Tag Archive: Week 9


Day #45 – 4 May 2012

Nervous and excited for today—because Dr. Melor was coming to observe me for the second time! @.@

It was really good timing. Even if she wasn’t coming, I had something a little special planned for today’s lesson with 1 Buck ๐Ÿ™‚ And I was really looking forward to it! So when Dr. said she wanted to come, I quickly suggested Friday! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was a speaking lesson. Dr. hadn’t arrived yet, so I decided to start off first. I asked a pair of volunteers to first just read the dialogue from the text book on page 85. Boring, I know. But I wanted them to have an idea of how a “Making Enquiries” dialogue is like, which is what we would be learning today ๐Ÿ˜€

Then I gave them handoutsย to fill in. We’d analyze the dialogue together to extract information on how these two participants in the textbook dialogue asked for, and gave information about a product, specifically a second-hand one. I had already given them the main headings that would provide the structure for their dialogue:

1. Introduction

2. Age

3. Make

4. Price

5. Other details

The rough outline would help them structure their dialogue. I gave them space of course to write down different ways of asking for the above information. For example, they would write “How old is it?” and “How long have you had it?” under their “Age” heading, and “What make is it?” or “What model is it?” under the “Make” heading. Ultimately, at the end of it, they would have different ways of asking for each section. We would have discussed different ways of asking for the information and I wrote them on the board for them to copy into their handouts.

Then we did the same for the “Giving information” section. At this point, Dr. suddenly arrived, and the class was suddenly very quiet. @.@ Anyway, I wrote down all the different responses, just to expose them to different ways of responding to questions ๐Ÿ™‚

Then I divided the class into two—one group to focus on asking for information, and the other to give information. Then I called on the first pair to try it out. They were quite good! Granted, they were referring a lot to the handouts and reading from the textbook, but at least they were speaking and they knew what to do ๐Ÿ˜€ Then I let the first pair call for the second pair, and the second pair for the third and so on. I think they secretly enjoyed “getting” at their friends! xD

I had too much time on my hands, so I made as many pairs try it out as possible. At this point, I felt that the lesson was getting a little bit draggy and repetitive, but then again, it would also be a good thing for as many students as possible to try out asking and giving information about the products from the textbook as well. I wanted to hear as many of them speak as possible. So, it was a plus point as well. Though it felt a little boring by now :/ But I was holding out on the best part—the last activity! ๐Ÿ˜€

I stuck a laminated picture of a white iPad on the board and told the students that whoever could ask me information about the iPad, meaning, carry on a conversation with me the best or most fluently/confidently, would win a prize! I even asked Dr. Melor to help me pick out the winner ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, the boys were enthusiastic to try! They actually “called” me and talked to me, asking me information about the iPad. Ezzul tried first, followed by Raymond, Idzral and Hamzah. I have to say, all did a rather good job! They were quite spontaneous, and came up with some good questions to ask that weren’t in the handouts, and were quite witty too! ๐Ÿ˜€ All of us actually had a good laugh together—it was fun! ๐Ÿ˜›

But at the end of it, we had to pick a winner. Actually, I was leaning towards Ezzul, because I think he asked me many more questions. But the class felt Hamzah was better, and Dr. Melor chose him as well. So I gave him a couple of marshmallows and the “iPad”! xD

Yup, he actually got an “iPad” from me—a SPECIAL one too! ๐Ÿ˜€ I think the class enjoyed that, it was funny, but at the same time, I think he secretly liked it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Had a good class with them, although some of the boys were a little noisy at the back during the dialogue presentations. :/ I think for 1 Best I’ll maintain this, no changes. Because maybe having a longer second activity might benefit them since there are more of them, so I can get more of them to participate. And they are slightly weaker, so I can allow them to refer to their handouts when speaking. But I’ll try to make a note to tell them not to refer tooย much ๐Ÿ™‚

I received good comments from Dr. Her only comment was that during the second activity they seemed more to be reading from the handouts than actually speaking, and so final activity was a good one because they were really able to try speaking spontaneously while still making use of the input that we had discussed earlier. She said that it was “well done” and those were “well-chosen activities that encouraged students to speak”, and all my objectives were achieved! So it was all GOOD ๐Ÿ˜€ Yay!

