I wanna be a real teacher, I wanna be a real teacher

Jiggit
December 11th, 2014, 23:17
Also, I have this Pinocchio-like ambition of becoming a proper teacher soon, so honestly looking to improve.

I wanna be a real teacher, I wanna be a real teacher, I wanna be a real teacher

Go home.

It's entirely possible to be a more effective ALT, but at the end of the day it won't make much of a difference in Japanese schools. The fundamental truth is that this education system is not geared towards teaching English, it's geared towards teaching students to endure endless repetition of straightforward, thoughtless tasks ad infinitum, which prepares them for their professional careers.

Master of The Universe :D
December 11th, 2014, 23:50
Haha!

Thank you! I totally agree with you about the system. And for the record I'm not recontracting for a 3rd year, but I'd really like to still try and do my best, if not better, for the remainder of my contract.

Zolrak 22
December 12th, 2014, 00:03
If you aren't going to recontract, then you might as well enjoy it. Experiment in class, help those that have an active interest and etc.

No reason to make yourself miserable for the remainder of your stay.

Master of The Universe :D
December 12th, 2014, 00:21
Thanks, Zolrak!
I have been experimenting when I get the chance, and will definitely continue. I was hoping people could share some success stories and maybe those of us who've been having a difficult time with it could pick up some tips.

It's difficult to believe that this is as good as gets.

Anyway, thank you all for your replies, it seems I've wasted your time.

Gizmotech
December 12th, 2014, 07:13
Hey, another trained esl teacher here. There's nothing wrong with Mariah if it's a appropriately designed listening task. Nothing at all. That being said, I'm gonna agree with everyone else, if you're out in August, fuck it, and do whatever you need for your next job rather than this one.

sharpinthefang
December 12th, 2014, 08:36
For example, instead of writing lesson plans that are never going to used, use the time to brush up your CV and write cover letters.

word
December 12th, 2014, 09:08
Had you ever taught regular students before, rather than just ESL students? ESL students back home tend to be very motivated, driven students. These kids are just regular kids; they don't have nearly as much of an incentive to work hard in English classes. It's not like their grade is going to matter--especially where your lessons are concerned. That's just part of being an ALT.

I second Giz' assessment about using a Mariah Carey song. If it fits the lesson, it'll be fine. If you're expecting the kids to be interested in it because it's Mariah Carey, though... lol.

Ambition is great, but it's important to stay grounded in reality, too, otherwise you're going to end up... well, where you are now. Repeated flops resulting from over-ambitious lessons are going to be soul-crushing for you and academically damaging for the students.

Refocus your lessons a bit--ditching the Powerpoint would probably help (ALTs have such a boner for Powerpoint, but 99 times out of 100, it's still just a boring, passive lecture that the kids will ignore). Drop the kids into the activity as soon as you can. You seem to be opposed to this, yet you acknowledge that the "game" lessons are more successful, and that the kids are turned off by the Powerpoint and worksheet parts of your lesson plans. A game or fun activity can be just as instructive (if not moreso) if it is properly constructed with effective learning goals in mind. The kids get enough boring lectures and worksheets from their JTEs when you aren't there, trust me.

I have a visit school that sounds a lot like the schools you're describing. I started out hating it; now I'm not sure that I don't like it more than my base school. The learning goals are clearer and more cohesive, I have a lot more freedom where curriculum is concerned, and if I do my job right, the kids enjoy and even get a bit out of my lessons.

I guess I'm saying that I think you ought to reassess what's actually happening here. The tried-and-true formula of Powerpoint, worksheet, and lecture is failing miserably. Full-lesson games work well, but you're hesitant. Don't be. It's more work to plan a relevant, instructive game that's still fun (especially for an entire class period), but it's also more worthwhile, and you get better at it the more you do it.

If you aren't staying another year, though, don't get too worked up about any of it.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
December 12th, 2014, 09:39
Powerpoint has the miraculous ability to send people of any age and gender into a soporific stupor. Flee from powerpoint like it's a plague, use the board and some goddamn chalk. Or pens, if you've been cursed by modernity.

Master of The Universe :D
December 12th, 2014, 09:55
I hear you about PowerPoint's lethargy inducing skills, but often I hit brick wall of teachers' block with how I should present material I'm tasked with. And my JTEs seem to have the boner for presentations.

Here's an example - I was asked to show the differences between Christmas from my home country (which is Southern Hem) and the 'regular', Northern hemisphere Christmas.

All I could think up was using pictures to show the students these differences and for that - PP.

How else could I have gone about that?

word
December 12th, 2014, 09:58
Powerpoint has the miraculous ability to send people of any age and gender into a soporific stupor.It's weird how this works. Its effects are so obvious--any pptx is sure to be ignored by all but the most diligent of audience members, yet so many people seem to think it is the greatest way to teach/speak/whatever. It can be useful and can help a lecture, but too many people seem to view it as some sort of cure for uninteresting content. Unless your presentation features quite a few slides featuring dicks, tits, and asses, it's probably not going to motivate audience attention in any significant way.

word
December 12th, 2014, 10:10
I hear you about PowerPoint's lethargy inducing skills, but often I hit brick wall of teachers' block with how I should present material I'm tasked with. And my JTEs seem to have the boner for presentations.

Here's an example - I was asked to show the differences between Christmas from my home country (which is Southern Hem) and the 'regular', Northern hemisphere Christmas.

All I could think up was using pictures to show the students these differences and for that - PP.

How else could I have gone about that?
Costumes, acting, singing, gaijin monkeying, cards, craft activities, sh*t like that.

Imagine that your laptop inexplicably catches on fire right before you give the presentation. What will you do? Will your lesson be boring as sh*t without the pictures? If so, it would've been boring as sh*t anyway, only there would have been boring pictures to accompany it, and the kids wouldn't GAF.

And of course JTEs love pptx. Japan is a decade behind the rest of the world where tech is concerned; they've just learned about Powerpoint and think it's the bees knees/totally rad. They probably view a class in which a boring lecture is given, accompanied by boring pictures, text, and a plethora of different slide-transition animations, each more ridiculous than the last, in which fifty percent of the students are asleep, thirty percent are reading manga in the back, ten percent are texting on their phones, five percent are probably masturbating, and five percent are diligently taking notes and studying as an incredibly successful lesson.

Start with the learning goal. What do you want kids to be able to do at the end of the lesson that they couldn't do before it?

webstaa
December 12th, 2014, 10:39
Oh god... the first few lessons I did I used powerpoint instead of printing off A3 size cards so a class of 35 students could all see them. Just 'What's this/who's this?' (in the vein of "Name that pokemon." Worked great the first time round. Second time for review, and the students were snoring. Powerpoint has its uses, but its pretty much one and done - as the teacher is tied to a laptop and a screen.

