Lesson Title: Describing American candy
Date of Class: Mar 12, 2020
Time of Class: 8:30 AM
Module: Kindai Senshu Program
How Many Learners: 7
Materials Status (loyalty cards, alphabet sheets, etc):
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. :)