Hall Elementary – Winter 2014

Forums Past Tense Journal (Classroom Log) Hall Elementary – Winter 2014

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  • #689
    WebMaestrex
    Keymaster

    Copy the text below and paste into a comment, then fill it out!

    Date of Class:
    Day of Class:
    MC:
    DJ:
    Assistants:
    Module:
    How Many Learners:
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):

    #710
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 1/27/2014
    Day of Class: Monday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: Sheila
    Assistants: N/A
    Module: Money
    How Many Learners: 10
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    Wow! Well, we didn’t get off without a hitch, unfortunately, but we did get everything done that we set out to do! Todd’s van overheated on the way there, so I had to call my mom to get a ride. I was a little late, but Sheila was there to help me out, and Laura was a big help as well.

    We started with 1 student, and quickly grew to a total of 10. Everyone was responsive and looked engaged, and we had quite a few people back from last term. Despite the hitches, I think things went pretty well, but I definitely need to be better prepared next time.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 6 months ago by Jacob Gerke.
    #747
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 01/29/2014
    Day of Class: Wednesday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: N/A
    Assistants: Joshua
    Module: Measurement
    How Many Learners: 9
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    Got there 25 minutes early – a big plus over Monday. Talked with Laura, met up with Joshua, made sure they got introduced.

    I did my best to keep Joshua engaged while also engaging newcomers – we did have a couple of new faces in tonight’s class. Unfortunately, I did wind up with two unbalanced tables… I wasn’t sure who to move to best balance them, and other things kept coming up in my mind, though that should have been foremost. But, I think everyone had fun, there was LOTS of laughter, and I feel like it was a pretty good class overall.

    #765
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 02/03/2014
    Day of Class: Monday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: N/A
    Assistants: N/A
    Module: Money
    How Many Learners: 15 (!)
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    Wow! What an evening! F came about 10 minutes early, and for a moment, I thought he might be the only one… but I made use of the time! I asked him a little about himself, and found out that he has been practicing his English at work, because he does support for a nursing home. Before that, he worked at a place with a bunch of other Spanish speakers, so he has only been recently practicing his English.

    But, within 15 minutes of class starting, we had a packed house! I did my best to support the newcomers, while not leaving anyone else out… that is very difficult when you’re by yourself! I still could have done a better job of moving people around to get that ideal placement, but obviously that’s always a work in progress.

    There was a lot of laughter today, again, because when I do “this is an apple,” I tend to do a very accentuated slapping of my forehead when I say “ohhh, an apple!” and people will mime this sometimes and laugh. But one of my students asked me if she had to do it, too, and I decided that yes, for today, everyone has to do this as part of the activity. Everyone laughed just about every time they did it, because they were doing it about as over the top as I was. Pretty great class overall.

    #772
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 02/05/14
    Day of Class: Wednesday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: N/A
    Assistants: N/A
    Module: Measurement
    How Many Learners: 11
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    Pretty good class today. I could feel a cold coming on during last night’s class, but I don’t think it impacted things too much.

    I tried a new activity today – I had been dictating works and phrases themed on time, and I had shown pictures of things like clocks and watches to the class. So, with the last ten minutes, I had everyone stand up, and I had one person look at the clock, and I asked him to show me 7 o’clock with his hands. He pointed one hand up and one to his right. I got everyone else to do the same thing.

    It’s kind of like listen and do, but a little different. I had people show me 12 o’clock, 6:30, 1 o’clock, and so on. They all seemed to get a kick out of it. This is something I’ll be using again, I think.

    #973
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 2/12/14
    Day of Class: Wednesday
    MC: Joshua
    DJ: Jacob
    Assistants: N/A
    Module: Measurement
    How Many Learners: 4
    Score: 21
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    Joshua taught his first class! We also welcomed a new student R, today, so lots of new things happening. I feel like Joshua did very well, and we had a very nice chat after the class happened.

    I’m still a little shaky being DJ, because I don’t have as much experience with it, and because of past issues with taking control of a class. But we had no power struggle issues; Joshua asked for some advice, and I gave it, specifically with when to move on to the next part of the lesson. Joshua was very helpful with our new student as well, who is a bit lower level than the others.

    I noticed that we got to the end of what Joshua had written down for his lesson plan with about 15 minutes left, and he ended up making up some sentences, having people say them out loud and write them down as well. I don’t know if Joshua did all of these off the top of his head (I should have asked!), but I was impressed with how he handled that. We ended right on time! Solid class.

    #1319
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 02/19/2014
    Day of Class: Wednesday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: N/A
    Assistants: N/A
    Module: Measurement
    How Many Learners: 12
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):

    Nice big class today! I was struggling to come up with the theme for my lesson, and then I decided on “speed,” and it worked out really well. I introduced the concept of “miles per hour,” and applied it in phrases to different things. Usain Bolt (fastest man alive), the Bugatti Veyron (fastest car alive), and more mundane things like speed limits.

    I’ve been trying out using TPR to break up the monotony of writing and dialogue practice; trying to keep the energy of the class up, rather than saving it for the end. I think it worked pretty well, but honestly, I’m not entirely sure how to gauge if it’s better in the middle or at the end. Regardless, everyone had fun!

    #1328
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 2/24/2014
    Day of Class: Monday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: N/A
    Assistants: N/A
    Module: Money
    How Many Learners: 18 (!!)
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    Wow! This class just keeps growing and growing! Of 18 people, we only had two who were brand new, but 4 who were “new” in one sense of the word. A had come to classes last term, but this was her first one this term. R had come to the very first class, but none until tonight. Then we had J and D who had never been to our classes before… I think they had a lot of fun, and I hope they come back! J seems to be very good at reading and writing, so I’d really love to position him as an assistant to the lower level learners.