Although I've had success with using audio (making the students sing fairly recent/popular songs in English.) Which gives them an extra karaoke skill in the future. But those lessons are usually reserved for emergency fill in. Just doing "listening" exercises is mindnumbingly boring for the students who can't understand spoken English, much less English in songs.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
December 12th, 2014, 10:45
Here's an example - I was asked to show the differences between Christmas from my home country (which is Southern Hem) and the 'regular', Northern hemisphere Christmas.

All I could think up was using pictures to show the students these differences and for that - PP.

How else could I have gone about that?

Kids don't care about presentations, kids (in general) learn a lot more by actually engaging with subject matter. So if they don't want to speak, get them to draw - devote one side of the board to one type of christmas, one to the other. Then start by asking them to draw a christmas food - get a single student up, they can draw a picture of KFC, and then you can draw on your side a picture of a turkey, with baked potatoes and whatever else it is people eat at christmas. These pictures are different - and the kids are going to look at the picture their friend drew, and by extension they'll notice the difference in yours. Boom, an opening into actually maybe making them learn something.

Show a man a picture of how to fish and he'll stare at it blankly. get the man to draw a picture of how to fish and you can at least tell him that he's casting the line wrong.

Or something.

I have flat-out refused to do anything that involves powerpoint in my lessons, and just draw (or get the kids to draw) instead. You don't have to make it masterpiece theatre levels of awesome, just more interesting than a photograph.

Gizmotech
December 12th, 2014, 10:49
Or you could tell the teacher to stuff it on the ALT must show them the world (this isn't Aladdin, don't need some scruffy upstart to show the kids where the good shit is), and actually just teach the class back on target. If there is no target, then start suggesting projects and activities which require multiple classes to implement and complete where THEY go and research this shit and present it.

(Frankly, sounds like your teachers just expect you to be the entertainment and you've fallen into the trap).

Also, I despise full lesson games. I just won't do it. As soon as I stopped trying to listen to their demands on shit my performance skyrocketed, and so did student involvement.

webstaa
December 12th, 2014, 10:54
I'd like to add, that it was a 5 minute activity - from Hi Friends Lesson 7 - show a tiny corner of the picture and get them to guess using English "It's a _____." First class loved it, second class was a snoozefest.

But it was still better than the 'let's repeat the vocabulary x26 different words (which 90% of the students will almost never use again) that the homeroom teacher suggested. Classes that aren't motivated going in are typically a lost cause, especially when 50% of the students (or more) can't be bothered to bring their materials to class.

Although, I've had much more success with peer-pressure and big projects. Have students work together to write a poster about a foreign country/put on a play/skit, they're much more interested.

word
December 12th, 2014, 10:57
Or you could tell the teacher to stuff it on the ALT must show them the world (this isn't Aladdin, don't need some scruffy upstart to show the kids where the good shit is), and actually just teach the class back on target. If there is no target, then start suggesting projects and activities which require multiple classes to implement and complete where THEY go and research this shit and present it.

(Frankly, sounds like your teachers just expect you to be the entertainment and you've fallen into the trap).

Also, I despise full lesson games. I just won't do it. As soon as I stopped trying to listen to their demands on shit my performance skyrocketed, and so did student involvement.
I agree with half of this. You've said you're leaving in August, anyway--why not just do what you want? You can pretty much do anything at this point, short of standing in front of the class and waving your d*ck around (and that might actually be within the realm of possibility).

I'm not as opposed to games and "fun" activities as Giz is (so long as said games and activities have very clear learning goals and are actually conducive to achieving them; "time-waster" games are awful and must be stopped), but I do think he's got the right idea here: if you've been following the instructions that the JTEs are giving you and are unhappy with the results, then stop following their instructions. Find what works for YOU and do it.

Gizmotech
December 12th, 2014, 11:13
I'm not opposed to fun activities. I will do an entire class of restaurant communication practice where half the class are customers half are restaurateurs, they've made their menu, and are navigating a dialogue script multiple times until the responses and patterns become memorized. Mind you the dialogue script I make have multiple levels of complexity, which the student can choose or choose not to use. It also is another example of "leaving the teacher's instructions" because they said we're gonna practice this part of the text, which was like 6 lines, and I was like "The kids might be the worst in the prefecture, but they're not THIS dumb".

the kids have a lot of fun, I enjoy it, it reinforces the activity, life is great. What I mean by games is shit like "write a word on the paper, crumple up the paper, throw them around the room, go find a paper, and now go find whose paper it is." While great in theory for a team building activity of adults, it's a fucking waste of time with children and turns into a whole class of doing sweet fuck all regardless of how well planned/executed/supported it is.

Master of The Universe :D
December 12th, 2014, 11:22
Yeah I've totally fallen into doing what they want. And that's where my hatred of Mariah comes in. One of my JTEs, who's my old sup, only does sh!t her way. So for this Christmas lesson she replays that song 4 TIMES in a single class, when the worksheet I made was purposely made so that it would only take one play through for the students to complete, because I know listening to the same thing even 2 extra times for no reason is boring as hell. And then she reads the lyrics through translating it to Japanese line for line, when they have just received a handout with the English and Japanese side by side. Dafuq?

And now I'm stuck in this zone where I've fooled myself into thinking that my classes are f#ckall if there's no presentation.

Despite the students back home being different, using a PowerPoint or showing a video were considered a special lesson; a treat at times. And that's how I feel it should be.

That said, I'd much rather do a PowerPoint than do model and repeat x-number of vocab words from the textbook.

Thanks for all of your advice so far! I hope we can keep this discussion going.

Do any of have a good activity that works well at rowdy schools?

word
December 12th, 2014, 11:23
What I mean by games is shit like "write a word on the paper, crumple up the paper, throw them around the room, go find a paper, and now go find whose paper it is." While great in theory for a team building activity of adults, it's a fucking waste of time with children and turns into a whole class of doing sweet fuck all regardless of how well planned/executed/supported it is.
I get that; that's more what I was talking about when I ranted about "time-waster" games. If the game is designed to fill up a class period, rather than fulfill a learning goal, and doesn't actually result in learning of any kind, it sucks, even if the kids have a good time doing it. Might as well just give 'em all a DS and have 'em play Monster Hunter or some sh*t.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
December 12th, 2014, 11:46
Do any of have a good activity that works well at rowdy schools?

