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Weekly Log

Weekly Log #6
Project Libertad weekly log #6
11/16 – Class Meeting #6
Adult ESL
7:00-8:00pm; 1 hour
Theme: in the House

Today was our last session of our 6 week class, our theme today was “in the house.” We only had two students show up for the final lesson, attendance seems to dwindle as the weeks go on, and this is something we’re curious to look further into.

We had students introduce themselves and tell us where they were in their house and what they did before class. Next, we went through five different slides, each with a photo of a room in a house, and the items labeled in the photo. After we viewed the photo and went over any unknown vocabulary to students, we had students share out. Each student share what they had in their corresponding room in the house, they used vocab on the slide, but also were encouraged to use vocab that was not listed. Then, we asked them about activities the do in each other the rooms. We repeated this for five rooms, which took some time, as our students needed some time to think about their rooms, and what items they had.

Next, we had a small preposition activity that required students to describe where items were in relationship to each other. For example “The lamp is between the door and the couch.” My co-teacher and I then asked the students questions like “Where is the book” or “where is the TV” and had students describe the location of the items in the room.

We then had students give us a tour of the room that they were in using their electronic device (both had cell phones). They used the camera to show up their room, and point out items in it. After we gave compliments about what we liked in their room.

Lastly, we just had some conversations about living spaces, rooms in a house, and household items. We discussed apartment living verse living in a house, which room in the house was our favorite and why, if we had a favorite household item, and what items were gifts to us, and what items would make good gifts for others.

It was nice have two students because it really gave them the chance to open up and talk. One particular student who I recognized from previous lessons was talking much more than she normally did. At the same time, it would be nice to have more students to engage in discussion and bring new ideas to the lesson as well.

Weekly Log #5
Project Libertad weekly log #5
11/9 – Class Meeting #5
Adult ESL
7:00-8:00pm; 1 hour
Theme: Food & Illness

Today’s theme for the lesson was food and sickness or illness and going to the doctors. I think they could’ve been split into two separate topics and lessons, but the lead teacher decided to combine them. First, we had the students introduce themselves with their names and then share something they ate today and how it tasted. Next, we just introduced food vocabulary by going over setting the table, what you could find on a bar menu, and different food tastes (spicy, bitter, sweet, etc.). We then briefly practiced how to order food at a restaurant. We made a Quizlet for the students, and share with them so that they could practice vocabulary on their own time.

Next, we discuss illnesses and doctors appointments. First, we went over symptoms, and how to describe how you are feeling when you are sick. We went over some common illnesses and their symptoms like stomach bug, cold, flu, etc. We also discussed Covid-10 symptoms and how they are similar and different from the cold/flu, since this is a topic relevant in our world currently.

 Next, we went over needs, and how to express what you need in order to get better. After, we had students practicing “calling in sick” to work. Most students, said that they usually text their boss when they are not feeling well, so we also discussed what to say in a text message to “call in sick.” Each student had a turn to practice calling in sick, but saying that they weren’t feeling good, needed to stay home.

Lastly, we discussed how to make a doctors appointment and explaining symptoms to a doctors, and going over questions that a doctor might ask. We also discuss making a doctor’s appointment for a child, and popular illness  or injury a child might get (strep throat, flu, whopping cough, etc.) since it is common for children to get sick at school, or have an injury playing sports. We ended class by briefly discussing the differences of calling the family doctor verse going to the emergency room or going to an urgent care. We had students share out their experiences at the doctors/hospital/urgent cares, only if they were comfortable.

Weekly Log #4
Project Libertad weekly log #4
11/2 – Class Meeting #4
Adult ESL
7:00-8:00pm; 1 hour
Theme: School

Today’s theme was to teach about school, vocabulary needed as parents of children in school, and to practice school related scenarios that may come up as parents. First, we had students introduce themselves and share something funny that happened to them the past week. Next, we refreshed some clothing vocabulary since a couple students wanted more clothing vocabulary from last class. We added some new terms, and ask students based on different pictures “What is ____ wearing” Students answered with “He is wearing ____ or She is wearing ______”

Next, we introduced school staff vocabulary and match the staff member with their job descriptions. We did a similar activity with school subjects, and matching with what students learn in each subject. My co-teacher led a fill-in-the-blank activity with students that used school related vocab words (school staff or school subjects).

