There is an activity used to help everyone get to know each other at the beginning of the class, which I think is helpful and efficient for memorizing classmates' names. If I am the teacher, I would also consider it as a way to start the class. And if today I am in charge of a class formed by younger students, like cram school for young children, I would consider to make a little change on the game by dividing students into two groups and making a competition. At first everyone has to make a brief self introduction to the whole class and then the whole class is divided into two teams. The two team have to send one person to stand for his/her team each time and guess/memorize the characters (ex.name, hobbies...) of the other person who is in the opposite team. Every correct answer could win one point for his/her team. Everyone has to get on the stage and play for his/her team. The team with more points would win in the end. However, it's only my thoughts.

Veronica, I think that it's great that you are thinking of new ways to vary the activities you are exposed to. One thing to consider is how much practice time each student gets with your activity. Examine the amount of time the teacher talks and the amount of time each student speaks.

I am sorry I totally forgot to write my reflection and I will find some time to mend it.


Today we have a brief discussion about what we are going to present next week---a teaching demonstration of the story of three bears. The discussion seems to be a little difficult for my group members and me, for it is hard for us to imagine the way of teaching young kids. However, I do have a thought when this theme(the story of three bears) first come up to my sight. If I have to in charge of this by my self, I would design it as a labyrinth game. I remember when I was still a kid, I love labyrinth games so much and all kids have their own labyrinth games designed for one another to play. We would draw a complicated labyrinth on a paper with many steps to finish the whole labyrinth, and there are several directions/choices at each step for the player to choose. You need to succeed in all steps so that you can get to the final end. When I was kid I really found this game fascinating. Besides, I think mere acting would be a little too common for teaching. For these reasons, I wonder if I could make the whole story into a map, which children need to make choice about the key process of the story. For example, there could be three choice for the place the little girl is going to: forest, beach or park. And for teaching purpose, we can design meaningful questions like: There is a bowl of porridge on the desk, which the little girl says after she tastes it. A) it is too hot B) it is too short C) it is too slow.... By doing so, we can make student learn more vocabularies and how or where to use them without losing the interesting attraction provided by a story. However, it is only my personal thoughts and I also know that there is difficulty in practical usage. Still, I am looking forward to the result of our group discussion.



About the activity at the beginning of the class
At the beginning of the class, we have the "sending others sweet note" activity, which we all enjoy a lot because it is so sweet to give and to receive. I think the design of -it is really convenient, besides, there are so many colors of post-it for us to choose and looking at my colorful gains really makes me cheerful. After this activity is finished, I stick them on my text-book. And few days later, when I open my book in order to preview the lesson, I find those notes are still capable of bringing me good mood. I think the meaning of this activity is that it helps improve the relationship between classmate. Before this activity, I don't really get familiar with my classmates because I could meet most of them only at one class in a week. But after the interaction brought by this activity, I find they all are really nice people to get along with.

About the demonstration of teaching three bear

I think I do learn a lot from this simple teaching designing activity. For my group, considering the fun children could receive and their participation, we try to design this activity as an interactive activity. We want children to act out the story because we think children would be more interested and pay more attention if the actors on stage are their intimate classmates. Besides, three bear is a simple story which enables us to do so in limited time. Therefore, we design some props by hand-drawing and we put on colors thinking that colorful pictures can draw more attention. However, the practical demonstration turns out that there are some defects in our design. For children who act, we write their lines on the back of the picture, hoping they could just act by reading lines out. But we haven't consider that there is possibility our actor couldn't read or recognize some words. The other flaw is that we haven't made out the way how do we give actors instruction. Our demonstration dose not fail only because it is not real children who are acting but our classmates who already know the whole story. I am sure if our management does not change in practical demonstration, it must fail because children would not understand both what they and their instructors are doing. In conclusion, I think what we primarily fail is that we didn't really put our students as young child into consideration. We don't figure out the appropriate way to talk with or to treat young children. All those our consideration and plan are for adults, or at least not so young children. If there is another chance, I definitely will change all my plan by adding more interactions and body language.


What I learn today is that whatever I should design for teaching and whoever I do so for, I should always pay attention on the time controll of my designing. I should reduce my own time and save ir for my student to have more opportunity to practice. Also, I learn that it is truly exhausted trying to think up a way to make one's own teaching perfect. When my partner and I try to think up a solution, there will always be a defect. Designing for teaching is not an easy job.

For homework:
I pick the job of designing an activity to teach simple present tense and the other one for explaining simple present tense (He uses, It serves)
Prepare for the homework(the presentation with Lily
We almost finish it : )


Today we have a lot of presentation of everyone's own creative teaching and I think this opportunity is really important and needs to be cherished, for it is a chance for we to practice our knowledge and check our ability before making mistake or confronting problems in reality. Besides, watching our classmates' ideas not only provides us some good suggestions to use but offers a mirror to see clearly our own defects. And I find that everyone has his or her merits for me to pay attention to. Some of them have prepared their presentation really well, which is perfectly designed after the healthy suggestion( the procedure of the teaching) of textbook, while others have good performance when teaching. I myself have to practice my courage to speak on stage or in front of many people more. If not, I would unconsciously avoid eye contact, or speak not only fast but in small voice. From the experience today, I found teaching is not so easy as only a preparation of a class, but also the real situation when you execute your idea. I think it's still hard for me to react appropriately to unexpected situations or the reaction of students.


