Unfortunately my blog posts have disappeared again! Y'all know I had this problem earlier this summer and now it has returned. It happened right after I added in the new URL (www.earsl.org - ahhhhh! a real URL!!). So with good comes bad... but we will get through it!
Please be patient I will get the disappeared posts up but until then please look forward to enjoying the new video I made for the homepage (coming soon - mid next week at latest) and check out the new profile picture.
Thank you <3
I taught again this week (big surprise, I know).
Grades 3 and 4
Grades 6 and 10
So this year I am not going to do the pre- and post-tests. I know, cue to the shocked faces… I just feel like the results will be skewed. With all the overcrowded classes I have had, I can hardly say the lessons are at the maximum potential. My guess (and from the test I gave last week) I see that the scores will be uncharacteristically low due to the problem with the teaching environment. That said, I am happy to say that I am not too disappointed because I tested all the lessons last year quite thoroughly.
BUT WHAT ABOUT FEEDBACK?
Yes, what about feedback one may wonder.
I am doing a survey at the end of each lesson. I will ask four questions:
That’s all I got so far. I feel like this structure can be improved. I will let this roll around in my head and hopefully, I can come up with something better. I may be able to find something online or I may just ask one of my language teachers for help too.
Grades 3 and 4
This is easily one of the most successful classes. Last week no one showed up but on Tuesday 9 people came. My plan for the class was using a book full of past papers. Past papers are just what they sound like: O/L exams from the past years. I found a book at the book store with 10 years worth of exams. My initial plan was to somehow transcribe each activity in the book onto the blackboard. Sadly, writing on the blackboard is a slower process than what I initially imagined. On Tuesday I learned this (we wound up just doing some fill in the blank stuff with me reading aloud) but on Wednesday I was prepared! My father and I bought 10 extra of such workbooks and let the kids read off of them. There are about 17 kids but only 12 wound up coming. This is good because we wanted to have one book be shared by two kids.
To be fair a book is 250 rupees! I will not provide pictures in the book just because I am not sure the copyright involved with such a workbook. Honestly all the tests should be available online (I think) but it is worth getting them as convenient books especially because the cost of printing something in Sri Lanka is super inconvenient (you have to go to a print shop for printing or photocopying :P – believe me I know the experience, I always get my EARSL Reports printed at Dickwella’s cramped printing shop).
Anyway, the book Past Ten Years Papers & Answers (O/L) edition and is by the Sarala Education Book Publishers.
Until next time!
I hope this message actually shows up. I say this because...
I am having technical difficulties.
I have no idea what is going on but a bunch of my posts will not show up on the site. I will contact support staff ASAP but for now please hold tight :<
This is not really the best time for this to be happening because I am crazy stressed with teaching. Hehe. You would know if my posts showed up :P.
My goal is to have it all fixed in the next week -- at latest the next two weeks. I can always just re-upload every single post but that's a lot of work that I just don't have time for right now. If it comes to it I will -- you gotta do what you gotta do.
I hope this pic holds anyone over.
My cat's sassy face:
Grades 3 and 4
I wasn’t supposed to teach for a whole hour here but I did because the teacher would not let me go. Eh, I guess I should have been more forceful but trust me you do not want these teachers on your bad side – without them, I wouldn’t be able to control the class. That said I couldn’t teach grade 4 yesterday so I did it today instead. The lesson for both classes was an old classic: Animals and Colours. You just can’t go wrong with this lesson. Everyone always loves it!
For the third graders, I let the kids come up and draw the animals on the board– it worked out well last year but this year the drawing caused some serious chaos.
This one poor kid was trying to draw a lion (sadly he was no Picasso, but I mean who is?) and the class laughed and laughed at him. He took it quite well but the class took a while to settle down again.
I don’t know if I was just really tired yesterday but teaching felt really hard. I can’t explain it. It almost felt like the students were extra enthusiastic. I am hoping it will be better next week.
Today, grade four was basically the same but the drawings were on a different level. Check out the cow.
This was a small class. Which is a good thing because the teacher left me alone to teach them. Usually, a teacher stays but this year I guess I am on my own. I could control the kids (sort of) and it went well. It’s a very basic lesson – just review honestly. At least it should be review – but it seems somethings are new to the kids. The link below should take you to the page with all the Scholarship Material – the lesson is simple. I write each phrase then we break down the words and try to guess the meaning of the whole phrase. In the end, I give them the Sinhalese translation and they write both the phrase and the translation.
Grades 6 - 9...and 10
(2:30-3:30 and 3:30-4:30)
Don’t worry we managed. The lesson was just a brief one. I didn’t do a pretest or posttest as I usually do because there really wouldn’t have been a point as there wasn’t sufficient time for the kids to have learned the full lesson. The lesson was called Talking about People. We learned adjectives and titles of family members. The class was really rowdy. I don’t know why… I feel like they were better behaved last year.
