Did a lesson with 1 Buck that I have not done with 1 Best, only because Wednesday was a holiday (for the installation of the new king) so I missed one double-period lesson with them.
I went a little bit off the text book for this activity. In the text book, students were supposed to write a very short letter in reply to a friend’s about their school timetable. I kind of doubled it into a lesson where they learned how to write an informal letter as well 🙂
I wrote my own letters for them (didn’t use the one in the text book, but it was basically the same concept). I actually sealed each letter individually, and wrote their names on the top, as if they were real letters! 😉
So, I started off the lesson by telling them that I had met the postman that morning. “The postman asked me, ‘Hey, you’re teaching 1 Bakti, right?’ and I answered, ‘Yeah, I am. Why?’ And he tells me ‘I have a bunch of letters for them, actually. Would you mind delivering these to them for me?'” So I gave out the letters to each student, and the boys were laughing, asking me, “Betul ke, Cikgu jumpa postman?” I just laughed and told them, “Yeah, why? You don’t believe me?” xD
It was quite fun to do, and they seemed to enjoy that “make-believe” part 😉
Then I got some of the students to read the letter out for us. The boy I called on, and the other two who volunteered, read the letter out pretty well, I must say! Quite good diction 🙂 So, their reading seems good, but their speaking skills need a little brushing up. They tend to speak to me in BM, though I insist on replying them in English. I try, at every opportunity, to encourage them to speak in English with me.
Anyway, then we worked on the parts of an informal letter: Sender’s Address, Date, Salutation, Introduction, Body and Sign-off. Then I made them underline all the prepositions of time that we had learned on Tuesday in the letter: before, after, at, by, on and in. This would draw their attention to how prepositions of time are properly used. And through that we kinda recapped what we did in class the other day. For example, when to use on and what does by mean when you say, “…by 7.10 am.”
After that, we went through the letter, paragraph by paragraph, and gave suggestions on how they can reply Hashim, their friend. I also suggested common courtesies, like “Thank you for your letter,” “I have safely received your letter,” “I hope you are doing well in your school,” etc.
In retrospect, maybe I should have called on a few students to ask for their suggestions on what they can reply Hashim on based on the letter.
Anyway, once we were done on that, we had more time than I had expected for them to start working on their letters already. I told them to quickly paste the letters in their Writing books, and to start writing the letter so that they can ask me any questions. I think I quite like this method, because it allows me to go around and talk to the students, see how they are doing, and allows them time to ask me any questions, about grammar, or vocabulary, or spelling. Which they do. I’ll try to make more time for this section in my next Writing classes. 😀
All in all, it was a rather simple class, really. No fancy videos, or use of LCD projectors and such. Sometimes, I prefer it that way. Although using ICT has its perks, in reality, it’s just too much of a hassle, sad to say 😦 And too many things can go wrong that will jeopardize your lesson plan. I’d rather do something really simple: just me and the kids and simple handouts that will ultimately also achieve the learning goal, albeit a little boring or dry. But sometimes, we have to stick to what guarantees success. Right? @.@
Hm, I guess that slip-up with the portable LCD has kinda made me cynical about using ICT in the classroom now. Still, I will keep trying and hopefully the kids may benefit from it, and not too many problems will arise. @.@
btw, here’s what I wore today! Something really special that many teachers and students complimented me on! :DDD
1. Handout 17A (Informal letter+Prepositions of Time)