Small successes and dismal failures

Here is a recap of what my lessons were supposed to be in class today:

11C: TESOL lesson: The TESOL lesson was written too high for the students. What was meant to take a day, will actually take 2-3 days, just in understanding the introductory text, which is funny to English speakers. Unfortunately, humor is one of the last things to come to a speaker of another language, which I knew. I should have replaced the introductory poem with a multimedia clip … but I also had no internet last night to get one, so I am going to give myself some slack.

4B: Foldables on nouns and adjectives and sentences in preparation for writing a script, and, if there was time, some play with an app and a story app. There were only a few students in this class who had to be retrieved from other classes as they had been dispersed. The teacher was absent. Considering that she left the classroom immediately on my arrival yesterday, did not share were the students were in their English language acquisition when I questioned, and then did not return yesterday for over 10 minutes after the stated time, I am not surprised. She probably has a lot that she is juggling at this time. We all have those times in our years when we just have to cut out. As for the success of the class, the students completed the foldable, and I showed them how to use it. I gave them homework to write 3 sentences with the foldable, but I think that most will probably not do it. I will prepare to review that tomorrow. I’m expecting that tomorrow we can use the foldable to create sentences and then start to write a script.

4C: Same lesson as 4B. There were more students. This teacher also did not come at the appointed time. There is a significant problem in the time table, though, as there is no transition time between classes. I want to give her credit, and with secondary teachers who switch classes, I would, but the primary teachers are with the same group all day. This means that when she is gone, she has no other class to teach. She is getting a break, a break that I do not have. Most teachers teach 31-32 periods in a week out of 40. I will be teaching 38 in a week’s time. As for the students, this was a packed class. They were highly attentive to the foldable activity and completed it. They have to do their sentences for homework. At the end, they had some classroom management issues. I was packing when they started to play in the classroom. I immediately told them all to sit down in my teacher’s voice and told them some things. They were immediately quiet, sat, and were attentive … until I left the room, already late for my next class.

11E: See 11 C. This class was more prepared to do the work that I asked. They completed the self-assessment of comfort with words, took dictation for definitions, completed the sentences with what they thought was appropriate and were all in all, very attentive.

12th Grade Math English: Word problems in algebra, geometry and trigonometry. I was hoping that the students would be able to write word problems for one another. We barely got through greetings. This was a dismal failure and totally my fault, which caused the students to be borderline disrespectful. I see the students again on Friday, and I am in absolute terror of that day. They don’t have the English for them to write word problems or even know what they are, and honestly, my math skills are not high enough to teach them at the level they need. If given a month to prepare, I might have some ideas and feel comfortable, but with this class and this amount of time to prepare (tonight and tomorrow) and be with them (our last class is Monday, I am cast a drift in a neverending sea of despair. I really don’t think I will be teaching anything. I’m just a body. If I had their textbook, if they even had textbooks (they don’t have any; it seems everything is done on the board), then I might have a prayer, but no hope there. I really wish that I had the ability to get clips from something like Numbers to play. I will have to see about bringing this next time, if I can.

Fast Learners: Today we talked about metaphors and similes, completed their charts, rewrote their stories, and then began to illustrate those stories as graphic novels/comics using Comic Life. I figure that once we have this under our belt, then we can also work on essays (5 paragraph format) after examining the lyrics of an American pop song. I’m not sure which ones. This class started late and ended late as we had to find their teacher, get a key to a classroom, get to the classroom space, rearrange it to be a classroom (it’s an assembly room), etc. All in all, the 1.5 hour class was about an hour or so, and then, of course, I got lost on my way to the next class, because it is in the primary wing, not the secondary.

10E: Learn a song, analyze lyrics, and then write an essay. We did the first two. It started out as a slow class. I did my intros and they did theirs. We’ll see if I can do some imagining of an activity to do on Friday. With this class, their English was stronger in others. We may do some talking and comics. The class is small enough to do a small graphic novel, maybe from a true life story.

Tomorrow, I will be with

11C: I think this group needs an alternative lesson plan. I might just scratch the TESOL lesson entirely as it is beyond this group and do some work with pop songs. I wish that I had some videos available. If I had brought my external hard drive, I would be able to play some episodes of popular television shows or even music videos. I will know for next time, should I be able to come. I think that we will be working on pop lyrics.

4B and 4C: We will be working with the foldables, writing sentences, and working on a script for 3 parts: mother/father, shopper, and store owner.

11B for two periods (oh my): Same lesson as 11 C with the addition of 2 more songs to study in small groups. Perhaps they will share what they think about the songs, vote for the one that they like the most, and then “storyboard” a music video that they will work on together.

Fast Learners for two periods: Tomorrow we will finish their comics. They will share their work with one another. They will then write a true story about their lives. This, they will use as the basis of a digital story.


For tomorrow, I will have to prepare the script for 4B and 4C, the lyrics to study in 11C and 11B, a draft of a music video.


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