To help with the disorderly conduct I decided to split the class up. 6th graders at 2:30 and 7th-9th graders at 3:30. Hopefully, the classroom environment will improve.
Oh, I forgot to mention! The 10th graders decided they really preferred to join the 6-9 grade class. Initially, I put the 10th graders with the 11th graders. I guess thus class is now the is now called the 6-10th-grade classes – this means the schedule now goes like this:
They didn’t show up! I don’t know if there was a communicating error or something but hehe no one came…
Better luck next week I guess – I will be sure to get the message out and around to everyone. However, if I am completely honest I don’t think any of the students really wanted to come which is too bad – this is just a hypothesis, I hope to be proven wrong.
The official schedule
11:00 – 3rd grade (Introduction to Scholarship Exam Material)
11:30 – 4th grade (Introduction to Scholarship Exam Material)
12:00 – I eat lunch and nap ;p
1:30 – 5th grade (Scholarship Exam Material)
2:30 – 6th grade
3:30 – 7-10th grade (Structured intermediate lessons)
4:30 – 11th grade (O/L exam practice)
Lesson links... (check out the new color scheme)
Scholarship Exam Material (grade 5)
Structured Lesson: Talking about people (grade 6-10)
I finally got a start on the grade 10/11 lessons. Honestly, I didn’t have to change that much with these lessons. Talking on the Phone, Talking to the Doctor, Talking to the Waiter, and Talking to a Tourist were all lessons that went from a 0% on the pretest to an 80-90%+ on the posttest. I can’t be more than happy with those. The rest needed little alteration as I did choose to add few more phrases to beef up the dialog here and there. Nothing I did sticks out as particularly significant :P.
However, I am doing one thing I believe will be a big change in the lessons – I used to have a few lessons focused on verbs and tenses. I am scrapping those. These are things they will learn in school and frankly, my structure is not as solid. All I mean is that my way of explaining may be a little confusing for them because I do not speak Sinhala well enough to lay out the complexity of English tenses. I am replacing the two lessons (Intro to Tenses and Finishing Tenses) with a dialog called Making plans. It will incorporate verbs of different tenses so the students can at least practice and review past, present, and future tense verbs.
In other news, I will be going to Sri Lanka soon!! Next month!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!! I am super excited; I love going back home <3.
Sadly right now I am stuck in the bog that is AP testing week. Honestly, I should be studying right now but I am posting this as a break to myself…
Until next time!
So, I did not actually end up getting anything done this month. I wanted to start on the grade 10/11 lessons. That sadly did not happen. Hey now, I am only human. I do however feel a bit disappointed. I feel like I am so close to being done but I just need to push through these final bits of revising. I have been busy lately too. I feel like my work with the West Side Story has reached an all-time high. It has been stressful and all that but I hope I can finish the year strong regardless. My grades are also in kind of a limbo right now.
My Spanish teacher describes my life as spinning plates. You take time to spin one plate and meanwhile another one starts to fall so you must run after that one and then another one falls and etc.…
So right now I am just running after plates. Hopefully I will have less plates to manage soon. Although, I doubt it considering AP testing season will start soon.
I hope to have more for you!
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I started on the intermediate set of lessons. It’s been okay so far. I completely got rid of In the Classroom. It had to be done! It is was way too easy. I added some different, more relevant activities to the Activities lesson. I am not going to lie, there is no real way to make editing vocabulary lists sound interesting. I miss the hands-on work so much. Don’t believe me? Check out my screen saver. It’s been this way since June. My friends always ask who the random kid on my phone is. I tell them he is my child (‘cuz let’s be real; they are all my kids <3); they get super confused haha.
Well in other news, school is kicking my butt and testing my will to go on. Jk. But really. Check out my BC calculus work key. The derivatives. Oh, the derivatives! I have been working on another mini-documentary. This time it is on a female math-genius at my school. It’s been fun getting to follow her around and film. I will definitely post the link when it is all done.
It’s the end of winter so it is slushy and gross outside – so I am more than happy to use my lessons as an excuse to stay in with my fireplace ablaze and laptop for company.
Until next time!
I am back!
I can’t get over how boring the posts are… I can’t wait for June when the teaching adventures start again! (I also can’t wait to get out of the snow!)
So what is going on so far?
I am now done with grades 3 and 4 lessons! We are moving on to fix the 6-9th-grade lessons. There are lessons that were too easy so I am either cutting them all together (example: In the Classroom was much too easy) or making them harder (example: Activities needed to step up).
--> Same link as the last post (the document has been updated).
As for me, I am starting the new year with a new goal: reduce my stress. I feel like I am consciously putting myself in stressful situations and I just want to take an effort to calm down more. Well, let’s see if I actually succeed.
(My cats are helping me chill. Don't they look crazy relaxed??)
Until next time!
Hi! I'm Samalya. When I'm not running about cramming for school I sit on my laptop and (attempt to) make a curriculum to improve spoken English in rural Sri Lanka!