I've had requests to share my classroom goals on the English Blog as well.
I happily do so, and it would be great to get some feed back or goals you have for your classes or school year, down there in the comments!
So, the school year doesn'T change in September; it is just a new term. However I've had my performance in July and of course this brings new goals and ideas!
And by the way, HERE are the videos of all the plays we did this year.
So, as for goals:
3,4 year olds~still a step away from asking "What does THAT mean?" "What are you saying?" I will shower with as much understandable input as possible. So, just little steps into new topics, but lots of stories, drawings, games, skits and activities for them that they can follow easily.
5 year olds and 6 year olds will practice different situations of "like" introduce and practice "have", talking about family and as it is going to be their first Halloween, we'll create some monsters using lots of language for review.
6 year olds will also start with GE phonics from today and will get through the first 2 books.
7,8 year olds, I have some class strategies to practice, as they are getting a bit aware of mistakes and try to avoid them~.So, get them out of their comfort zone. Finish Phonics up to qu.
Have them do some extensive shopping skits and hopefully for them their first video letters. Who is interested???
8, 9 year olds did a good job with "The Little Red Riding Hood". We have about 10 topics left from GE to finish, so, going on here, little by little we will apply their knowledge to every day situations and link topics together. I will do regular speaking tests and "question battles". I am also going to teach social studies (Where are you from/N=W=E=S).
The older group is going to finish their phonics. The younger one will get as far as Alternative readings.
And last, 10 year olds, who played Goldilocks: Group A here is already into Leveled Readers and each kid on a different Level borrows books every week. So I am focusing on each single kid and want to encourage them to go on so that they grade up at least 2 levels. In class we do comprehensive reading and use those topics for discussion, so the main job for this class is probably to find some interesting great material.
We also write regular diaries. And I am working on a system to get them writing creatively while also encouraging correctness. This is difficult for me, especially as Japanese sentence structures are so different from English, but so far, with the help of GE it seems to work.
Lots of linking topics and mini presentations. Hopefully more skype again.
Which again is work out of the classroom, to think of some great activities or topics to give them for skype. I want it to be something between the kids, with almost NO TEACHER involved (I want to stay in the back of the class or next room and just go in between if the technical system collapsed.) It should be fun, communicative and educative.
So, these are my goals. How about you, what are your goals? And any ideas welcome!
Finally, after two weeks, here you go: A 10 minutes video of my 2 days summer camp.
I wrote a detailed diary on the Japanese Blog, so there are a few fotos, too. But I am very happy with the outcome of the video. Take the time and enjoy 10 minutes of happy smiles. (They lasted full 2 days, not only 10 minutes!)
I think this says more than words~anyway, just in short:
It was AMAZING~the kids were so great, the teachers were so wonderful!
As the camp was next to Lake Biwa, the biggest lake in Japan, and water provider for Shiga, Kyoto and other parts of Kansai area, of course Lake Biwa was a main topic, as you can see.
Takayuki Hashimoto, the swimming instructor, is a professional swimmer, and I am amazed at how naturally and joyfully he taught each of the kids,wether they were able to swim or not. There are a few kids who hate swimming and one boy actually was going to school late every summer for 5 years, because they had swimming class. So it was a pleasure for me to watch these kids, enjoying the water most of all.
He came a long way from Amagasaki, and he stayed the whole day, not only for the swimming part. I am very very grateful and I learned so much as far as instruction is concerned.
I did have some minor trouble with the institution. They had some weird rules, and the problem was that many of those rules were in their head but had not been communicated. So a few times without warning some elder community guy screams at me not to do this or that. Thanks god they screamed at me and not the kids. Well, and I can't really complain as it was very cheap.
As far as English class is concerned I am happy I held this event for two reasons:
Spending two full days and the night with the kids (27), showed me a completely different side of them, I learned so much more about each of them and I know even better now who to look after in certain ways.
Being with the kids in a natural situation of "living" together, in a situation where it is not the focus to teach new structures or words, I was able to notice what is missing in my curriculum. What more they need, to be able to say what they want.
Are you holding kids camps? What is your focus? What do you notice every time?