Anything that lets kids be pricks to eachother. One of my favourite lessons at my 'low grade don't even try school' was to get the students to make up 'dark secrets' about their friends. I heard the most fantastic, work-unsafe vocab that lesson - but it was all in English, goddamnit, because they wanted me to be in on the joke.

Not necessarily recommending exactly this approach, of course... But it's something to consider.

Master of The Universe :D
December 12th, 2014, 11:55
You can pretty much do anything at this point, short of standing in front of the class and waving your d*ck around (and that might actually be within the realm of possibility).


Unfortunately, not possible - d*ck too small.

I followed the advice you all have given so far and this previous lesson (I'm at my academically worst school today) I played Jeopardy the whole lesson.

GREAT SUCCESS!

At one point it was clear that there were only 3 teams in the running to win and yet all the teams were trying the damnedest to get points all the way through.

No candy even.

Happy days.

*I tried to upload the zipped file, but it won't go through...*

Master of The Universe :D
December 12th, 2014, 11:59
Anything that lets kids be pricks to each other. One of my favourite lessons at my 'low grade don't even try school' was to get the students to make up 'dark secrets' about their friends.

How'd you introduce that and what kind of parameters/ guides did you give the kids? If I imagine doing that at today's school, I'd probably give them as much freedom with it as possible because otherwise they'd zone out anyway.

TOO MUCH ENGLISH ON WORKSHEET = SLEEP

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
December 12th, 2014, 13:02
I agreed with the JTE on a very tame dark secret I could guess about him, and a much harsher one about me - then I did a few practice guesses about the students, a few who were into it and a few who were ambivalent. The ones who were into it didn't need any encouragement, the ones who were ambivalent became less so because they wanted to understand the joke.

This is in a visit school where one of the kids in that class introduced herself as 'I have bisexual with her' though, so YMMV.

par92186
December 12th, 2014, 13:02
MOTU, here are some of my warm-up/review games I use in all my lessons. Feel free to use any of them. Hopefully they can alleviate some of your stress. I typically always reward the winning team with candy.

Warm-Up/Review Games



1. Shititori: Word Quiz
· Whole class game. Teacher writes a word on the board and students must come up one-at-a-time and use the last letter of the written word to start a new word underneath it.

2. Sentence Quiz
· Whole class game. Teacher writes a sentence on the board and students must use the letters of the sentence to make a word

3. Castles
· Group game. Students decide a team name and teacher draws a castle for each group on the board. Teacher asks a question and students raise their hands to answer. If they are correct, they can attack another castle or build up their castle.

4. Bingo
· Individual game. Teacher makes grid paper for students. Students choose words to write in the blanks.

5. Boggle
· Group activity. Students are given a piece of paper. Teacher draws a 3x3 grid on the board and asks for letters to fill-in the grid. Students have 2 minutes to write down as many words as they can. At the end have students read the words aloud to check.

6. Hot Seat
· Group activity. A student from each group sits at the front of the class facing their friends. Teacher writes a word on the board and students must use English to give hints to the hot seat. Hot seat must raise hand and guess the answer.

7. Crossfire
· Individual game. Ask the class to stand. Teacher asks a question and students raise their hand to answer. If they are correct they choose “across” or down” and that entire row of students sits. Loser is the last student standing.

8. Behind my back
· Whole class activity. Choose a student to sit at the front of the classroom facing the chalkboard. Ask a classmate to read or make a sentence and the student at the front must guess who said it.





9. Bomber Man
· Whole class activity. Have the class stand. Explain that you will ask a question. Have the students raise their hand and answer. If correct they become the bomber man and the student to their left, right, front, and back sit down. Last student standing is the loser.
VARIATIONS:
· For the second round, the bomb becomes bigger. When it explodes, the vertical and horizontal lines from where the "bomber" is located must all sit down.
o Naname Bomb: Naname means 'diagonal'.
o Jump Bomb: The student chooses a direction (left, right, front or back) and the bomb jumps the first student in that direction but the rest of the students in that line sits down.
· Tampin Bomb: Tampin means 'only one'. Meaning, only that one student sits down. NOTE: I would suggest only allowing a certain number of these bombs otherwise the game could go the entire class time.

10. Categories
· Group game. Students need scrap paper. Write a category on the board and in groups students have 1-2 mins to write as many words that fit that category. Have students read answers afterward to check.

11. Have you ever…
· Whole class game. Students make a circle and one student starts in the middle. The middle student asks a person sitting down a “have you ever” question. If the student answers yes they change.

Gizmotech
December 12th, 2014, 13:15
11. Have you ever…
· Whole class game. Students make a circle and one student starts in the middle. The middle student asks a person sitting down a “have you ever” question. If the student answers yes they change.


God, what a boring game to play?

Have you ever been to kyoto? (everyone yes)
Have you ever eaten sushi? (everyone yes)
Have you ever fucked shiori? (everyone yes)
Have you ever slept in class? (everyone yes)

The kids have no unique experiences to speak of.

word
December 12th, 2014, 13:16
This is in a visit school where one of the kids in that class introduced herself as 'I have bisexual with her' though, so YMMV.
http://guycodeblog.mtv.com/wp-content/uploads/clutch/2012/04/jack_nicholson_approve_gif.gif

uthinkimlost?
December 12th, 2014, 13:19
Shititori
4831?


I typically always reward the winning team with candy.
:012:

word
December 12th, 2014, 13:44
MOTU, here are some of my warm-up/review games I use in all my lessons. Feel free to use any of them. Hopefully they can alleviate some of your stress. I typically always reward the winning team with candy.

Warm-Up/Review Games



1. Shititori: Word Quiz
· Whole class game. Teacher writes a word on the board and students must come up one-at-a-time and use the last letter of the written word to start a new word underneath it.

I've done shiritori before, but I am very suspicious of its educational utility and benefit. It comes dangerously close to a time-waster. If I do it, I do teams, I don't permit books or dictionaries, don't count misspelled words, and words with more than six or seven letters count as two points. If at all possible, I separate the two teams by as much as possible or make them work on opposite sides of the classroom. I always start with words that end in different letters for each team.


2. Sentence Quiz
· Whole class game. Teacher writes a sentence on the board and students must use the letters of the sentence to make a wordWhat is the learning objective of this activity?


3. Castles
· Group game. Students decide a team name and teacher draws a castle for each group on the board. Teacher asks a question and students raise their hands to answer. If they are correct, they can attack another castle or build up their castle.How many attacks destroy an opposing team's castle? Do you require each student on a team answer a question before a student can answer twice, or will is this an activity that highlights the abilities of the best students in class?