After that, we had put together some key words and common phrases to practice with students. These included terms that you might see in a student’s IEP or 504 plan, or just be communicated from teacher to parent of vice versa. We did a grammatical exercise that required students to fill in the blank with either a noun or adjective but with a word from the same word family. Students were engaged in the grammatical exercise and asked questions about which language feature is correct to use and why.

We ran out of time to do a role play that involved discussing report cards. One students was going to act as the parent, and another as a teacher. The parent was to inquire why the student got the grades they did on their report card, what areas their children struggled in, and what the parent can do to help his/her child improve on next time. I think my co-teacher and I spent too much time on vocab and grammar drills that were unnecessary and we did not get time for this activity.

With the remainder of time, we had students pick a school-related scenario and either write and type out in the chart, or use spoken language and speak. For example, one scenarios students could pick, “You are having a parent teacher conference. Think of some questions to ask your child’s teacher.” We had some students share their ideas orally, but we also ran out of time, so we didn’t get to see everyone’s finished product. I hope that the students left this lesson feeling more confident communicating with school staff.

Weekly Log #3
Project Libertad weekly log #3
10/26 – Class Meeting #3
Adult ESL
7:00-8:00pm; 1 hour
Theme: Clothing & Appearance

Today’s theme for class was talking about people’s appearance using body parts vocabulary and clothing vocabulary. First we greeted the class, and asked the students to share their name and something fun they did before class. Next we introduced facial vocabulary, by having students point to vocabulary like parts of their head, parts of their face, and parts of their mouth. We followed with playing “Simon says”, and I would say “Simon says point to your nose” I would say without doing the action myself, to see if students could point to the vocab word on their own. We gave two students the turn to be Simon, and give directions to their peers.

When then moved into discussing hair color, eye color, and hairstyles. The co-teacher and I took turns introducing the vocabulary. Then we showed various images of people, and students took turns describing the people by using the vocabulary that we introduced.

Next, we introduced various clothing items vocabulary, and also share students a Quizlet set that we made for them. The co-teacher and I introduced vocabulary similarly to how we did with the other vocabulary. Then we showed various images of people, and students took turns describing the people by using the vocabulary that we introduced.

Next, we played a “guess who” game, and had different cartoon images. My co-teacher and I firist modeled the activity. I picked a person, and my co-teacher asked yes/no questions about the person appearances using vocabulary from class in order to find the person. Next, the students took turns guessing. We also gave students turns to pick the person, and have their peers ask them questions. The students seem to really enjoy this activity and had fun playing.

Last, we wrap up class with a family tree description. Students were tasked with picking someone on the family tree, and describing themselves by talking about the appearances of their family members, and then the class had to guess who the partner picked. This also was a fun activity that got the students talking. The only issue was that the image of the family tree was poor quality, which made it somewhat difficult to play, but we managed the best we could.  

This was no a lesson that I created, but rather a lesson that was created by the lead teacher. I think it was a little too heavy on the vocabulary, especially for my more advanced students, but the students did enjoy playing the guess who game!

Weekly Log #2
Project Libertad weekly log #2
10/19 – Class Meeting #2
Adult ESL
7:00-8:00pm; 1 hour
Theme: Professions

Today’s theme for the class was professions, once again we were supposed to have a more intermediate-advanced group but there seemed to be beginners who couldn’t answer introduction questions like “How are you?” and “How was your week.” I was more prepared to be flexible and was patient with the beginner learners who required scaffolding and L1 use. For the learners who more English proficiency, I asked them to elaborate on answers by asking them why their week was good, and asking them, what they did.  

