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Thread: Elementary curriculum

  1. #1
    Senior Member 3ngrishsensei's Avatar
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    Default Elementary curriculum

    So in a meeting with my elem. school this morning, they asked me to create an entire year's curriculum for each elementary grade (1-6) on my own. Thats a crap ton of lessons. I need ideas! Just lesson topics (ie. body parts, weather, days of the week... those are all the usual ones, but I need more)
    Very much grateful for any ideas you can list for me here.

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    Default Re: Elementary curriculum

    how many lessons exactly?

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elementary curriculum

    I was having fantastic luck with my weekly phonics lessons at my visit school, right up until I got a new JTE, who promptly shut the whole experiment down. The kids were doing incredibly well, and it's ridiculously easy to incorporate phonics into a wide variety of games and shit. I highly recommend it. Or you could just do what my JTE is doing now--Eigo Note.
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    Senior Member 3ngrishsensei's Avatar
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    hmm....I guess it's somewhere around 96 lessons total. Starting from 1st grade and up...
    grades 1-4, about 48 total lessons (once a month per each grade)
    grades 5, 6, another 48 (twice a month per each grade)

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    Senior Member 3ngrishsensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    I was having fantastic luck with my weekly phonics lessons at my visit school, right up until I got a new JTE, who promptly shut the whole experiment down. The kids were doing incredibly well, and it's ridiculously easy to incorporate phonics into a wide variety of games and shit. I highly recommend it. Or you could just do what my JTE is doing now--Eigo Note.
    I have to write a draft of a curriculum sequentially by lesson. So if you had any order of topics in your time teaching there (i.e. "today.... we will do consonants b-h" please send 'em on over)

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    Default Re: Elementary curriculum

    stop moaning then, if its once a month then it will probably only be 10 lessons a year for the 1-4 because of school holidays and the like.
    do the same topic with each year but ramp up the difficulty
    example.
    fruits.
    1st - 6 fruits
    2nd - 10 fruits
    3rd - i like apples
    4th - my favorite fruit is melon

    if you cant think of 10 separate topics then you should reconsider your username.

    as for the 5-6 chuck in some harder stuff like months of the year etc. because you see them twice a month you can spend 2 lessons on each topic. this will allow you to do longer projects like making calendars or some shit like that.

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    Default Re: Elementary curriculum

    as for phonics, if you see the 5-6 twice a month then just do 2 letters at the start of each lesson - 1st lesson A+B, 2nd C+D etc.... it only takes 5 minutes and if you review each time they will have them all done by halfway through the year and you can spend the second half doing quick phonic games to improve their reading. it'll be a good warm up exercise

  8. #8

    Default Re: Elementary curriculum

    I do around 12 lessons a year with each grade, 1st and 2nd grade basically repeat each other, same with 3rd and 4th. 5th and 6 are eigo note now.

    1st year they do
    harro my name is,
    what's this? it's a *fruit*,
    do you like *fruit*, yes I do/no I don't,
    do you like *vegetable* yes I do / no i don't
    what colour do you like (i like *colour*)
    body parts (heads shoulders knees and toes)
    family.
    numbers 0-12
    What animal do you like? I like xxx

    2nd year they essentially do the same thing but with different games.

    3rd years do sports, food&drink, time, birthdays, weather, "how are you" etc.

    You could always cheat and steal something from genkienglish.
    Last edited by Tarquin; August 4th, 2010 at 13:07.
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    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elementary curriculum

    in shiga there is a city (nagahama) that has a special es program and has been going on for like 10 years now. each of the ALTs there (15 JETs and 10ish direct hires) are ES only and often have like 2 ALTs per school --

    if you can get in touch with one of them (there are a few on this site or you can go to the shiga group of eslwell.com) they have been making year long curriculum on their own for a long time, and even have a special text for it.

    I never worked there, but iknow that the people that do work hard and the kids are actually learning a lot. in the rest of the prefecture you can tell in JHS and HS which kids came from Nagahama -- at least in their english ability!!
    ☆★REAL EYES REALIZE REAL LIES★☆

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    Senior Member 3ngrishsensei's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the ideas guys!