4. Bingo
· Individual game. Teacher makes grid paper for students. Students choose words to write in the blanks.Lots of ALTs I know do BINGO. What is the learning objective of this activity?


5. Boggle
· Group activity. Students are given a piece of paper. Teacher draws a 3x3 grid on the board and asks for letters to fill-in the grid. Students have 2 minutes to write down as many words as they can. At the end have students read the words aloud to check.What is the learning objective of this activity? How much time per lesson do you usually spend on it?


6. Hot Seat
· Group activity. A student from each group sits at the front of the class facing their friends. Teacher writes a word on the board and students must use English to give hints to the hot seat. Hot seat must raise hand and guess the answer.How do you choose which student will sit in front of the class? Have you ever had a student in the hot seat break down crying?


7. Crossfire
· Individual game. Ask the class to stand. Teacher asks a question and students raise their hand to answer. If they are correct they choose “across” or down” and that entire row of students sits. Loser is the last student standing.I do this activity as a warm-up sometimes, too, but I have to be cautious. It's another one that highlights the abilities of the best students in the class. It might be better to toss out the "raising hands" part and instead choose students at random (a set of cards bearing the students' names that you made and laminated at the beginning of the term helps with this--especially if you can't remember all your students' names). Also, don't call the last kid standing a loser, of course. If I ever have a last kid standing, I usually give them a reward of some kind (I have a sort of point card system).


8. Behind my back
· Whole class activity. Choose a student to sit at the front of the classroom facing the chalkboard. Ask a classmate to read or make a sentence and the student at the front must guess who said it.Like, from the sound of their voice? What's the learning goal?


9. Bomber Man
· Whole class activity. Have the class stand. Explain that you will ask a question. Have the students raise their hand and answer. If correct they become the bomber man and the student to their left, right, front, and back sit down. Last student standing is the loser.
VARIATIONS:
· For the second round, the bomb becomes bigger. When it explodes, the vertical and horizontal lines from where the "bomber" is located must all sit down.
o Naname Bomb: Naname means 'diagonal'.
o Jump Bomb: The student chooses a direction (left, right, front or back) and the bomb jumps the first student in that direction but the rest of the students in that line sits down.
· Tampin Bomb: Tampin means 'only one'. Meaning, only that one student sits down. NOTE: I would suggest only allowing a certain number of these bombs otherwise the game could go the entire class time.A variant of Crossfire? Interesting. Why wouldn't you use "Diagonal Bomb" and "Single Bomb" instead of the Japanese equivalents? Seems silly to toss random Japanese, especially when repeated use of the English words would increase their vocabulary. Again, I'd say it might be better to select students at random, rather than have them raise their hands.


10. Categories
· Group game. Students need scrap paper. Write a category on the board and in groups students have 1-2 mins to write as many words that fit that category. Have students read answers afterward to check.I kinda like this, although the learning objectives seem a bit vague. It does seem like a good warm-up, especially if you get creative with the categories. What sort of categories do you usually offer?


11. Have you ever…
· Whole class game. Students make a circle and one student starts in the middle. The middle student asks a person sitting down a “have you ever” question. If the student answers yes they change.Hmm. This seems like it might become problematic, with a lot of potential for bullying and favoritism behaviours. Also, the problem that Giz mentioned:


God, what a boring game to play?

Have you ever been to kyoto? (everyone yes)
Have you ever eaten sushi? (everyone yes)
Have you ever fucked shiori? (everyone yes)
Have you ever slept in class? (everyone yes)

The kids have no unique experiences to speak of.If the kids are the ones thinking of the questions, this seems like exactly the sort of problem that would emerge. Maybe if you added some cards with relevant vocabulary words on them or something, the kid draws a card at random, and the question had to use the word somehow. Also, maybe they have to go in order, rather than simply choose another student?

Wasabi
December 12th, 2014, 14:08
I will say, when I make a powerpoint, I always try to throw in celebs or anime characters the kids really like. My kids seem to really flip when a few of the slides have stuff they're interested in.

par92186
December 12th, 2014, 14:18
God, what a boring game to play?

Have you ever been to kyoto? (everyone yes)
Have you ever eaten sushi? (everyone yes)
Have you ever fucked shiori? (everyone yes)
Have you ever slept in class? (everyone yes)

The kids have no unique experiences to speak of.


I didn't say they were 100% amazing and perfect. Just some helpful ideas for a teacher in need to modify. Why be a dickhead about it? Grow up Peter Pan.

par92186
December 12th, 2014, 14:24
I've done shiritori before, but I am very suspicious of its educational utility and benefit. It comes dangerously close to a time-waster. If I do it, I do teams, I don't permit books or dictionaries, don't count misspelled words, and words with more than six or seven letters count as two points. If at all possible, I separate the two teams by as much as possible or make them work on opposite sides of the classroom. I always start with words that end in different letters for each team.

What is the learning objective of this activity?

How many attacks destroy an opposing team's castle? Do you require each student on a team answer a question before a student can answer twice, or will is this an activity that highlights the abilities of the best students in class?

Lots of ALTs I know do BINGO. What is the learning objective of this activity?

What is the learning objective of this activity? How much time per lesson do you usually spend on it?

How do you choose which student will sit in front of the class? Have you ever had a student in the hot seat break down crying?

I do this activity as a warm-up sometimes, too, but I have to be cautious. It's another one that highlights the abilities of the best students in the class. It might be better to toss out the "raising hands" part and instead choose students at random (a set of cards bearing the students' names that you made and laminated at the beginning of the term helps with this--especially if you can't remember all your students' names). Also, don't call the last kid standing a loser, of course. If I ever have a last kid standing, I usually give them a reward of some kind (I have a sort of point card system).

Like, from the sound of their voice? What's the learning goal?

A variant of Crossfire? Interesting. Why wouldn't you use "Diagonal Bomb" and "Single Bomb" instead of the Japanese equivalents? Seems silly to toss random Japanese, especially when repeated use of the English words would increase their vocabulary. Again, I'd say it might be better to select students at random, rather than have them raise their hands.

I kinda like this, although the learning objectives seem a bit vague. It does seem like a good warm-up, especially if you get creative with the categories. What sort of categories do you usually offer?

Hmm. This seems like it might become problematic, with a lot of potential for bullying and favoritism behaviours. Also, the problem that Giz mentioned:

If the kids are the ones thinking of the questions, this seems like exactly the sort of problem that would emerge. Maybe if you added some cards with relevant vocabulary words on them or something, the kid draws a card at random, and the question had to use the word somehow. Also, maybe they have to go in order, rather than simply choose another student?