Anyway, gave Dr. our decision—to accept the A- that she’s giving us. I think I am already very grateful for this grade, grateful for Dr., just very grateful. And I think trying for the A will open me up to risks that I might regret too much taking later if I don’t do well, plus, open me up to a lot of unnecessary stress. I just want to enjoy the rest of my practicum and focus on the completion of my thesis. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m more than halfway there! Just a couple more weeks to the 2-week mid-year holidays, then another month before we’ll finally taste FREEDOM! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

p.s: Here’s how happy I look about my observations being done with! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

p.p.s: I forgot to take a photo with Dr. again! ARGHHHHHH~ And I remember she was wearing this lovely black long gown with gold trimmings that she’d bought from Mecca. It was really beautiful and she looked beautiful in it! Oh, how I wished I had a photo of us together then ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Sighhhhh~

 

Handout(s):

1. Handout 23Aย (Making Enquiries)

Day #44 – 3 May 2012

I wasn’t really looking forward to today’s lesson with 1 Buck, somehow.

It was a lesson on Flipping Fantastic, which I’d done with 1 Best like, aaaaages ago! And it was rather boring, I must say. Maybe I should’ve tried to make it more interesting, but somehow, for me, “interesting” means that it will take up more time, and that is exactly what I don’t have.

This short story will be coming out for their mid-year exams so, although I can rest easy with 1 Best and just focus on revision lessons, I have to rush with 1 Buck to finish teaching this short story. Thankfully, by next week I can finish the short story, but there won’t be enough practice for the exam, I’m afraid. With 1 Best, I can have lessons teaching themย howย to write about themes and characters. With 1 Buck, I may not have that luxury. The least I can do is give them model essays to copy at home, and hopefully that may help them with their exams. :/

Anyway, lesson today was the same one I did with 1 Best. I went through the picture notes with them to ensure that they really understood the story, and worked on whatever unfamiliar vocabulary there was in the story as well. Then I made them try the Plot exercise, which was not as easy as it seems. They actually had trouble with it, one that I did not remember 1 Best having. Hm :/

After that, we moved on to Characters and characterization. They had some trouble trying to come up with the characteristics themselves, and kept giving me answers like “twin brothers” for similar characteristics. I had to explain that that wasn’t really what I was looking for, but rather characteristics that spoke of theirย character like, “loving” and “caring” and “helpful” etc. So I had to give them examples, yet they struggled to give me the right keywords. Somehow, we were not really on the same wavelength today. :/

Anyway, once they were done with the handouts, I just gave them a final handout for them to copy the synopsis into their books because I did not want to waste time doing it in class. So it was their homework for the week ๐Ÿ™‚ I gave them time till next Tuesday to do it—aren’t I generous? ๐Ÿ˜›

btw, Dr will be coming to observe me in 1 Buck tomorrow with my speaking class, so I informed them today that she would be coming. All I asked from them, I told them, was their kind cooperation. And of course, to respect me and the visitor we would be having in the class by greeting her, “Good morning, Dr.”

Honestly, I’m a little nervous for tomorrow. I’m so afraid I might mess up somehow, or that something might happen. Maybe it reallyย isย a good thing when your supervisor gives you a surprise visit instead of a pre-planned one. Because now, I’m a little antsy about it. @.@ But I don’t want to do anything tooย spectacular. I want to do something that Iย wouldย have done, even if Dr were not coming, andย haveย been doing all this while. Only then will it be a real measure of whether what I am doing in class is right. ๐Ÿ˜€

I read this today, in the Bible, and it is pretty reassuring:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 6-7)

So God, I’m requesting that You be with me tomorrow as I carry out my lesson. Help me to be honest and sincere in my teaching, and to just give my best to my students; for You, and for Dr. ๐Ÿ™‚ Amen.

p.s: I have made my decision about whether to go for the A grade or not, which I will be informing Dr. of tomorrow when she comes to observe me. Let me hold on to it till then! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I didn’t get to carry out my lesson with 1 Best today! >.<

All the students were involved in a programme by the Student Affairs Unit called “Indahnya Menjadi Gadis dan Teruna”. The boys and the girls went to separate locations to be “talked to” by the male and female teachers respectively. I didn’t join them though. I was waiting patiently in the staff room for them to finish because my lesson was during that time!

I had two periods with 1 Best today, and according to the programme schedule, it would only take up one period of my time. Unfortunately, I had a bad feeling that that wouldn’t be all.

True enough, although the girls came back at about 9.00 am with half an hour to spare, the boys only came back when my time with them was up. So I could not carry out my lesson. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Instead, I went round the class and checked their work from last Monday. It seems that many of them were confused with my instructions. I can’t really understand why, though. I had repeated myself hoarse during class on Monday, and when I asked if there were any questions, they said there were none! @.@ How was I to know that they didn’t really get m? :/

Anyway, all I wanted from them was to 1) write one paragraph on theme, 2) write one paragraph on their favourite character, and 3) copy the model essays from a handout I’d given them. For 1) and 2), I had already discussed the points with them in class. All they had to do was string them together by making full and proper sentences, and maybe add linking words if they could. That was all. Yet, they were confused. I’m not too sure about what, exactly >.<

So, that’s what I did–went round to help the girls, one by one. The boys came in too late for me to do the same, but once again, I explained myself. Hopefully it sticks, this time round.