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    Default Re: Elementary curriculum

    I have arrived in a DeLorean from the past! Word surely knows that I'm here to either complain about yobisute or talk about phonics. I am indeed inclined toward both of these activities, but I believe the latter is more productive in this context. So before I go back to reading really boring English, here:

    http://www.ithinkimlost.com/articles...-targeted.html

    This is a basic ES phonics lesson. If you look at the bottom of the post, two PDFs are attached. The "Phonics Tricks" PDF is something I put together with the help of other ALTs, especially Ampersand. I came here knowing little about formal pronunciation instruction, but knowledgeable sorts like Ampersand and some people I met at conferences taught me some great tips. The guide is oriented toward people without formal training, and includes simple Japanese explanations written entirely in hiragana. (The "old version" PDF is not particularly useful, but included for completeness.) You can also look at the original thread; on the second page, there are some more details about conducting the blackboard karuta game and some comments by others who have used it. http://www.ithinkimlost.com/teaching...s-arsenal.html I encourage you to use these resources, if they're helpful, and trust your qualifications as a college-educated native speaker – adapt as needed and be confident.

    You can teach handy vocab this way -- dad, mom, cat, dog, hot, rock, whatever. More useful than "JAPANESE RADISH" or "FRIED PORK CUTLET".

    I agree with others that by far the most valuable thing kids can take from ES English is pronunciation and the idea that English letters (not katakana) represent the sounds of English. When you teach the names of fruits, I think you should be focusing on how to say them well. Taking the vocab thing to an extreme level (e.g. cramming hundreds of words for fruits and vegetables into their heads) is not helpful. In language, especially, I believe one should be careful to avoid "negative learning". Every time they pronounce C-A-T as "kyatto", it actually sets them back a step. A large number of things taught to a mediocre standard does harm, but a small number of things well-taught can do considerable good.

    Also: haha, the kitty is wrapped up in a sock or something. ^_^
    Last edited by Wakatta; August 8th, 2010 at 14:36.
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  12. #12

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    I found this pdf last year while sitting at my BOE waiting for the school year to start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NinjaPenguin View Post
    I found this pdf last year while sitting at my BOE waiting for the school year to start.

    WAI~~!!!! Amazing thanks. I am new and this will really help out and give me some direction. I can really work off of this and adapt it to my style and schedule!

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    yes, ninja, thanks. saved to my computer for later

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    Senior Member SSJup81's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for sharing this, NinjaPenguin. I don't work with an Elementary School, but I do have children in that age group for my private lessons. This will be very helpful and just may help me to get some ideas for later lessons.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Elementary curriculum

    Glad I could help. Wish I could remember where I got it from.

  17. #17
    Senior Member 3ngrishsensei's Avatar
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    Some of you posted helpful phonics stuff.
    I've been playing around lately with the order to teach it. For example, is it best to teach the sounds in alphabet order, separate vowels and consonants, deal with tricky things like l and r on their own, etc.?
    Anyone have any ideas that worked well for them?

    This is kind of what sparked my interest:
    Quote Originally Posted by Wakatta View Post
    I have changed my mind and now recommend going in order, starting from a .
    Last edited by 3ngrishsensei; August 26th, 2010 at 15:50.

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    I don't know; I didn't do alphabetical order, but I'm not sure if it was good or bad. I started with simple pairs of voiced and un-voiced consonants ([d]-[t], [b]-[p], [v]-[f], etc.) and hit a couple of vowel sounds. I started with [ɑ] and [æ]. I figured that by putting 'em in groups with similar mouth movements, the kids might be able to understand 'em more easily. It worked pretty well, I guess; the kids have a pretty good grasp of the sounds now, and my sixth graders from last year could sound out simple words with reasonable accuracy, even if they'd never seen the word before. I'm not teaching the 5th and 6th graders phonics any longer (they've "moved on" to Eigo Note), but I've started with 3rd and 4th graders, and they seem to have a reasonable grasp on things, as well... Time will tell, I suppose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  19. #19
    Senior Member 3ngrishsensei's Avatar
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    @ word:
    yeah, good idea using the voiced/unvoiced pairs. That sounds similar to what Wakatta posted about using the difference between sa and za hiragana. Did your kids make that connection right away?

