How to plan a lesson
In public schools, or when teaching with other teachers it is usually necessary to have some neat lesson plans.
However, so far I have hardly met a lesson that went like plan~ and I find it much more important to be able to adjust to the kid's mood than pulling through a plan I have thought out.
So, now I make it very simple:
I sit down (usually on Mondays) and check all my classes' last lessons. Then I write down what I think of doing in this week's lesson, very very roughly.
When is your birthday practice
BM put on your ...for review. (race)
Pre: Do you like WINTERSPORTS?!
HW...T's birthday is in Feburary, etc. 覚える
When is your birthday//When is his/her birthday?
with correct answer, BM can put on one clothes: say "BM put on your..."
What's your favorite winter sport? Play charades >>next week!
Every day I take a few minutes after class to add notes, erase what I didn't do, or copy it somewhere else with a note when to do it.
(e.g. the ">>next week" means, I didn't manage to do this topic this class, but the kids have already prepared for it, so I will do it first next week.
In the beginning I used to write down some games for each topic as well, but now those activities just come to my mind any time, so I don't need to write out and decide the games in detail.
If I want to try something new, or if it goes beyond GE, the notes get a bit longer:
Write about me 続き
（use puppet and make a sport gesture; students have to guess by asking: Did you go ...ing?)
What do you think of this> check HW do song and continue the topic
Baby Dinosaur, what did you do?
reading; I bet I can
What do you think of this?
I think it's ...write comment to each other.
add new words and make word dictionary.
what did you do? race(RPS)
charades: did you ...?Yes/No
or here another class:
FROG and TED reading
find solution to "What if ..."in the book.
e.g. What if he got lost in the woods>>Toad gets a torch
create similar story:
without the clock part and without the "What if " part
winter sport: I like + noun>>ski is no noun so you add ing
be verb same:
What are you doing? I am ...
ask each other, "What are you doing?"
Then next round, determine one lier. Everyone has to change the question to: what is she doing?
combined with jeopardy:
I like/I don't like
I am/ I am not
Do you like / Are you?
"Olaf goes snowboarding:
Who is Olaf.
That's basically all I do for lesson planning. So, summing it up:
5 minutes per class to write down what I did that lesson, how it was and what I set for HW.
5-10 minutes per class to write down, what I am going to do the next lesson.
How about printing and worksheets?
Not much really! I do usually not use any. They are my last tool, if I feel really sick and have no energy to teach, which may happen once or twice a year.
I do print the evaluation sheets especially for kindergarten and 1st grade.
So, these classes you can add an extra 2 minutes for prep time, to choose the page you need and print it.
I print the workbook in 3-4 turns. About 30 pages each time.
I file it neatly. then again I don't have to think about it for a couple of months.
Printing and filing for 8 students takes about an hour. The printer does most of it, just make sure you are around, do something else in between that needs to be done.
(I have my classes in my house, so I can prepare dinner or clean the bathtub!!!LOL)
How do I manage my time
I've had lot's of questions over the time, by teachers around the globe.
"How do you...?" questions!
Mom's of my students tell me I am Doraemon, or I am having 3 bodies.
Well, no! And I don't even feel half as busy as you would describe. I also don't think there is much thinking about "time management"~at least I have never read a book about it or studied about time management.
No philosophy of getting up early or working at night or what so ever.
So, this is all what it's not!
Maybe it is all natural; I really can't tell you the magic. But I can tell you practically what and how I do certain things.
And I've decided to put up a series of different topics, that I think are important if you have your own English school.
So, today, let me start with a very very basic, often asked question:
Q: How much time do you spend on preparing you lessons? Time for printing and making materials!
A: This and a computer with the GE software is basically all I need:
Of course making all these cards I spent a bit of time, but nothing beyond possible.
If you can make some time in a row where you don't have any lessons, get enough ink (especially yellow!!! The GE English cards cry for yellow, and you'll keep running out of it!!!), paper and laminate film and a cutter if possible.
Start with the first topic and just go through the whole curriculum printing all of the mini cards. Depending on class size, I'd even print double sets~ and for several I even printed 4 sets, as you can play interesting games.
Do NOT think! which topic to print or wether you will use it or not. Just print them ALL!
You can do the printing while cleaning or working on your lesson plans or what so ever. ( I know people say double tasking isn't good, but in my experience it depends and sometimes it is very helpful to be able to do several things at once!)
Then do the cutting, then the laminating and again the cutting.
Get pouches (those you can see through! as otherwise you will not find what you just want during your classes)
put each topic into a pouch and write the topic on it.
For later (this is no hurry!) you might copy other material for the same topic. Then you can just add those into the pouches. For example Domino cards or Uno cards, etc.
Now~ I can hear some saying "but there are so many topics and so much to print"
I did the ones on the photos about 3, 4 years ago, when my own 3 kids were still much smaller and needed me. Also then, I had a 11 hour job at public school in the mornings and my own school at home in the afternoon. But it was possible, and no stress at all. The stress is THINKING ABOUT IT!
If you just do it, it is no problem at all.
If you still have trouble starting, you can even get someone to help you.
Students: Kids love doing things like this, and kids love helping out, especially if they see the things used afterwards.
Moms: Moms are usually also happy if they can help!
Or some Highschool kids from around; pay them a fair amount~ the time it saves you will pay you back double of what it cost you!
In the first years using Ge I made little by little, but I ended up not knowing which topics I had, double made some or didn't have those I just needed. Get things done at once, and there won't be anything to worry about anymore.
OK, topic will be continued!
If you have questions in between, please do ask!
Virtual Field Trip to Antarcitca
WE DID IT!!!
I am so happy to tell you, that we made it. I took my class on a virtual field trip to Antarctica last Saturday.
I had been excited for months, and though I had done a testing with penguin researcher Jean Pennycook, a few days in advance, I still was a bit nervous, wether we really would see the penguins.
I tell you, it was sooooo beautiful.
Please watch some of the photos and a short video clip on my Japanese blog.
Unfortunately there was one single problem with the sound from our side to Jean. She couldn't hear us.
So we improved and sent her the questions we had per message tool.
We are so happy we had this chance. And Jean's explanations were so easy and clear. The penguins were so beautiful.
These days we can see a lot of things on TV or even on you tube. There is information everywhere we go. But this one was REAL. We felt as a part of it, and not just as observers.
Most of the students were young elementary school teachers, a few teenagers, one researcher.
Non of us had ever really thought about Antarctica.
And though some of us have the penguin as a favorite animal, we didn't really know about them.
This has changed.
Now I am proud to say that my school is connected to 6 continents.