Author Topic: High School ALTs up-to-summer-planning  (Read 1208 times)

Josiah

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High School ALTs up-to-summer-planning
« on: April 16, 2012, 02:19:56 PM »
Hayhayyy,

So the new school year is underway, but for those of us who came in August it may seem a bit like living in the Twilight Zone... or at least it does for me. It was just 6 months ago I was doing lessons based around introductions and introducing my country, etc. and now we're using them all over again. It's cool that I've got all of my previous handouts and lessons organized but I was wondering if other high school teachers could chime in and write a bit about what their plans are to make it up to summer holiday?

Will you be reusing much of your material? focusing on making a lot of new stuff? do you have a set plan as to when to introduce new things?
In the previous school year I kind of just made things at random and there was no method to the madness. Unless a teacher specifically said, "I want you to make a lesson about ______" I just thought something up and made it work.

I've got close to 20 lessons that I've made myself but there's no flow to them. I'd appreciate reading what other, more seasoned HS teachers have to say and also what other newbies plans are for tackling the new year. I'm trying a lot harder to be more organized.

thanks.

p.s if anyone else is up for it, (esp first years) I'm down to meet up sometime in the coming weeks for coffee/dinner so we can exchange lessons plans and/or syllabus. It's easy to just download off the site, but I think it's easier to explain things in person.

Yamanashi PA

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Re: High School ALTs up-to-summer-planning
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 02:29:30 PM »
I've been looking at a new site (new to me) called englishforeveryone.org

It seems to have good worksheets and most topics have three levels. 

As far as intro lessons go I just make my kids guess everything from my age to my hometown to my first job (hobbies, favorite yada yada yada), in English of course.  It got them talking and we usually had a good time. 

mattclough

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Re: High School ALTs up-to-summer-planning
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 02:32:31 PM »
I'd be down for meeting up.  Until now I had been thinking I'd just work through the textbook starting at the beginning, but now I'm thinking it might not make a difference, and I might as well just redo all my old lessons that are tried and true and let my successor do everything else.

OxO

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Re: High School ALTs up-to-summer-planning
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 02:45:46 PM »
Oddly I've been told just what topic to teach for all my lessons up to summer (all 3 of 'em...). Its not something I've done before. Its all on a similar topic with the first two being learning stuff and the third the students giving speaches.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 02:51:43 PM by OxO »
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The Notorious M.I.G.

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Re: High School ALTs up-to-summer-planning
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 02:53:41 PM »
I believe that this time in my first year, I reused everything I had done for the previous six months. The result was that I had an easy time of it now but it was a bitch come August because not only had i used up ALL my material but I had also gotten out of the way of planning things so I was out of practice and it was just like starting all over again.

Obviously, some lessons are worth reusing as they are necessary or more useful than others - things like self introduction, directions, comparatives, likes and dislikes, etc - but other than that I would try and plan it out better.

I would take the new year to make your own sort of mini curriculum. What I mean by this is take lessons that you think work well together and group them.

An example of a way I did this is that I taught them Directions, Times, Numbers and Money, and how to make travel arrangements (buying tickets, etc). I taught them in that order too I think. Once they knew all those 4 things then I had a review lesson where we looked at all of the key elements of each lesson and then as a way to test them, I had them roleplay it out.

For the roleplay, I put them in teams of 4s and the idea was that it was two people travelling and they had to ask for directions to the station and then get a bus/train to wherever they wanted to go.
Person 1 and 2 were travellin together, person 3 was a stranger on the street and person 4 was a ticket salesman.
Person 1 asked person 3 for directions and then person 2 bought tickets from person 4.

I told them all that this was the plan from the start, so they knew we had a goal in mind. I think it was good because it was as close to a real situation as you can really achieve in a class and it also showed them how each lesson was relevant.

I have done similar things with self intros and likes and dislikes and then with Families and describing people. I find the more your lessons can be intertwined the better. If everything just seems random then it makes less sense to the kids.

What I am doing from now until the summer is along these lines too - though I only have 2 lessons of two periods each with each class due to my schedule and the school schedule.

For 1nensei, we are doing self intro and interviewing people. So the goal is that they will be able to introduce themselves, then ask each other more specific questions and summarise the answers.

For 2nensei, we are starting with self introductions and then giving directions. They are not very linked but it allows me to have a conversation exam with them at the end where they meet me, introduce themselves and then I ask them how to get somewhere. While this is contrived, it is not an entirely inconceivable scenario.

Sorry if that was long/rambley but i hope it helps a bit.
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mattclough

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Re: High School ALTs up-to-summer-planning
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 03:04:13 PM »
That is actually quite helpful.  Luckily I did all those lessons last year.  Thanks Miguel.

Josiah

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Re: High School ALTs up-to-summer-planning
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 03:12:49 PM »
Since my students operate at such a low level, what I'm pitching as my mini-curriculum today basically involves reusing a lot of my material but also expanding on it and stretching it out a bit. I'm trying to transition into doing units rather than lessons... for example, instead of one day doing a lesson on travel and the next day doing it on going to the doctor, I'm trying to find a way to use all the lessons together for goals like preparing for a speech, a job interview, a debate...

I really don't know how much my kids will learn (a lot of it is their choice. most chose not to learn English and decide to endure it instead. the kids that try get improve quickly. even those with disabilities) so my planning process does still have to be a bit more organic.

The three major themes I'm working on building around now are:
1) Introductions
2) Question Words
3) Prepositions

I think those 3 things are the most important/useful skills for in the classroom. I think different ideas about long term goals may flourish after that, but right now I just need to get my kids to be able to know the 5w2h and preps before I can even hope to teach them anything else. I think that's where I went wrong last year because I was coming up with lessons when my 3-nen-seis still didn't even know the different between above/below or who/what.

my hanko cards this year are off the chain, btw. Working with Jody (aka rooting through her shit) helped me a great deal ;)

K-Bear

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Re: High School ALTs up-to-summer-planning
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 03:21:20 PM »
My curriculum is based on building skills for bigger projects.

So if I want the students to make self-introductions as a project I will spend a few lessons teaching them the vocab and skills they would need for that: how to introduce yourself, talking about likes and dislikes, expressing emotions, etc… Then I will give them an example of what I expect out of the project, and let them get working on it.

My final project last year was a commercial, and it was awesome to see how the kids used all their English knowledge to create something unique that made sense….not just copying from a textbook. Seriously, some commercials were pure gold, if anybody wants to see some awesome HS commercials…you know where I live.

I will re-use my old lessons, however I have tweaked and updated them after having done them once before.

If you had a lesson you enjoyed, expand it and make it a unit.
Creating units instead of lessons builds on skills and reinforces them at the same time.
So if your kids LOVED learning about emotions, make it a 3-4 lesson unit!

Because your new students are fresh from JHS (your 1st years), a review unit would take up a fair chunk of your time, and be very beneficial to your students. Many students slip through the cracks and don’t really grasp English basics by HS. You didn`t hear it from me, but..only 1-2 new HS students to my school actually knew how to properly say what time it was in English for the entrance test O.o.

You can review things like:
Time
Directions
Likes/ dislikes
Basic Greetings
Numbers
Descriptions
…just to name a few

Even though they have learned these things since ES, a review unit would bring everybody on the same page (especially if it ended before an exam week).

And then re-use your old lesson plan and challenge them with more complicated English concepts like (gasp) using their knowledge in English creatively and in diverse situations that involve group work and projects, not just regurgitating structures on paper.....they will resist at first, but be very proud of the final outcomes.