ETC – 2020

Forums Past Tense Journal (Classroom Log) ETC – 2020

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  • #12156
    Ramin Tokhi
    Keymaster

    You should have received an email from Little Brother with your form-generated journal entry which you should copy and paste below! You can also manually copy the text below and paste into a comment, then fill it out! Please do not use your last name, or any learner names.

    Lesson Title:
    Date of Class:
    Day of Class:
    Time of Class:
    MC:
    DJ:
    Assistants/Shadowers/Auditioner:
    Module:
    How Many Learners:
    Materials Status (loyalty cards, alphabet sheets, etc):

    Self Evaluation

    Preparation: Forgot to Show Up (1) vs. Every Hair In Place (10) =
    Technique: Completely Incompetent (1) vs. Flawless Delivery (10) =
    Engagement: Snoring Loudly (1) vs. Absolutely Riveted (10) =
    Connection: Open Hostility (1) vs. Kumbayah (10) =
    Poise: Charlie Brown (1) vs. Prince (10) =
    Reflection: “It was ok.” (1) vs. Life-changing Epiphany (10) =

    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):

    #12159
    Shelley Zansler
    Participant

    Site: ETC
    Lesson Title: Stuff you see in Portland
    Date of Class: Mar 09, 2020
    Time of Class: 8:15 AM
    MC: AmandaAdventurousTraveler
    DJ: ShelleySincereLearner
    Assistants/Shadowers/Auditioner:
    Module: Kindai Senshu Program
    How Many Learners: 7
    Materials Status (loyalty cards, alphabet sheets, etc):

    Self Evaluation

    Preparation: Forgot to Show Up (1) vs. Every Hair In Place (10) = 8
    Technique: Completely Incompetent (1) vs. Flawless Delivery (10) = 6
    Engagement: Snoring Loudly (1) vs. Absolutely Riveted (10) = 5
    Connection: Open Hostility (1) vs. Kumbayah (10) = 5
    Poise: Charlie Brown (1) vs. Prince (10) = 6
    Reflection: “It was ok.” (1) vs. Life-changing Epiphany (10) = 8

    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific): Today was our first day meeting the homestay learners from Kindai Senshu High School. We started with alphabet sheets and yell-and-spell, which went smoothly. There was some expected reticence or shyness about “ready,” but they caught on quickly and got bolder with that sort of stuff as the day went on.

    After those initial activities, we moved into a map exercise. We determined that this activity was too difficult and abstract, so we essentially did a 180 and moved into Simon Says. Having everyone stand up and do some moving around seemed to loosen everyone up–learners and facilitators alike–and the learners got to go around and act as Simon, too.

    We did a name game round robin where students introduced themselves and said two things about themselves. This went really smoothly, and learners were able to tell each each other about things things about many of their classmates (not just the person they interacted with directly).

    Since we knew they’d be exploring Portland after class, we did some dictation related to things you see in Portland. Amanda prepared visuals, which really helped provide context.

    There was a campus tour planned with the Roosevelt High second-year Japanese class during our class time, which was a little funky. The tour appeared to be a lesson for the Roosevelt students, and the Kindai students were supposed to participate in some way. It was kind of unclear. We each tagged along with a different group. Amanda was more proactive in leading her group and creating structure. I talked with the learners in my group (which merged with another, so making four English learners in this particular group) and just tried to point out objects and ask questions.

    After the tour, we had a little chunk of time left, so we went back to our classroom and did a round robin about what everyone saw on the tour.

    Overall, it was a good first day. Not everything worked, but the activities helped us gauge learner levels and rework tomorrow’s activities in advance. Learners were shy about giving things a try if they weren’t certain about the answer, but it seemed like they were catching on to us being totally cool with them being “incorrect”. So hopefully stuff like that will get easier as the week progresses.

    Amanda was super well-prepared and has some fun activities planned for the next few days, so I’m eager to see how everything unfolds.

    #12163
    Shelley Zansler
    Participant

    Site: ETC
    Lesson Title: What would you like to buy?
    Date of Class: Mar 10, 2020
    Time of Class: 8:15 AM
    MC: AmandaAdventurousTraveler
    DJ: ShelleySincereLearner
    Assistants/Shadowers/Auditioner:
    Module: Kindai Senshu Program
    How Many Learners: 7
    Materials Status (loyalty cards, alphabet sheets, etc):

    Self Evaluation

    Preparation: Forgot to Show Up (1) vs. Every Hair In Place (10) = 8
    Technique: Completely Incompetent (1) vs. Flawless Delivery (10) = 6
    Engagement: Snoring Loudly (1) vs. Absolutely Riveted (10) = 6
    Connection: Open Hostility (1) vs. Kumbayah (10) = 7
    Poise: Charlie Brown (1) vs. Prince (10) = 6
    Reflection: “It was ok.” (1) vs. Life-changing Epiphany (10) = 7

    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific): TL;DR: Today was pretty dynamic and had a variety of activities, including money practice, buying stuff, singing, and walking around.