We started by introducing various professions on Quizlet, but using online flashcards. Students repeated the vocabulary word, and then I showed them a picture and a job description of each profession. I think this was good for differentiation, because beginners have the picture to look at, but more advanced learners could read in English what each job does. In the future, I wish we could have made it a little more interactive for students.

We think introduced the verb “to be” with a profession by saying sentences like “I am a _____, you are a _______,” and so on.  We also explained the difference between using a/an and determined which professions we would us “an” with. This seem to give some students difficulty and something they wanted to practice more of.

After, we played a guess who game. We modeled the activity first, I picked a profession from the list, and my co-teacher asked my questions like “are you a _______” until he discovered what profession I was. We modeled language like “No I’m not a/an ______, guess again” or “ yes I’m a ______”. We had students take turns picking a profession and asking questions. I think this activity would of worked better being in person, and allowing students to work in pairs so that have more opportunity to use the language. It is hard being all in one meeting, and have to take turns speaking, I don’t think students are getting the chance to speak as much as they want. I am curious if there is a way to get more students involved and talking during class, or it is just something we have to adjust with being virtually. We are already in breakout rooms, and are not capable of breaking out further.

Overall, the students were eager to participate, and it seems like they had fun playing the guess who game. Since I am used to teaching middle school age students and younger, I wasn’t sure if adults would enjoy the games as much as the kids, but it seems like they do!

Weekly Log #1
Project Libertad weekly log #1
10/12 – Class Meeting #1
Adult ESL
7:00-8:00pm; 1 hour

Introductions:  First, we went over class rules. Then, we took turns introducing ourselves to the class. We only had three students in class, and were expecting a lot more. Through the introductions, we were able to learn more about students’ backgrounds and why they are interested in learning English. We also were able to assess students’ proficiency levels. We were supposed to have an intermediate/advanced group but it seemed that two of our learners were more between beginner and intermediate. This made me have to change my approach a little, because I was anticipating having advanced learners. I changed the way I spoke by speaking slower, and used simpler vocabulary, and checked for understanding more than I would have.

We also did some warm up activities that involved giving commands, like “stand up” “sit-down” and “point to your…” Students seem to understand the vocabulary well; however, when asked to come up with their own command or object to point at they did not willing volunteer. I think next time, instead of putting them on the spot, I could say “take 1 minute to come up with a command to share with the class”. It would be nice to also be able to work in partners, but given the context of our virtual meeting on Google Meets, I don’t think we will be able to do that.

Next, we talked about different animals, and said our favorite animal. I tried to encourage the more advanced speaker to give reasoning why his animal was his favorite, but he said he did not have one. Again, maybe if I gave him more time, and not put him on the spot, he would be more willing to try.

Finally, we used images in the PowerPoint and created sentences about what was happening in the image. For example, there was a girl crying so I gave an example sentence of “The girl with the orange hair is crying because she did not do well on her test.” We had students take turns sharing their sentences. We also put them in the chat for students to see. Next time, I think it would also be beneficial to ask students to use the chat, this way they can practice writing skills as well.

Overall, I learned that some teaching contexts really require flexibility, like this one. Most of my teaching experience has been in organized institutions like schools. This context is a free course, which means that we do not have much material to work with, our enrollment was very high, but students are not required to attend, making attendance very inconsistent. Also, like I mentioned I was expecting many more students, and all students to be at advanced proficiency level, instead we only had three students, with only one being advanced. Finally, I am teaching with a co-teacher, which is new and requires some patience. I noticed the co-teacher do things I normally wouldn’t have. The co-teacher also has not shown up to pre-lesson meetings, so we haven’t been able to collaborate much, which is frustrating, but also out of my control. Although, I did with the other groups’ teachers, we tried to adjust our groups to better place students into beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Going into next class, I know I will have to be flexible, provide more think time for students, and perhaps use the chat feature more.