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Thread: Examples of successful classes

  1. #61
    Constant Fu*kup sharpinthefang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Examples of successful classes

    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.
    Accepted with Interac on 13th May 2014
    Upgraded with JET on 7th October 2014...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_Simmons View Post
    shit, i've realize that i picked the wrong time to reply directly the thread's original question...

  2. #62

    Default Re: Examples of successful classes

    Quote Originally Posted by BeckyJones View Post
    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.

  3. #63
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Examples of successful classes

    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.

  4. #64

    Default Re: Examples of successful classes

    Quote Originally Posted by BeckyJones View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    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.

  5. #65
    Senior Member PuddingHead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Examples of successful classes

    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.
    Last edited by PuddingHead; December 16th, 2014 at 01:37.

  6. #66

    Default Re: Examples of successful classes

    Quote Originally Posted by Master of The Universe :D View Post
    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.

  7. #67
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Examples of successful classes

    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.

  8. #68
    Constant Fu*kup sharpinthefang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Examples of successful classes

    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!
    Accepted with Interac on 13th May 2014
    Upgraded with JET on 7th October 2014...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_Simmons View Post
    shit, i've realize that i picked the wrong time to reply directly the thread's original question...

  9. #69
    Pimpin wenches aint easy BeckyJones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Examples of successful classes

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpinthefang View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    His dying breath will not be how sorry he is to leave his wife or children, but it will be saved to insult Jiggit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  10. #70

    Default Re: Examples of successful classes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    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?

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