Most of these activities are warm-up games. The learning object is simply get the students motivated/interested to begin studying english. If you're teaching a lesson on a specific topic modify the game around that main topic. They're just to get the students warmed up for 5-10 minutes. Of course, i don't play games for my entire lessons, but I do always and end with a short game with a grammar lesson sandwiched in-between. I haven't had any problems or issues.

In regards to some of the rules. They're more of guidelines. Of course make whatever rules you want, idc. It's your lesson after all. Be creative.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
December 12th, 2014, 14:26
Also, don't call the last kid standing a loser, of course.

Why? He lost the game. If you reward that kid, how does that make the second-to-last kid feel?

par92186
December 12th, 2014, 14:27
Why? He lost the game. If you reward that kid, how does that make the second-to-last kid feel?


haha yeah i feel bad for the last kid. I usually give the last student out a small piece of candy to cheer them up.

uthinkimlost?
December 12th, 2014, 14:56
I usually give the last student out a small piece of candy to cheer them up.

:012::012:

sharpinthefang
December 12th, 2014, 15:15
I have this sentence game that I use (one of my JTE'S calls it horse race, I refuse to call it that).
Before class i cut up sentences and put them in envelopes. I make say around 20/30 (depending on the grade). Divide the class into the lunch groups. Once they have made the sentence and myself or the JTE says its correct, they all have to write it down before getting a new envelope.
First group to complete all the sentences and written them all down wins. With both myself and my JTE checking for cheaters there is very little of it.
Had one group come second finishing the envelopes, but due to the lazy kid they ended up coming last as he had not written any sentences down.
LO? Sentence structure practice.

Master of The Universe :D
December 12th, 2014, 15:28
I have this sentence game that I use (one of my JTE'S calls it horse race, I refuse to call it that).
Before class i cut up sentences and put them in envelopes. I make say around 20/30 (depending on the grade). Divide the class into the lunch groups. Once they have made the sentence and myself or the JTE says its correct, they all have to write it down before getting a new envelope.
First group to complete all the sentences and written them all down wins. With both myself and my JTE checking for cheaters there is very little of it.
Had one group come second finishing the envelopes, but due to the lazy kid they ended up coming last as he had not written any sentences down.
LO? Sentence structure practice.

Sentence reconstruction is something I haven't actually tried but that many other ALTs I know use it, in varying forms. I'll definitely give it a try! Thank you!

sharpinthefang
December 12th, 2014, 15:31
Sentence reconstruction is something I haven't actually tried but that many other ALTs I know use it, in varying forms. I'll definitely give it a try! Thank you!
Keep track of their progress on the board, i draw long lines which gets ticked off as they do each envelope, but I know some people do a tally board or write the number of the envelope next to that groups name/number.

Master of The Universe :D
December 12th, 2014, 15:34
MOTU, here are some of my warm-up/review games I use in all my lessons. Feel free to use any of them. Hopefully they can alleviate some of your stress. I typically always reward the winning team with candy.

Warm-Up/Review Games



1. Shititori: Word Quiz
· Whole class game. Teacher writes a word on the board and students must come up one-at-a-time and use the last letter of the written word to start a new word underneath it.

2. Sentence Quiz
· Whole class game. Teacher writes a sentence on the board and students must use the letters of the sentence to make a word

3. Castles
· Group game. Students decide a team name and teacher draws a castle for each group on the board. Teacher asks a question and students raise their hands to answer. If they are correct, they can attack another castle or build up their castle.

4. Bingo
· Individual game. Teacher makes grid paper for students. Students choose words to write in the blanks.

5. Boggle
· Group activity. Students are given a piece of paper. Teacher draws a 3x3 grid on the board and asks for letters to fill-in the grid. Students have 2 minutes to write down as many words as they can. At the end have students read the words aloud to check.

6. Hot Seat
· Group activity. A student from each group sits at the front of the class facing their friends. Teacher writes a word on the board and students must use English to give hints to the hot seat. Hot seat must raise hand and guess the answer.

7. Crossfire
· Individual game. Ask the class to stand. Teacher asks a question and students raise their hand to answer. If they are correct they choose “across” or down” and that entire row of students sits. Loser is the last student standing.

8. Behind my back
· Whole class activity. Choose a student to sit at the front of the classroom facing the chalkboard. Ask a classmate to read or make a sentence and the student at the front must guess who said it.





9. Bomber Man
· Whole class activity. Have the class stand. Explain that you will ask a question. Have the students raise their hand and answer. If correct they become the bomber man and the student to their left, right, front, and back sit down. Last student standing is the loser.
VARIATIONS:
· For the second round, the bomb becomes bigger. When it explodes, the vertical and horizontal lines from where the "bomber" is located must all sit down.
o Naname Bomb: Naname means 'diagonal'.
o Jump Bomb: The student chooses a direction (left, right, front or back) and the bomb jumps the first student in that direction but the rest of the students in that line sits down.
· Tampin Bomb: Tampin means 'only one'. Meaning, only that one student sits down. NOTE: I would suggest only allowing a certain number of these bombs otherwise the game could go the entire class time.

10. Categories
· Group game. Students need scrap paper. Write a category on the board and in groups students have 1-2 mins to write as many words that fit that category. Have students read answers afterward to check.

11. Have you ever…
· Whole class game. Students make a circle and one student starts in the middle. The middle student asks a person sitting down a “have you ever” question. If the student answers yes they change.

Thank you for all the suggestions! I feel like many of these can be adjusted to be more grammar focussed.

For example, the "who said it" activity might be a fun supplement to a lesson about expressive reading?

Master of The Universe :D
December 12th, 2014, 15:35
Thank you for all the suggestions! I feel like many of these can be adjusted to be more grammar focussed.

For example, the "who said it" activity might be a fun supplement to a lesson about expressive reading?

Grammar was not the word I was looking for. And especially doesn't link well with my example.

sharpinthefang
December 12th, 2014, 15:36
You can go back and edit your posts as long as they have not been quoted.

par92186
December 12th, 2014, 15:38
:012::012:

aww does the little baby want a piece of candy too?

sharpinthefang
December 12th, 2014, 15:41
aww does the little baby want a piece of candy too?
.

Ode to a Grasshopper
December 12th, 2014, 20:22
Why? He lost the game. If you reward that kid, how does that make the second-to-last kid feel?Then change the given aim of the game to either "Survival" or 'Who can take out the most of their classmates?'

And FFS use signatures and/or stickers instead of candy. Hell, make it so that every kid who gets taken out has to sign their 'bomber's' scoresheet.

Jiggit
December 12th, 2014, 20:54
aww does the little baby want a piece of candy too?

I'm sure your students appreciate being treated like this.

Azrael
December 12th, 2014, 21:44
Stickers/candy/sex toys/stock in Apple - the crutch of the insecure teacher who isn't confident they can engage their students. Think back to your math classes in school, did the teacher pleasure you with oral sex everytime you solved a quadratic equation?

coop52
December 12th, 2014, 23:00
One of my most successful SHS lessons was magic tricks. They had a chapter in their book about magic, so I taught them some vocab and expressions used in simple magic shows, and had them learn a magic trick and present it to the class in English. This took three lessons: one to teach vocab and expressions and show an example, one to write and edit their own rough drafts, and one to present. I have a really small class, so it probably wouldn't work well in very large ones. But, the kids seemed to like it since most of their speeches are about global issues and the environment and other kind of heavy subjects.

My JHS kids went freaking nuts for restaurant role-plays, both fast food and sit down. One class just started doing the role play without any explanation once I put them into groups and passed out menus. One group even figured out how to complain to the manager about the food taking too long. Again, really small class. I think it went well since it seemed like something that might actually be useful in the future. I didn't even use any realia in those lessons, but I think it'd be a good idea to include some in less-motivated classes.

I generally don't do warm-ups unless it's something to link to the rest of the lesson. I do sometimes have full, or almost full, lesson games, but only for reviews right before tests.

Ode to a Grasshopper
December 12th, 2014, 23:26
Stickers/candy/sex toys/stock in Apple - the crutch of the insecure teacher who isn't confident they can engage their students. Think back to your math classes in school, did the teacher pleasure you with oral sex everytime you solved a quadratic equation?No, thank heavens...there was a science teacher I imagine might have motivated me to study harder (drum roll) if she had though.

For my part, my own students very rarely get stickers (Christmas classes and for my 5th grade kids after doing the common/proper/abstract/uncountable/definite noun classes/test activity), and even signatures are a "the Jr high JTE has pimped me out" kind of deal.

I suggest stickers over candy since stickers are less likely to set off student allergiesd than foodstuffs.

Jiggit
December 15th, 2014, 08:45
One of my most successful SHS lessons was magic tricks. They had a chapter in their book about magic, so I taught them some vocab and expressions used in simple magic shows, and had them learn a magic trick and present it to the class in English. This took three lessons: one to teach vocab and expressions and show an example, one to write and edit their own rough drafts, and one to present. I have a really small class, so it probably wouldn't work well in very large ones. But, the kids seemed to like it since most of their speeches are about global issues and the environment and other kind of heavy subjects.


This kind of raises the question of "how do you measure the success of a lesson"? I think a lot of ALTs measure their success by how happy and engaged the students are... which isn't a bad thing of course but is kind of besides the point of a class. A lot of JTEs measure the success of a lesson by whether they can think of something to fill the entire period that they can say has "covered" the textbook/syllabus material.

Neither of those is really how lessons should be taught. I can understand if you're at a low level school or some school you visit once a month that you might just want to have fun. But otherwise you should really be setting lesson goals or establishing lesson goals with the JTE. What do you want to achieve? What do you want the students to be able to do that they couldn't before? What material do you want them to learn, use or review? How do your activities facilitate that? Unless you know what your goals are you really can't measure the success of your classes because you don't know whether you've achieved what you intended.

A lot of the time how much your students "like" your lessons depends on your JTE and the attitude of that class anyway.

I think coop probably knows all this but for others reading her post it isn't as simple as "omg magic tricks amazing" or "my students don't have the English level to do a restaurant roleplay", it's about setting appropriate lesson goals for your classes and measuring whether you achieve them. While obviously if your students are disengaged the lesson has failed regardless, how much your students enjoy the lesson should be a secondary consideration.

uthinkimlost?
December 15th, 2014, 09:07
how much your students enjoy the lesson should be a secondary consideration.

"No! We have to get them to love English! That's why we're here!"

Jiggit
December 15th, 2014, 09:10
"No! We have to get them to love English! That's why we're here!"

Those poor fools. Let's see how their precious babies' love for English survives high school.

BeckyJones
December 15th, 2014, 11:39
stickers and prizes can be fine, if used sparingly. There are some classes that wouldn't work for me if i didn't have them. These kids have no motivation, and have learned that the stick doesn't work... so i have to go with the carrot.

If I had, you know... authoritah to do anything, it would be different.

Jiggit
December 15th, 2014, 11:52
stickers and prizes can be fine, if used sparingly. There are some classes that wouldn't work for me if i didn't have them.

Worst ALT evar.

Seriously though, I'll give kids prizes if I'm doing some kind of one-off funz lessons. The idea of doing quizzes and games every week and shelling out stickers and candy for them sounds ridiculous but I'm aware some ALTs basically do that.

Again it comes down to whether you want to do a lesson properly or whether you want to the students to have fun and like you. I really dislike the attitude (and it's an attitude that Japanese students have as well as ALTs) that you have to give them some special motivation or reason to study English. They don't get a sweetie for answering a question in their science class, why should they get it for English? Oh you don't think English is important for your future, Tanaka-kun? Well I don't think you'll need Social Studies or Biology when you're working at the conbini because you failed the test to get into college, will you?

It's ok for your students to not care about English. They still have to take a test in it. It's not your job to make them care about English but it is your job to try and teach them.

BeckyJones
December 15th, 2014, 12:05
Worst ALT evar.

Seriously though, I'll give kids prizes if I'm doing some kind of one-off funz lessons. The idea of doing quizzes and games every week and shelling out stickers and candy for them sounds ridiculous but I'm aware some ALTs basically do that.

I agree. And I don't recommend people do this. especially in HS, JHS is iffy because it depends on the JTE and how the JTE tries to integrate the ALT into the lessons, and even then I personally don't think an ALT should be a mascot of English, or a tape recorder either... but it happens and if the ALT is made into that roll by the Schools staff than it is better to just go with it, than fight it. we all know how the system works by now, you can't win...



Again it comes down to whether you want to do a lesson properly or whether you want to the students to have fun and like you. I really dislike the attitude (and it's an attitude that Japanese students have as well as ALTs) that you have to give them some special motivation or reason to study English. They don't get a sweetie for answering a question in their science class, why should they get it for English? Oh you don't think English is important for your future, Tanaka-kun? Well I don't think you'll need Social Studies or Biology when you're working at the conbini because you failed the test to get into college, will you?