    But the class itself… we started with just 5, and quickly grew to about 14 or so. I squished 9 people to one table for a brief moment… and then I realized that, for the first time since I’d been there, we were actually going to need a third table. It’s a good thing I did this… because they just kept coming! I think the last people showed up around 6:30, but I wasn’t doing a very good job of watching the time (I had plenty of reasons!).

    I did run into a bit of an issue early on, as well, besides the students… one woman’s 4 or 5 year old granddaughter didn’t want to be with the other children, so she came into the library with the other students. This is fine, but she also was a bit shy and didn’t want to stand with her grandmother at first. So, she went over to a bench (there’s a long bench and lots of books on the north side of the library) and stood there, staring at the class. I really wasn’t sure what to do here. I acknowledged her as much as I could, but she didn’t say anything; I asked her grandmother to ask her to come stand next to her, still nothing. So, I let her be while keeping an eye on her. Eventually, I remembered that there are tons of crayons in little bins on other tables, so I offered her some crayons and paper, and she drew for awhile. Then, I suppose when she felt more comfortable, she went and stood with her grandmother for the rest of the class.

    It’s pretty tough keeping 18 people engaged by yourself… I encouraged interaction between students as much as possible, using dialogues and “this is an apple!” as well as TPR… there was quite a bit of laughter in this class! I keep saying that… but it’s true! I think that’s a good thing.

    #1344
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 02/26/2014
    Day of Class: Wednesday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: N/A
    Assistants: N/A
    Module: Measurement
    How Many Learners: 13
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    I was trying to think, last week, of what I should talk about today, something we measure that I hadn’t talked about yet… and I decided on age. I dictated things like youth, elder, young, old, and I looked up who the oldest woman ever was – a French woman who lived to be 122. I ran that as a dialogue (who was the oldest person that ever lived?), and then dictated the months, and asked people when their birthdays were. People oohed and aahed that I was born in ’87… really?

    #1345
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 03/03/2014
    Day of Class: Monday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: N/A
    Assistants: Ruby
    Module: Shopping
    How Many Learners: 13
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    Ruby is really nice! She came early enough that I was able to ask her about her experience with the program thus far, and tell her a little bit about what we were going to do that day. She seemed very comfortable helping out at one of the tables, letting people know when they got it, and assisting when it was needed.

    We did some basic activities; I handed around a book and had people ask each other how much it cost. I did “this is an apple” with pictures of things like cashiers and registers, and then ended with some TPR involving paying with cash and entering your PIN.

    #1356
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 03/05/2014
    Day of Class: Wednesday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: N/A
    Assistants: N/A
    Module: Maps & Addresses
    How Many Learners: 8
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    Smaller class than usual. The weather outside is pretty awful, so I blame that. The energy level was also a bit low among the learners who came… so I did my best to add what I could. I dictated some location descriptions (across from, between, next to) and some examples (M is between J and L) and had them practice that. Then, I did cardinal directions, cardinal numbers, and some more difficult cardinal number examples (22nd, 101st, 54th, etc).

    Finally, and this is probably one of my favorite activities, I had them write down “turn left,” “turn right,” “go forward,” “stop,” and “turn around.” I asked one student to stand away from his chair, and I directed him back to it. I then went around and did this a few more times, having one person directing someone else back to his or her chair… one thing that amuses me, is how people always understand the necessity for a stop command, to keep them from running into a chair or a table… this is a concept that, in other contexts (such as programming) can be very difficult to understand. That ended the class.

    #1380
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 03/10/2014
    Day of Class: Monday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: N/A
    Assistants: Ruby
    Module: Shopping
    How Many Learners: 16
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    Nice big class today! It was a bit of a slow start, with only 4 people coming on time, but we definitely filled out the tables quickly!

    I brought a ton of materials, fliers, brochures, coupons, and I passed them around after some dictation. Then I had everyone write and practice a dialogue where they ordered Chinese takeout off a menu I brought in. One of the students said she wished I had gone over ordering a pizza instead, and that we should do that next class… unfortunately there won’t be a next class! Not until April… But it’s definitely a great idea to consider!

    #1390
    Jacob Gerke
    Spectator

    Date of Class: 03/12/2014
    Day of Class: Wednesday
    MC: Jacob
    DJ: N/A
    Assistants: N/A
    Module: Maps & Addresses
    How Many Learners: 11
    Score:
    What happened (as short or as long as you like, but be specific):
    I did a silent class today. I did one for a couple of reasons: I think they’re fun, I think they challenge me, I think they’re amusing for the students, and because I’m sick. I wanted to see if it would help for me to use my voice less, because I tend to rely on it to control a classroom.

    The class found this amusing, but also confusing, and a little frustrating. I had a fully prepared lesson plan, but the transitions weren’t 100% perfect, and I think I showed a little frustration myself. There was a lot of laughter at first, but the mood got a little more serious at times, too.

    Around 5-10 minutes til the end of class, some of the students were saying that because I couldn’t speak, and because it was the last class, we should all just go home. I asked them to wait a few more minutes (with a whiteboard), and then I wrote “thank you” on my whiteboard, signed it with my hand, and then said it. Everyone groaned, and one person told me she didn’t like the class because she felt like she didn’t learn much (and because I lied about not being able to speak). Another said she enjoyed practicing sign language. Yet another told me that the Chinese kids I was leaving to teach would be lucky to have me. Lots of mixed messages this evening; however, I think revealing the secret probably wasn’t the best idea.

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