    So you used a group of consonants + a few vowels in a lesson, or were the vowel lessons separate? I've been doing my vowels separately, but now I'm wondering....

    Also, how did you assess the kids in sounding out the words? I'm running into trouble using a written way of doing this, because I don't know if I should teach them how to write letters yet (writing isn't supposed to be the focus)....maybe a circle the right missing letter worksheet? I want to avoid putting each kid on the spot and making them sound it out in front of the class, but I still want to measure their progress somehow.

    hmm. I've been teaching /ei/ instead of [ɑ]? I know [ɑ] is an accurate reading (and more familiar because of romaji), but I'm afraid to teach this one first because it's not so commonly occurring in (American) English, and my kids always tend to confuse it with [æ]. I teach /ei/ and /æ/ as the main two readings of A. Thoughts, anyone?

    apologies for all the questions. My JTE has been mining me for phonics ideas lately (awesome, right?!)
    That link Wakatta posted was really helpful, too. But my j-go sucks so I can't use it line-for-line.
    Last edited by 3ngrishsensei; August 26th, 2010 at 18:11. Reason: grammar

  20. #20

    Default Re: Elementary curriculum

    I think that going in order works fine; it saves some "did we do this?" headaches and also gives the kids a clearer sense of progress. Furthermore, I think that singling out "hard" letters could be counterproductive: one of my major objectives in phonics teaching is to walk them through it without any "muzukashiiiiiiiii!" or suggestion that some letters are "too hard for Japanese people". Anyway, I think alphabetical works fine for the consonant/vowel issue: you have an "a" to start with so that you can create pronouncable words.

    It occurs to me that I stuck the second link in the middle of a paragraph, where it might not have been easily seen. Here are the two links:

    http://www.ithinkimlost.com/articles...-targeted.html
    http://www.ithinkimlost.com/teaching...s-arsenal.html

    The second goes into more detail on how to make the individual sounds, including vowel sounds. I recommend talking about "strong" (つよい) and weak (よわい) vowels. I think that the "weak" vowel sounds should be treated as most fundamental, and strong vowel sounds introduced only later. So cat, hat, map. Then introduce the "magic e" sort of principle and show how hat becomes hate and nap becomes nape when an e is tacked on. (As always, I think it's good to tell them that you're teaching them tricks that usually work, not stating rules which are always followed. Don't freak them out with weird irregular words, but don't say, "this letter is always pronounced like this". I would especially suggest highlighting that vowel sounds are often irregular.) Honestly, I wouldn't do much with strong vowels to start with: they're already pretty easy to pronounce for them, and katakana often has them using strong vowels in odd ways.

    As for J-Go:
    1) Just in case you meant that you weren't so comfortable with kana – I strongly urge you to spend the two weeks or so that it takes to get really comfortable with kana.
    2) If you have trouble understanding the Japanese explanations, and your JTE is asking about phonics, you might try just showing the Japanese explanations to your JTE.

    As for measuring progress, this depends to some degree on the size of the class. I mostly did things as a group because I had a large class and limited time. If you are not so constrained, I would suggest simply showing individual kids short three-letter words (or even individual letters) and having them sound it out. The usual teaching caveats apply: you need to be able to do this in a way that's fun, you need to make sure it won't be way too hard for them, you need to know how to handle the situation when kids shake their heads and clam up, etc.

    You might also consider printed-out alphabet cards: they can construct words in response to your verbal prompts using the cards. Or perhaps put them in groups, and have a game where they spell out what you say by arranging cards. You could have some fun with this by pronouncing, or trying to pronounce, mistaken combinations. (Guaranteed to get some laughs.)

    Finally, I'll +1 Word's suggestion. In fact, I would sometimes even write "f-tenten" (i.e., f") just like with kana – framing it as a bit of a joke.
    Last edited by Wakatta; August 30th, 2010 at 09:17.
    Quote Originally Posted by katsudon View Post
    Principal: 'genki no nai shapenaa'
    Me: *giggle*
    Principal (turns to me, says): Very old sharpener. I am not as old as that sharpener.

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