    We were in the choir room today, which was weird because there were no tables or chairs to work with, just stairs/risers. It ended up being okay because we did a lot of non-seated activities, but we did some planning to figure out how we can use the room accommodate future activities, which will be more writing heavy (or can at least benefit from a table top). The projector was also broken, so we had to shuffle around the lesson plan a bit so we could start working on the song activity while the Japanese classroom had an open period.

    Anyway. A lot of today focused on money and buying things. After a fun fruit basket activity (where we learned that one student doesn’t like anything but meat and milk–ha!), we did some money dictation and a “this is a ___” activity. We followed this up with a money grab activity, which went really well. One pair of students seemed to need to take it a little slower than the others, but they still pulled it off.

    After money grab, we went to the other classroom to work on the Taylor Swift song. That went okay. The learners seemed pret-ty reticent to sing along, which was expected. A couple learners were more vocal than the rest, so hopefully they can encourage everyone to relax a bit as we keep going. (I also noticed their teacher singing along!) Keeping in mind their skill level and our limited time frame, we gave them the lyrics rather than having them write them down, which has its benefits and drawbacks. Amanda and I discussed that writing the lyrics down would probably help the learners get familiar with the words and lend opportunities for us to provide context while they write, but given their skill level, it seems like we wouldn’t get very far and it would be pretty exhausting. Luckily, on our way back to the choir room, a couple learners were looking at the lyrics together and singing along, so that’s cool. We also suspect that not having the other teachers around will help make singing a little more comfortable.

    Next we did a shopping activity. Amanda brought in Portland postcards and teeny tiny animal figurines that learners could “purchase.” We started with a store transaction dialogue dictation, and then I played the part of postcard vendor. (Amanda played the part of a motion-sensor door.) The learners took turns picking out postcards and paying for them, following the dialogue. The prices changed, of course. Then we did a “this is a ____” activity for the little animals. Then Amanda played the animal vendor and I was the door. :) This activity was super cool because each learner got a postcard and an animal to keep. And I got to keep the eel that nobody wanted. Everyone wins today.

    The next activity was really great because Amanda locked onto a formula that allowed learners to produce their own answers, which has been a challenge for us up to this point. We walked around outside, accompanied by the principal(?). It started more or less as a yelling tour guide activity, but at one point early on, Amanda stopped and had everyone listen to their surroundings for a little bit. She asked “What do you hear?” and was able to communicate what she wanted them to do by gesturing toward her ear and providing an example. The learners caught on right away, and that engagement helped guide the rest of the walk. The principal even participated (“I see many students!”) which was cool. He seemed to think this walking activity was great. It was exciting that the learners were able to take in their surroundings and produce their own sentences based on their observations. When we got back to class, we just went around and reviewed what they saw yesterday in Portland and what we saw today on the walk. (Spoiler: a lot of stairs.)

    Despite the weird room and having to shuffle around the activities, today went really well. The lows were generally expected, and there were some unexpected highlights, too. Amanda’s preparation was excellent. The change bags, postcards, and animals really made the activities engaging. It also feels like a “yay” that the principal and the teacher seem to like our activities.

    That’s the end! You made it. I don’t know why I feel like I need to detail the entire day in these write ups. I’m adding a TL;DR to this one.

    #12164
    Shelley Zansler
    Participant

    Site: ETC
    Lesson Title: Let’s go to Fred Meyer!
    Date of Class: Mar 11, 2020
    Time of Class: 8:15 AM
    MC: AmandaAdventurousTraveler
    DJ: ShelleySincereLearner
    Assistants/Shadowers/Auditioner:
    Module: Kindai Senshu Program
    How Many Learners: 7
    Materials Status (loyalty cards, alphabet sheets, etc):

    Self Evaluation

    Preparation: Forgot to Show Up (1) vs. Every Hair In Place (10) = 6
    Technique: Completely Incompetent (1) vs. Flawless Delivery (10) = 5
    Engagement: Snoring Loudly (1) vs. Absolutely Riveted (10) = 5
    Connection: Open Hostility (1) vs. Kumbayah (10) = 6
    Poise: Charlie Brown (1) vs. Prince (10) = 5
    Reflection: “It was ok.” (1) vs. Life-changing Epiphany (10) = 7

    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific): Everyone was pretty tired today, so things were a little low energy. We also had to switch up the lesson plan again, but we rolled with it as best we could. It was a generally okay day, with nothing super great and nothing super terrible.

