Here are the latest pictures from NELP.
Here, the 8th Period NELP students in my Independent Studies class are working on our Yumeji Art Museum Project. They are helping to translate parts of the Yumeji Art Museum website.
One of my junior high first graders had this picture ...
Here, two first graders are pausing in their work in our special projects class.
In these pictures, the first graders are making a presentation for their parents.
And finally, here is a picture of a couple of high school second grade students fighting in class!
Here's a picture of me. The high school first grade students were reading a story in our Totally True textbook about a guy with a long mustache, so the students took turns using the Smartboard to give me a makeover. Unfortunately, I'm so humiliated by their outrageous suggestions that I cannot publish the results here! So instead, here's the 'unmarked' picture of Mark.
投稿者 nelp : 09:43
Tuesday is our day for speaking activities. The speaking activities are related to the topics and themes we read about in our reading classes, and the kinds of activities can take many forms.
We give class presentations (in front of the whole class). In their reading packet, students will generally have their choice of three topics: easy, intermediate and advanced, and students can choose which they'd like to do. Easy topics are often directly related to the reading, and often involve personal experiences, a presentation of research, or other factual kinds of presentation. Intermediate topics often require the student to give opinions about something and support those opinions. Advanced topics generally require students to attempt a persuasive or analytical presentation on a deeper level. Each presentation is followed by a review by the class. I ask the students two questions: "What was good about this presentation?" and "How could this presentation have been better?" Sometimes I ask the student who gave the presentation, and sometimes I ask the class. I generally follow with my own comments.
We sometimes give small group presentations. Again, students generally have a choice of easy, intermediate and advanced topics. The students sit in small groups, and one by one they present. After each presentation, the other students in the group ask the presenter questions about their presentation. Students receive two grades: one for presenting and one for asking questions.
We sometimes do class discussions, where I ask the whole class questions and try to get students to talk about their feelings. In their reading packet, students will be given a list of questions to think about, or points to discuss.
We also do small group discussions where students answer a questions in a small group. Again, students will have a list of questions to answer or points to discuss to guide them, but are encouraged to move beyond those questions as their discussion progresses.
We also do class debates. Students will be given their choice of sides on an issue, and students can individually choose which side to join. Students are given points to consider, and are asked to support their opinions in class.
We also do team debates. There are generally two sides: red and blue. Students are assigned to a team. They are generally given time to discuss their topic and strategy. Then we set the teams at tables facing one another. The teams are encouraged to think about and respond to points made by the other team. I moderate these to keep them orderly.
On Tuesday, the first grade class had a class debate on shyness and whether shyness was 'good' or 'bad'. I asked students to think about positive and negative aspects of being shy or outgoing, and I asked students whether we should try to change shy people, or help them to be more outgoing. Unfortunately, although the students had a great deal of fun with the topic and we laughed a lot during that class, I'm afraid we really didn't make much progress on the topic itself. However, it was a good introduction to the concept of class debate ... except that the students all agreed with one another ...
The second grade class had a class discussion about rising food prices and poverty. I put them in groups of two, had them discuss the questions on their list, and then switched groups every three minutes. I encouraged students to: give opinions about what the other person said, ask questions about what they said, and challenge them on what they said. It was an EXTREMELY productive class. They talked A LOT! What really made me happy was that communication wasn't one way. They were actually engaging one another in CONVERSATION. By stressing the part about listening and response, it was elevated from students taking turns giving opinions, and became actual conversations! I'm very pleased with the results. They all did marvelously!
The third grade also had a class discussion. Their class discussion was about a father who smashed his daughter's cell phone because she ran up more than $4,000 (US) in charges by sending nearly 10,000 text messages during a single month while she was at school, dropping her grades from As and Bs to Ds and Fs. Again, I switched groups every three minutes, and the students did marvelously.
In switching groups, my 'group cards' are working very well. Rather than having group 1, 2 or 3, or group A, B or C, on the advice of a colleague, I use a non-hierarchical system of colors and shapes. I have five shapes: circle, triangle, square, heart and star. I have six colors: red, green, blue, yellow, magenta and cyan. This allows me to make a wide variety of group types, and to mix and match. For example, I had four groups of two, so I set up a system so that each round, each student would be with a new partner, and at the end of the seventh round, they would have been paired with each of the other seven students in the class.
I'm going to be trying to build my students' conversation skills a lot more from now on.
投稿者 nelp : 09:12
Last Saturday, two of my students participated in the Okayama Preliminary for the Prince Takamado Trophy All Japan Inter-Middle School English Oratorical Contest. I'm happy to say that one of my third grade students got third place and one of my second grade students got first. Two students who aren't in my class but who I helped to coach also won prizes in the recitation contest. They all worked very, very hard and I'm really proud of all of them!
This week, the first grade students read an article about fashions, focusing particularly on 17th and 18th century fashions. On Tuesday, they made presentations about unusual fashions. The excerpt was from the excellent textbook "Grammar Sense" by Oxford.
The second grade students read an excerpt from the excellent book "The Blue and the Gray" by Henry Steele Commager. The article was called "The Blue and The Gray Fraternize on the Picket Line" and was written by Alexander Hunter. It describes an incident during the US Civil War in which enemy troops peacefully traded tobacco for sugar and coffee. We then had a discussion about war and peace, and how the US Civil War changed the way wars are fought.
The third grade students read an article I wrote about the Mausoleum of Theodoric. This building was built nearly 1500 years ago, and it's puzzle-like interlocking pieces are held together by the 300 ton dome that acts as the keystone to the structure. Magnificent engineering, and quite a puzzle how they got that dome all the way from Croatia to Ravenna, Italy.
The third grade students made presentations about unusual buildings, including the Washington Monument, Sydney Opera House and the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima.
Next week, the first grade students will read an article about Social Anxiety Disorder, the second graders will read an article about rising food prices and increasing poverty, and the third graders will read an article about a father who smashed his daughter's cell phone with a hammer because she ran up a $4,000 dollar phone bill in a single month by sending over 10,000 text messages.
The first graders finished their special project on their prequel book for The Cave, and luckily finished it on Parents' Day so that some of the visiting parents got to see the powerpoint presentation they did.
Our next project will be a video documentary about Seishin. The students will each narrate one section that will talk about an unusual place in the school, and as we go from place to place, the students will introduce the school.
Later I will upload the most recent photos, which include suggestions that my high school first grade class made for giving me a makeover!
投稿者 nelp : 20:32