Anyway, Dr. Melor dropped by school today to observe Sun for her class. She could’ve come in for mine, if only the programme did not affect my class! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Managed to talk to her before she left. She told us that we were potential A-grade students, but she was offering us the decision to make. If we wanted to aim for the A, she would have to come and observe us one more time to confirm it, and another TESL lecturer from the Faculty would come by to observe us in the final four weeks of our practicum. Their decision would override Dr’s and would also be final. How scary is that?! @.@

There are pros and cons to it, and it is certainly a huge risk. At this point, I thought I was sure about accepting whatever Dr. wanted to give me. But now I’m not so sure. :/ It’s a really tough decision, but at least I have till Friday to think about it. Maybe I’ll sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning. Pray for me though. I am very afraid. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
p.s: Helped with the Choir again today because they are performing at the launch of the Sekolah Hijau next Monday. Hope they do well without me being there for practice tomorrow and Friday! @.@

btw, Look what I got from one of my students today! :DDDDD

Day #42 – 30 Apr 2012

Had a long assembly again today—it was the launching of the Anti-Dadah Month at the school level. There was the officiating ceremony by the Principal, and there was a 5-minute info-bite by Mr. Thina, and there was even a short quiz on drugs and its consequences.

Because of all that, we had to follow the alternative Monday schedule. So my lesson with 1 Best was cut short by 10 minutes. Which isn’t too bad, I guess :/

I knew today’s lesson was a little dull and boring. Which is really unfortunate, but honestly, I didn’t know how to make it any more interesting. See, it’s a revision lesson on the short story Flipping Fantastic by Jane Langford. I’d already done themes and moral values, characters and plot and the synopsis of the story as well, almost about a month ago! But since their mid-year exams were coming up, I wanted to do a revision lesson on themes and characters.

It’s not just enough toย knowย the themes and characters, they had to also write about it.

So I planned a double-period lesson to teach them to write about one theme from the short story, and also about a character that they like from the story.

What I did with them was first, select a main idea to focus on. Say, the first theme of the story, about being independent. Then to discuss with them and get examples from them that portrayed the main idea of being independent in the short story, and to write them down in point form first, as notes. I did it with them, together, on the board, while they copied the notes into their Literature books.

Then I taught them to check each idea they came up with, to check if it is related to the main idea. Then the next step was to arrange the ideas so there’s a flow to it: from the general to more specific examples. Then the writing part would be much simpler; it involves just stringing together all these ideas to make one paragraph. I think I would leave out the linking words—it was a little too much for them to handle at the moment! @.@

I didn’t expect that they would take so long to copy the notes from the board. And I think I was going a little too fast—one of the boys actually told me that they were a little dizzy because I was going too fast. Oops. @.@ But thankfully, they told me. I appreciate that. I told them that, the next time I was going too fast or something, to let me know. Because I wouldn’t! If they let me know, I’d slow down for them, no problem ๐Ÿ™‚

In my initial lesson plan, after they had copied down the notes, I was supposed to spend 15 minutes helping them write the short paragraph based on those notes. But it seems that there wasn’t enough time! I had to move on to the next topic: a character that they like. So, I did the same thing: Focused on one character, then brought forward examples from the text about their characteristics. For example, James is brave because he stood up in front of a whole audience to say his line during the school play, etc. After they’d copied down all the notes, which again, took quite some time, I didn’t have time to help them write the short paragraph again! @.@

So, they had to write, now in total, two paragraphs in their Literature books—one on themes, and the other on one a character they like. But also, I had wanted them to copy the model essays (4 of them, which I had prepared) into their Literature books as well, so that they would have something to refer to before the exams.

Now, in retrospect, I didn’t have to be in such a rush, did I? I think I could have just given them the model essays to copy next week, and let 1 Buck do them first! @.@ Sigh. Now the poor things have too much homework, and I do feel a little guilty about it >.<

Now, because of my mistake, they’d most likely copy the essay from the model ones and not really attempt to write one on their own based on the notes we had come up with! Sigh. I guess I won’t penalize them for that; that was my own fault :/

Anyway, like I said, a rather boring lesson. And they seemed a little lethargic today too. Oh well, tomorrow is a public holiday, so I hope they get some rest, and for me as well, since I have a TON of work to do! @.@

(I just realized that I have about 2 weeks to complete the draft of my thesis, and I am waayyyyyy behind! ARGH!)

Off to the library now! ๐Ÿ˜€