You know that scene in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice where Jane says, “Oh Lizzie, it is such a pleasure to run my own home.”?
I have been feeling that this week. It is such a pleasure to run my own classroom. Each day I have a solid hour with 10 to 20 eight year olds. I have the freedom to teach how and what I want: this way I can immediately monitor what students need and what needs to be reviewed. These kiddos are eating up material fast so I’m happy to start introducing new concepts.
Today I touched on plurals using -S as Korean doesn’t specify between plural and singular objects. I also started challenging the students at the end of class with different question structures:
What does this animal say? What color is it? Do you have a dog? Of course they struggled a little bit, but this is good: counting and greetings have become easy to them and I want to push them to understand different ideas.
We started with ABC review via song and a modified Stand Up game. In the next round I expanded into trivia. Then I played an easy telephone game: student one asked student two, “How are you?”. Student two would respond with one of our six “I’m ….” answers and then ask student three, “How are you?”. This ensured that everyone spoke and that they practiced question-answer format since they needed reminding to answer “How are you?” with an answer and not repeat the question. My MO for games is to explain a little but demonstrate with two students. Physical cues are so underrated. It’s really amazing how fast they catch on with little to no Korean. In fact, it seems translation really slows down the whole process.
In a game I saw in an adult ESL class video, I modified it for the younger kids: two would stand back to back (or farther apart to prevent potential virus spread) and each would show a number using their fingers. On “ready set GO” the two students turned towards each other and said the number on the opposite person’s hand. They really enjoyed this and I did this one team at a time; my original plan was to allow them to do it individually but they were engaged and usually need monitoring so team by team was better. And, the other teams could watch and conspire with me.
At this point we still had fifteen minutes to I reviewed the “Hello how are you” song which I learned years ago from my time with VIPKID.
Then I pulled out my ABC phonics cards which I made yesterday. We went through the whole alphabet and I started to introduce colors, plurals, and different sentence frames. I think I’ll start with “What do you see? I see a….” tomorrow. I know from personal experience being taught a new grammar point is like opening the door to a room you didn’t know existed. The potential for what you can say expands exponentially.