Identifying and selecting aims, reflection and discovery activities

  • I use the teacher’s book to get some ideas for the lessons aims, but not all of them because each group, each course is different.

I enjoy discovering aims during the lesson by listening to my students and finding out what they know and need to learn; experience helps predicting alot but each time us teachers get something new form our students.

Sometimes is good to share personal aims with the class if the situation is the right one, e.g. to explain why choosing the beatles over guns and roses while picking up a band to listen to their songs (the beatles have a very clear voice and easy vocabulary to follow along with an harmonic rhythm while guns and roses have lots of slang, the leader’s voice is confusing and the bit is just to fast to follow for begginers).

  • The last lesson I taught consisted of aims from my coursebook  as well as a personal one. They both matched the group needs.

My main aim was to follow a model in a role play activity to report a missing person.

My subsidiary aim was to practice personal information and embedded questions vocabulary.

Now that I just received the coursebook I wrote the reflection and discovery activities after working in class:

  • The main and subsidiary aims of the last lesson I gave were taken from the coursebook; although I had to adjust it a little since I consider its level is a bit more difficult for the students in this school. But I had personal aims as well to consider.From this activity, I though of several things to keep in mind while choosing working with the coursebook:
    -Make sure you have all the aids and required materials as well as equipment prepared ahead, really.
    -Consider that each group is different, so one might be able to cover all the main, subsidiary and personal aims at the right timing, following the stages, and making use of the anticipated problems with their solutions and specially attention to procedures because it can take a quick or a long time to give clear instructions with the different groups.

    • From the last class:

    -Main aim: Students will learn everyday greeting expressions.
    -Subsidiary aim: Students will learn how to say these greetings: Hello, Good-bye, Hi, boy (s), girl (s) and these actions: listen, say, point to, trace, match, pat on the shoulder.
    -Personal aim: Try to bring materials to class before the English lesson starts.
    -Materials: Class CD, Activity workbook page 6, Fact Book pages 3 and 4.
    -Stage aims:
    To start: Introduce your self to the rest of the class. Sing a song with “hello and good-bye “words, use the puppets, present the coursebook to the class; greet studetns individually and make them practice this role-play with puppets by some pairs.

    To develop: Play cd track 1, pause and repeat with the students.
    In teams pat a student shoulder and say boy, girl; the rest of the class will say: hello and good-bye using their hands and acting out. Girls stand up and say: hello boys; and viceversa with the boys.
    Divide the class into teams and ask them to collect several objects from theirs members and place them on the teacher’s desk. Mix the objects (pencils, notebooks, sweaters, etc) and ask teams to stand in line in front of the desk. Explain to the members they have to select and object and guess if it belongs to a boy or a girl, and if they make a mistake, the team member has to sit down. The team with the most sudetns standing wins.

    To finish: Write on the board: “simon says” Explain to students it’s a game. Say the next words:
    -Tap girls on the shoulder, tap boys on the shoulder
    -Hello boys, Hello girls.
    -Good-bye boys, good-bye girls
    Use mime to explain meaning of these words to students. Say “Simon says” : tap girls on the shoulder, mime to show what the y have to do, by tapping a girl on the shoulder. Encourage students to follow. Try again, say “Simon Says” girls say: “Hello boys” and encourage them to do so. Then viceversa. Do it quickly to make it fun!

    • For the next class to give:

    -Main aim: Experience everyday greeting expressions.
    -Materials: Class cd track 32, Activity Book page 7, Fact book CD2, track 32 page 4 cards.
    -Subsidiary aim: Students will remember and  practice vocabulary from last class. New vocabulary: fold, work in pairs, and choose.
    -Personal aim: Consider making puppets as a project, since the students loved them.
    -Stage aims:
    To start: Write on the board: Hello and good-bye. Open fact book to page 4 and point at the drawings; ask students to identify pictures by saying outloud: Hello and good-bye. Ask them to use their hands and mimic to indicate if it’s hello or good-bye. Play CD track 32 Hello good-bye and mimic these actions.Play it again and pause it after every sentence and making students repeat in chorus.

    To develop: Ask students to open their Activity book on page 7. Exercise 3 and trace the words. Ask students to match the words to the pictures on the right column. Point at each picture and students say outloud if the answer is Girl, Hello, Good bye or Boy. Play a memory game and cover each picture with your hand and ask students to identify it.  Say listen, play track cd hello good bye song (track 2), play it again and pause after each sentence; encourage students to sing along. Play it again and ask students to sing along and try  to mime for hello and good bye. Ask students to hug  their classmatesand excahnge cards.

    To finish: Explain students they will practice greeting each other (using hello and goodbye) by playing with cards.

    • Can they be improved in anyway? Absolutelly! Must of the activities are all in a PPP format; and I agree it works well with a large group, but my experience after these lessons is telling me I need to change the plan into a TBL one in the procedures  as much as I can; bring in more material to the classroom and try to change the interaction patterns since I only see whole class and pairs work.
    • From the web link
    I found interesting tips in freer practice, use of a coursebook, methodology, technology and activities; in my case that I really would like to change the PPP to TBL procedures, keeping in mind my groups are very large, and I need to bring materials and equipment into the classroom.

  • To finish I’d like to share some photos from an activity we did with milk boxes in first grade before receiving the coursebooks this november, I hope you can comment about it, thanks!recycle milk box first grade nov 2012
    recycle milk box first grade nov 2012 II

    recycle milk box first grade nov 2012 III

My stage aims were:

-To practice deduce meaning from context

-To use information to predcit possible content

-To get students actively involved

-To put students in pairs (by practicing the role-play)

My personal aim was to manage timing with my talkative teeangers versus the annoyed adults.

As for the next class:

The main aim is to report a missing person with a gap-fill activity which will incorporate the last class vocabulary

The subsidiary aim is to practice last class vocabulary and to speak outloud this role play.

The stage aims are:

-to practice deducing meaning from context (with the previous role play)

-to check student’s understanding and activate language (by completing the role play in the gap-filling and acting out).

My personal aim is to bring real articles of real missing people since the students asked for it.

  • All these aims can be improved with high tech tools such as a cannon but sometimes is not available; I could prepare more varied activities for my students when I noticed they enjoy doing them (or avoid the ones they don’t enjoy).

*About the readings they ask us to do in the TKT coursebook  I must say  I search for the internet ones; not the ones in books because I don’t have the books and most of the times if I find them online, there’s nothing but the summary or comments on the author.



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