Greetings from the Future Light Orphanage, FLO. We had a rocking party last night! The kids competed in several fun events: singing, drawing, dancing, and “individual” talents (such as doing a backbend so that the kid’s mouth landed perfectly next to a dragon fruit; he proceeded to take bite after bite until all the fruit was gone; then he bit it and stood up with the peel in his mouth. Yep, it was awesome! And my friend from the beach won a prize for dancing in the style of a Korean pop star; he nailed it! Boy, can that kid move.).
After the competition there was popcorn for every one and lots and lots of dancing. And oh, I got to be a judge in the contest. So much fun! When they introduced Sean, he started dancing. Then when my name was announced, I jumped up and started shaking to the music with Sean. The kids went wild! “There’s teacher rocking her socks off!” they said (or something like that in Khmer).
Today 100+ kids and some adults are heading to the water park. I’ve been told that it’s an injury attorney’s dream, as in lots of accidents could happen and they could make lots of dough. But since this is Cambodia, I expect the kids will be a little more in the “take care of yourself” mode. They also watch out for and help each other; it’s lovely to watch.
But last night and today’s activities are not the main points of today’s post (hmm, but they do have a play theme also . . . :~). I wanted to write about last Friday’s lessons.
Before I came to FLO, I had ideas about how I’d plan each week’s lessons. The first day of the week I would introduce the topic and grammar points. Perhaps one day would be a “story” day. One day a “game” day.
Friday could be a review day (a tip from Gerald, a teacher in Bangkok).
I also initially thought that I was going to sketch out my curriculum for the 8-weeks I’d be at FLO, as in what I wanted to cover. But as I thought about it more, I realized that the students had probably been taught “colors” a zillion times, “How are you?” a ka-gillion times, etc. (Last night at the party which Boo Rob–Rob Hail, founder of eGlobal—dreamed up for the FLO kids, I met an American man who’s been volunteering for the past 4-years at another orphanage in Cambodia. He says the kids are good at “volunteer-speak,” i.e. “How are you”,? “How many sisters and brothers do you have?”, etc. But not things like, “What did you do last Saturday?” So my gut feeling was on track. ; ~).
For these different reasons, I decided to wait and design my classes based on the Ss’ needs and weaknesses (keeping in mind the director’s request that I focus on speaking and writing). What I learned is that the Ss can write pretty well, but they almost never have an opportunity to speak (they’re not encouraged to speak in their state school). Bearing that in mind, my weekly outline for the older kids is as follows:
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays lessons are speaking focused. (after introducing a grammar point, or new vocabulary, etc.) Tuesdays and Thursday are writing focused.
It also became apparent that in the FLO culture, Fridays’ lessons were more game-based. Or, in one class they simply watch movies (whether they really are appropriate for kids or not). I decided to incorporate that philosophy into my weekly plan. Hence, Friday became “game” day.
This past Friday, I decided to show a Sesame Street DVD (Elmo’s World: jackets, hats, and shoes : ) in the two classes with younger children; they loved it! I wrote on the board the key words and also drew pictures of these items. Some of the more motivated students wrote all this down as they watched. I didn’t instruct them in any way really. I wanted to watch and see how they reacted. (Remember, I’m learning too.)
But for the older Ss, I wanted to do some activities that involved speaking more specifically focused on the past week’s theme (goals and dreams). “How to do that?” I thought. So I dreamed up a “game” for them, and it worked great!!!! I was so jazzed when they got into it and actually used the target language for specific points.
So . . . what follows is my lesson plan outline. I realize that my last entry might have made it seem like I haven’t been making lesson plans; I have been. I’m just not typing them into the CELTA-approved-form®; it’s just too time consuming for the moment. I’m using Word and organizing them by folders, i.e. week 1, week 2, etc.
And with that, SJ’s lesson plan for the two classes with older Ss this past Friday, August 19, 2011:
Aim: to review the marker sentences: I’d like to (work with computers). I want to (be a pilot). I don’t want to . . . I hope to . . . I’ll . . ., and the new vocabular from Thursday’s lesson.
Materials: marker pens, list of words to listen for, red card, flash cards of people (a simpler batch for Elem. level Ss)
I’d like to . . .
I want to . . .
I don’t want to . . .
I hope to . . .
I’ll learn . . .
There were/there are . . . ,
often (is this once? no),
sometimes (every day? no),
practically disappear (almost and mimed hiding)
when no one was looking
When she (awoke)
one day, lives on the mountatin top still,
I’d like to . . .
I’ll . . .
guide (tour guide)
I hope to . . .
My dream is to . . .
Game One: 3 Ss sit in the front of the class. They are given one of the *flashcards from Wednesday’s speaking lesson. There is a moderator (teacher for this lesson until they were familiar with the game) who asks them questions about themselves (based on the flashcard they received). They get a point for each time they use one of the phrases or word chunks used this week in a lesson. There will be two students assigned to “judge” the participants; their job is to listen for the phrase/word chunks. Each judge will have a list of the words to listen for. The score keepers will have a red card to hold up each time the student uses one of the phrases/word chunks. Note: I made to myself right after class. This game went really well! Especially with the Int. level Ss. At the end they loved asking me questions. But the Elem. level took a little longer to get it; it was good practice and all got a chance to speak. Rob stopped by during the second class and gave me two hats to give as prizes; they went to the boy and girl who really outshone the rest. It was cool that it naturally happened that the “judges” selected them.
Played this one game the entire time; it was a really good way to review “I’d like to, I hope to,” etc.
Game Two: Do what I say, not what I do.
Game Three: Knot Game
(These were back up games which we didn’t play. The previous weeks the Ss really loved game #2; it’s a variation of Simon Says and works well with older and more advanced Ss.)
And with that, I’ll sign off. Hope you’re all well and enjoying the end of August. Happy early Birthday to my friend, Deb.
p.s. lots of new photos to follow . . .
*Flash cards. One set came for a Pre-Intermediate Review book I have; the second set I created. They had a drawing of a male or female and gave basic information such as: occupation, whery they came from, where they lived, how many brothers and sisters (ut oh, that ubiquitous theme!). I went further and asked them to tell me what they liked to do. Some of my friends were in class this past week (in the second set of card I made). Who? Katie Beer, Bobby Downs (sorry for the misspelling Bobbee, but I didn’t want to confuse matters more than necessary : ), Jocelyne Champagne. : ) It was kind of fun to hear them say, “I’m so and so . . .”