It's ok for your students to not care about English. They still have to take a test in it. It's not your job to make them care about English but it is your job to try and teach them.

Again, we are talking about two very different academic levels, with different goals in mind. If i were in HS, I'd be against it.

Elementary lessons, in a subject that isn't even deemed a subject by most standards (remember it is a 活動), with one shot lessons that can range between once a week to once a month is what I am talking about. Add on to that the inability to discipline, or enact an actual functional curriculum (I don't care what ini or anyone above says, the current English 'curriculum' isn't a curriculum other than a bunch of monkeys throwing "English" on a wall and hoping it sticks. In this environment there is little option unless the students are already motivated and want to learn English.


with that said and done, a few classes or an incentive rewards system can be done properly for English in an academic setting, and some other subjects do it as well. It depends on the students, the school and more importantly what the "goals" are.

Gizmotech
December 15th, 2014, 12:19
I mean really I have two definitions of successful classes,

in HS it's "Did we accomplish the learning objective?"

in Spec-Ed it's "Did I manage to leave the class without punching out a retard?"

Somehow I'm winning at both, but I'm not sure for how much longer.

sharpinthefang
December 15th, 2014, 12:26
I would say I am used correctly by one teacher, she is straight out of teaching school and we get on like a house on fire. When we hang out we sometimes do talk about lessons, and how we can improve them but otherwise we don't talk about work at all.
But i really wish there was some disipline in these schools. Some students I want to throw out every single lesson, and yet they are allowed to stay and disrupts the whole class and waste time. I have tried every technique, ignoring him, extra help etc. I refuse to give him rewards other than praise for when he has done something as 1. he is 16 not 6, and 2. it's not fair on the other students who always work to never get any treats.

Jiggit
December 15th, 2014, 12:47
I agree. And I don't recommend people do this. especially in HS, JHS is iffy because it depends on the JTE and how the JTE tries to integrate the ALT into the lessons, and even then I personally don't think an ALT should be a mascot of English, or a tape recorder either... but it happens and if the ALT is made into that roll by the Schools staff than it is better to just go with it, than fight it. we all know how the system works by now, you can't win...

Again, we are talking about two very different academic levels, with different goals in mind. If i were in HS, I'd be against it.

Elementary lessons, in a subject that isn't even deemed a subject by most standards (remember it is a 活動), with one shot lessons that can range between once a week to once a month is what I am talking about. Add on to that the inability to discipline, or enact an actual functional curriculum (I don't care what ini or anyone above says, the current English 'curriculum' isn't a curriculum other than a bunch of monkeys throwing "English" on a wall and hoping it sticks. In this environment there is little option unless the students are already motivated and want to learn English.


with that said and done, a few classes or an incentive rewards system can be done properly for English in an academic setting, and some other subjects do it as well. It depends on the students, the school and more importantly what the "goals" are.

It does depend on the school and the level, yes. Honestly I don't think there's any point sending ALTs to problem schools or spec-ed schools or Elementary schools that don't have a clear desire for one and an idea of what they want to do with them. But yeah, if trying to do any kind of actual teaching at your placement is worthless then the principles of how lessons should be run go out the window as well.

I was kind of a douche at my visit dropout school, the dude would constantly ask me if I wanted to do anything and I would just say "if you'd like me to make an activity just let me know what the material/lesson goals are" when I knew he just wanted me to entertain the idiots for an hour. But yeah I had no desire to spend my time on that.

coop52
December 15th, 2014, 20:01
That's why I hate JTEs who are like "anything is ok." I need some sort of goal to work towards to make a plan. Right now, the worst part of my job is my beginner-level business eikaiwa where the only goal is "have them enjoy English." Thank Jesus it's only temporary.

Looking back on my time as a JET, probably my worst lessons were the ones where I just showed the kids powerpoint slides. The JTEs loved it because yay powerpoint. The kids seemed to enjoy it because they didn't have to do anything, but they were just wastes of time since they got nothing out of that. I actually didn't really mind the classes when the special needs kids when I worked at the JHS. I was only ever expected to do papercraft or play card games with them, so it was at least a break from my usual tape-recorder classes.

Private school is a lot different than JET. I'm treated like a regular member of the staff, for better and worse, and have to actually plan classes. It's a lot more work, but it's nice seeing the kids actually make progress.

Master of The Universe :D
December 15th, 2014, 20:23
I don't care what ini or anyone above says, the current English 'curriculum' isn't a curriculum other than a bunch of monkeys throwing "English" on a wall and hoping it sticks. In this environment there is little option unless the students are already motivated and want to learn English.

I agree with this. And I think much of my frustration has to do with it! I'm busy reading Doug Lemov's Teach Like A Champion, and one thing he promotes is that your teaching should follow a two stairway approach to a subject. Meaning that you should teach students how to (1) answer this specific problem and (2) answer "any problem like this" - thus amplifying that knowledge to be more generally applicable.

So when I look at my schools' textbooks/workbooks, in most of them I notice that the chapters are focussed on either completing a conversation specific to, say, an airport, or answer questions about a specific text/ piece of reading material; but they very rarely take the step to apply that knowledge to a larger, arguably more applicable and worthy area. In one book, in the chapter about airports and flying, my students learn about request language and it has so many applications beyond asking a flight attendant if they could have an extra blanket.
NOTE: I DID try to make an activity where the kids applied this to more everyday occasions, but that totally flopped thanks to the mentality that "pairs = talk about anything other than current activity. YAY!".

Anyway, I wish the "curriculum" was more focussed on building actual fluency rather than building a list of generic, memorised questions and replies.



Honestly I don't think there's any point sending ALTs to problem schools or spec-ed schools or Elementary schools that don't have a clear desire for one and an idea of what they want to do with them.

THIS! So much of this. I wish I didn't feel as bad as I do about it, but seriously, the government spends a crap ton of money hiring JETs and other ALTs so when we're wasted somewhere, doesn't matter what kind of school, it's not just "Oh, well" for me, it's a big investment loss.



But yeah, if trying to do any kind of actual teaching at your placement is worthless then the principles of how lessons should be run go out the window as well.

This is the situation I think I'm trying to fight against.

PuddingHead
December 16th, 2014, 01:35
Prizes are also sort of awful in that your students may expect them at every lesson if you use them enough. If the kids are used to receiving something every time they answer correctly, they'll be less likely to care about answering if they notice they won't get anything out of it. At least, this is the case with one of the tutors I work with. He used to bring in candy all the time and if they didn't see a little plastic bag on the table then they would just run up to the board and start drawing or whip out their phones.

I guess it's fine every now and then, like during unit reviews, but I definitely wouldn't rely on it.

Jiggit
December 16th, 2014, 09:04
THIS! So much of this. I wish I didn't feel as bad as I do about it, but seriously, the government spends a crap ton of money hiring JETs and other ALTs so when we're wasted somewhere, doesn't matter what kind of school, it's not just "Oh, well" for me, it's a big investment loss.

I kind of feel like you've missed the point of what I was trying to tell you and focused on what makes you feel better... no offense.

Doesn't sound from any of your posts like you ever really had clear lesson goals and were instead just doing fairly random powerpoints and games which, as most of the thread has discussed, are both not particularly great activities.I also doubt that the students at all 4 of your schools are the lowest level students (gizmo and I are talking about High School dropouts with learning disabilities or those who are in special education) that couldn't possibly learn anything from you. We're not just talking about "students who don't have interest in English". Most high school students aren't interested in any of their subjects and English is often their least favorite.

If you make activities that are too difficult for them and ask them to do something completely different from what they're used to without any prep or warning and give up after they can't do it first try then you're not really making proper lesson goals:


In one book, in the chapter about airports and flying, my students learn about request language and it has so many applications beyond asking a flight attendant if they could have an extra blanket.
NOTE: I DID try to make an activity where the kids applied this to more everyday occasions, but that totally flopped thanks to the mentality that "pairs = talk about anything other than current activity. YAY!".

I'd be interested to know what this activity was. If you post the lesson plan here I'm sure we could offer you some advice.

I made all these kinds of mistakes when I first started and that's why I expect you're making similar ones. But if you blame the students then you've got no hope of improving, which you seem to want to do. They are your students, regardless of how good they are, and you can either do the best you can for them or give up.

johnny
December 16th, 2014, 16:17
Mario Kart and Pirate Typhoon are my go to games if I am forced to do something at the last minute. They're pretty adaptable and can be used with no preparation. I usually recommend those.

sharpinthefang
December 16th, 2014, 16:19
My 2nd grade JTE stuck jingle all the way on today. Yay film time! Oh no watching the start of the same film 4 times in a row!

BeckyJones
December 17th, 2014, 09:56
My 2nd grade JTE stuck jingle all the way on today. Yay film time! Oh no watching the start of the same film 4 times in a row!

you know, that sounds terrible. But it also sounds more real world than say, half of the lessons I teach.

Master of The Universe :D
December 17th, 2014, 19:36
I kind of feel like you've missed the point of what I was trying to tell you and focused on what makes you feel better... no offense.





No offense taken.



Doesn't sound from any of your posts like you ever really had clear lesson goals and were instead just doing fairly random powerpoints and games which, as most of the thread has discussed, are both not particularly great activities.





Thank you, this is just the reality check I needed!
Seriously, looking back, most of my lesson goals were flimsy, at best.
I accept that I'm as much a part of the problem as I will be part of the solution.

Also, I lost my USB today, FML - all my lessons were on there.
So, my past methods are pretty much screwed.
AND I can't upload any of these files and have written them out.
I apologise in advance for the wall of text.


You asked for a lesson plan, but I honestly can't remember how that whole airport lesson went.

However, from what I do remember, that post of mine is a really unjustified overreaction to a lesson that was extremely badly planned on my part and just as limiting/limited as the chapter in the book. I'm sorry.

My idea was to practice using "Could" and "Can" by putting students into groups of four and each one had a card which showed things they had and things they wanted, all of which were everyday items like sugar and milk etc and one the reverse was stationery.
I imagined one day they might live next to a foreigner and might hear the first part, and I hoped they might use the stationery part in English class.
Anyway, they had to ask students in the group for the everyday items they wanted using the structure of "Do you have ___ ?" Yes - "Could I have some please?".
And for the stationary "Do you have an extra ____ ?" Yes - "Can I use it?"


Here, though, is one of my most successful lessons (and it's probably successful for all the wrong reasons). In it, the students learn a handful of prepositions.

Goals:
1. To teach the students the meaning and pronunciation of common prepositions.
2. To allow students to practice these prepositions.

Materials:
1. PowerPoint.
2. W/sheet - 3 columns. First column contains just the preposition. The second is for the students to write the Japanese of the preposition. The third is for the students to write an example sentence - they can either write the sentence from the PowerPoint or the video, or both.
3. Video - Psy - "Gangham Style"

Procedure:
1. Introduction - I tell the students that we'll learn some prepositions today and the JTE repeats that in Japanese.

2. PowerPoint and w/sheet: Here I show the students pictures which depict situations in which each preposition would be used.
The first one was a castle on a hill (A really cool picture from Scotland, I think). Anyway, pointing to the picture and its relevant parts, I say "The castle is on the hill. On."
The JTE then asks the students what "On" means and they respond with the Japanese which they then have to write on the w/sheet.
I then show the sentence above the picture - "The castle is on the hill".
The JTE then asks them to translate the sentence so that they can (hopefully) see/ figure out how the different parts of the sentence change position during translation.
Some JTEs just let the translate it and are happy.
The good JTEs will write the Japanese on the board and use colours and arrows to help the students understand these changes.

And so it continues through our list of prepositions which are - on, above, under, in, next to, in front of, behind, between.
The JTE progressively shows less and less of the changes between the languages.
I tried to use interesting/super cute pictures for all of these - with above, I show a lady levitating and for between a kitten between two puppies.

After the slideshow of pictures is done, we practice saying each preposition twice. Even though it's only eight words, the students still get bored with this, but every JTE wants me to do it.

Next, I show them the video, which I say I will pause at some points to ask "Where is Psy?" and that the students should respond with:
"Psy is _________ the __________ ."
We then commence with the video and pause it at certain frames.
We alternate between asking the students to volunteer their answers and asking students at random to give theirs, while encouraging others to help them if they're stuck.
I pause the video more than 8 times (the number of prepositions) and also take the opportunity to teach a rule of thumb involving on/in for modes of transport.

At all but one school, that takes the entire lesson.

What do you think of it? How can I make a non electronic version? I was asked to change the pictures part to a powerpoint because the students weren't concentrating while I wrote the sentences above the carded pictures I had made.



One more question - When given a request like "Can you make a lesson to teach students about Christmas?", what would be the best way to approach it from a strong goal orientated point of view?
Please don't read that as me defending myself or trying to be sarcastic towards your advice, I'm just genuinely interested and want to improve.

Lastly, since winter holidays are coming up, circa the first two weeks in January I'll need to do a lesson on winter vacation.
Any suggestions?