    We started off by asking everyone how they were feeling. Everyone said sleepy. Then we did an action movement activity to get everyone moving a bit, which went pretty well. We were originally going to have the learners work on thank you cards on Friday, but we found that they were going to be working on them today after English class, so Amanda pulled together some card prompts while I worked with the learners on choral response for the “Me!” song.

    Learners took a little bit to catch on to the card prompts–we had to directly ask each learner things like, “What did you enjoy doing with your host family?” for them to produce answers. One learner wrote the prompts but left spaces blank because, as he explained (with translation assistance from the ETC coordinator), they’re only halfway through their stay, so they can’t yet know if a food or activity is their favorite. That was funny, and it was nice to see that at least one student was interested in writing a meaningful card.

    Then we did some grocery list choral response and walked to Fred Meyer. We split into teams to find the prices of the items on the grocery list. I was with Team Star, and Amanda was Team Green Miso Soup–emphasis on *green* miso. The activity started out pretty strong. Once my team got the hang of finding if prices were “EA” or “LB” things picked up a bit. It seemed like most of the learners fizzled out toward the end, so the activity may have benefited from being a bit shorter. It was funny to find, in discussing afterward, that my team and Amanda’s team had very different approaches to the activity. Team GMS went to an item and just picked whatever price they saw first, whereas Team Star did a lot of hemming and hawing about which yogurts or cucumbers to write down, even if there was an easier answer. For instance, we needed to know how much two cucumbers would cost. There was one type of cucumber priced in pairs (2 for $3), but there was *another* type of cucumber that was priced individually. These situations slowed Team Star a lot but lent a lot of opportunities to discuss “cheap” and “expensive”. It was similar for things on sale and prices with coupons. Of course, they opted to write the price for a frozen pizza that was on sale, a two-fer deal, AND had a coupon price. Boy! Haha. It was fun to watch them catch on, though.

    Everyone played rock, paper, scissors to pick a bakery treat we’d all eat. Somehow we ended up with nearly-frozen doughnuts. We finished class by pairing up to ask each other “How much are _____?” “______ are $X.XX” and then listened to Taylor Swift while eating freshly microwaved doughnuts. Everyone was pretty wiped out, but some were moving along with the music and singing a bit, even without their lyrics. That was a nice thing to see at the end of a low-energy day.

    #12175
    Shelley Zansler
    Participant

    Site: ETC
    Lesson Title: Describing American candy
    Date of Class: Mar 12, 2020
    Time of Class: 8:30 AM
    MC: AmandaAdventurousTraveler
    DJ: ShelleySincereLearner
    Assistants/Shadowers/Auditioner:
    Module: Kindai Senshu Program
    How Many Learners: 7
    Materials Status (loyalty cards, alphabet sheets, etc):

    Self Evaluation

    Preparation: Forgot to Show Up (1) vs. Every Hair In Place (10) = 8
    Technique: Completely Incompetent (1) vs. Flawless Delivery (10) = 6
    Engagement: Snoring Loudly (1) vs. Absolutely Riveted (10) = 7
    Connection: Open Hostility (1) vs. Kumbayah (10) = 7
    Poise: Charlie Brown (1) vs. Prince (10) = 8
    Reflection: “It was ok.” (1) vs. Life-changing Epiphany (10) = 7

    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific): Overall, today felt pretty good. We had to deal with more classroom shuffling and, as a result, lesson plan adjustments, which was frustrating, but Amanda did a great job figuring out how to make the weirdness work. There was also maybe a miscommunication about today’s start time, so we didn’t have much opportunity to discuss the day’s plan before starting class.

    Today Amanda challenged herself to have one main activity take up most of the class, and it went really well. It was a nice change of pace, and allowing for some “breathing time” throughout the activity seemed to let students to connect with one another more. Great! The activity was tasting American candy. We thought this would be super fun and exciting, and it was at first… But (rather humorously) the learners got tired of eating candy partway through. One even said he could really go for some natto instead. Ha! Very different from American students.

    Amanda created a cool chart for the learners to fill out as they ate the candy. We started with dictation of some candy descriptors (sweet, red, creamy, etc.) and contents (chocolate, peanut butter, etc.), and the learners used those to fill out their sheet. Then they would rank their favorite candies in order each time they tried a new one. They understood the sheet right away, which made it move smoothly. Then we did a round robin so students could say their favorite and least favorite candies and why they did or didn’t like them.

    At the beginning of class, we learned that we would not be able to use our classroom (the choir room again) for the whole day, so we had to join the first-year Japanese class. Amanda prepped the American students for the Taylor Swift song (“yes, we know Taylor Swift isn’t everyone’s thing, but help us out and you’ll get candy”) which was smart. They more or less did what we wanted them to do. Then we helped facilitate some discussion about candy based on the round robin. All the learners did it in English and Japanese, so everyone could participate. Then it transitioned into a sort of guided Q&A, which…I don’t know. I wish that I knew Japanese so I could have helped more. Some of the American students were better at including our learners than others. It was okay. I felt that our time could have been better spent if we hadn’t had to mix in with the Japanese class, but Amanda did note that it was good for the English learners to have to be understood by Americans other than us. Mostly it was just a bummer to not know about all of these unexpected circumstances in advance.

    That said, it really did feel like a pretty good day overall. One of our learners exchanged instagram info with one of the American students, which was sweet to see. Another bonded with his tablemates over Pokemon. One defended the Taylor Swift song when his American tablemates asked if he liked it and said that they did not. Like, stuff was happening. Today had some major pacing changes, both with our activity and the mixed class thing, and that seemed to be a generally positive thing.

    But hopefully everything goes as planned tomorrow. We’ve got some fun activities in mind, so a predictable location and schedule would be awesome. :)

    #12179
    Shelley Zansler
    Participant

    Site: ETC
    Lesson Title: Fashion show / You’re the tour guide
    Date of Class: Mar 13, 2020
    Time of Class: 8:15 AM
    MC: AmandaAdventurousTraveler
    DJ: ShelleySincereLearner
    Assistants/Shadowers/Auditioner:
    Module: Kindai Senshu Program
    How Many Learners: 7
    Materials Status (loyalty cards, alphabet sheets, etc):

    Self Evaluation

    Preparation: Forgot to Show Up (1) vs. Every Hair In Place (10) = 7
    Technique: Completely Incompetent (1) vs. Flawless Delivery (10) = 7
    Engagement: Snoring Loudly (1) vs. Absolutely Riveted (10) = 7
    Connection: Open Hostility (1) vs. Kumbayah (10) = 6
    Poise: Charlie Brown (1) vs. Prince (10) = 8
    Reflection: “It was ok.” (1) vs. Life-changing Epiphany (10) = 8

    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific): Today went really well. Logistically speaking, everything went as expected, which definitely helped in not feeling rushed or pressured.

    We started the class by doing a fast reverse yell and spell, since everyone knew each other’s names by now. Everyone did one typical yell and spell followed by a fast spelling of their name, which the whole group would fast-spell back. It went really well.

    Then we stood up and went through some clothing vocabulary. (e.g. “Point to ‘jeans.’ Point to ‘sweater.'”) That warmup activity felt just right in that it struck a balance between light movement, a little brain engagement, and interaction between learners. And it was an excellent prep for the fashion show activity!

    Amanda and I modeled the fashion show activity. I read the description Amanda wrote about her outfit as she modeled, and vice versa. The learners wrote their scripts with a little guidance. Then they practiced in pairs (with one group of three). The group of three really hammed it up, so they were great starters when it came time for the official fashion show. Some of the more reticent learners definitely got more comfortable after watching their classmates sell it. So fun.

    After a short break, we got everyone moving with the hero moves we had planned on using with the hero activity that ultimately got the axe. Then we did a role switch and had the learners take turns leading us as tour guides through the school. It was raining outside, but that school is huge, so there was plenty to look at. Some were more into it than others, but what can you do? Everyone participated and did a good job. We even got to watch a bit of a PE class and walk through the gym while students were having an open PE day.

    We finished up by running through the song, which definitely had some improvement, and asking everyone what their favorite ESL activity was. Singing the song, going to Fred Meyer, and trying candy were the top contenders. :)

    The only bummer about today was hearing that the sayonara party may be cancelled. This made saying goodbye to everyone a little weird. It was a very uncertain goodbye. I hope we work something out, though!

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