We have test today. I think this quiz is not too hard to answer. Before quiz there are also some presentation and I really like Alice's one. I think she really has great talents in teaching young children, for she could bahave and talk just like a child. Also, she seems not to be nervous at all but really confident and has arranged her presentation really well. I think the most fascinating part of her presentation is that it is a detective game, a little bit like RPG in my opinions. And we all like riddles and finding answers. This discovery makes me reconsider my original thoughts about teaching. I suddenly realize that I need to pay more attention on the interests or delight my teaching could offer for participants. And then I think about the tutor student I now have and our class, which is taught completely by grammar translation. Therefore, I make up my mind to make some change. I take some time design my own teaching game and then buy some material to produce the props. It takes me nearly two days to finish my design. Finally, I have my own "English monopoly game" for my student and my class!


This is what I've learned these weeks and I believe it's also the best one : )


This week we have the discussion about the quiz, and then we go back to the course. The most impressive thing I learn today is the multiple choices of teaching materials we can use. For example, I found the use of interesting pictures with description which we discuss in class today really fascinating. Were I student I would feel this kind of course design attractive and also easy to learn. This urges me to think about more posibilities of the text in stead of only a regulated formal book, which I think is the most common situation of education in Taiwan. However, sometimes there would be a dillema between interesting text and the learning effect. For example, I don't think it is appropriate to use such interesting pictures to teach high school students who have pressure of the big exam in order to get into a college, for the knowledge a picture (or several pictures) could offer is comparatively less than what a formal text book could offer. Therefore, it puzzles me whether we could find a compromising way between these two extremes. For me, I think to make a text book interesting is much more important to finding other interesting materials instead. Though, I can't deny that some interesting teaching materials are helpful, too.


This week we also have the activity for the same purpose of learning to design an ideal course by using the material we choose. I bring "the Melancholy Death of the Oyster Boy", my favorite comic by Tim Buroton to class. I prefer this comic because its sad story about a very "different" boy and the unjust treatment he received from his dear parents. I think this issue is particular important and is related to the lives of my students, for most of they may have or once had uncommon classmates and therefore maybe they would feel interested in this issue. I hope my students could learn the concept of endurance. Howevr, it is my ignorance that I forget to consider about the difficulty of the vocabularies in the comic, and so it is an obvious mistake that I want to use this comic to teach junior high school students. I find that maybe senior students would fit much more. Next time I certainly would not make this mistake any more.


This week I find something interesting and surprising. Few weeks ago I designed my own teaching game and I have applied it for my teaching for several classes (for senior high student). And I find the result really amazing! Before the invention of the game, I alway use the same serious way to teach my class (similar to grammar translation), and my students sometimes can't concentrate on the textbook and my voice. Also, my student is not an active learner for he doesn't really like English. However, after using the game in class, I find he becomes more energetic and has more wills to learn. Besides, the game forces him to memorize vocabularies or grammar immediately, so he could save a lot of time to review after class. I'm really satisfied with my work, and now I decide to add more different elemets into my game (like different priscription or punishment, and also some reward). It's so happy to see my way works out :D!


I choose the alien game to teach present simple tense, which is retrieved from the book "Elementary Grammer Games". My target students are set to be junior high students. This is an intereting game I think. It's kind of like a role play game: The whole class is divided into several groups with 8 people in each one. Evey group would get a set of cards and evey group member would get two cards that are different from other members'. There would be a planet card, which records the identity of the student and his information (students pretend that they all are aliens and live on some exotic planets), and an inhabitant card, on which a picture of eccentric look alien is drawn and by which students need to figure out that the strange visitor they receive is of what planet. My goal is to teach the use of present tense, that is, to express a truth or fact, or a normal status. I would arrange the game before I teach the grammar. However, I would teach some sentence pattern for using in the game. (Ex. I get an alien. Where does it come from? Does it have heads and __ legs?) I would also write down those sentence on the board. Through practicing the dialogue using present tense sentence, students need to find out all the names of the planets in that space and the identity of their aliens. Also, to correct the teaching, I would do a brief demo to show the class how to play the game before they start their own. However, I probably would consider to reduce the part of alien to make sure that the course could be completed in time. After the game, I would teach the grammar. That's all my idea about this teaching material.


Nearly all the classes I remembered in the whole month were used to prepare our final teaching presentation. Zhuang-Xin, Lily and I spent a lot of time on this final presentation. First, we spent much time on deciding the text we are going to use and identifying the students we want to teach. After discussion, we chose a lesson from the high school textbook which was used by my tutor student. And so, our target student would be senior high school students. Because we want to design our course into a normal form which may truly happen in real high school class in Taiwan, we abandon those interesting teaching styles, like English songs or some interesting but irrelevant to texbook teaching materials, insteand, we would rather focus on the contents of the textbook. The lesson we chose is about The Phantom of The Opera. Our teaching targets would include vocabularies, grammars, sentences from the text and much ingagement as possible. But to design our class both practically and interesting really exaust us. Because high school students, expecially those of Taiwan, have heavy pressures of the upcoming entrance exam to an ideal university, they can't enjoy a quite interesting class however helps little in improving their English. And for us, even after a long discussion, we found that it's too hard to design a class without eliminating either the interesting side or the practical side.

However, after more than three meetings( which are hard to accomplish for Zhuang-Xin and Lily are all busy :D) and discussion, the result of our discussion was born: