My Journal #06
Things I learned in the last two lessons:
Ř As a student
There are many things I learned in this lesson as a student which are:
I learned 3 more ways to record new vocabulary. These techniques are Close meaning, Opposites and Collocation. Now I have learned 6 different techniques and I am waiting for the two remaining. Honestly, I have never been exposed to this kind of technique. I’m sure that they will be so helpful and useful in my educational progress.
Glad they are helpful – how have you been taught to learn vocabulary before?
I have been taught by the alphabetically method only.
As most students here J
Group work is something we never used in our classical classes in school. This kind of activity gave me the opportunity of sharing my ideas and believes with my colleagues. It trained me how to be an active listener.
What do you mean by “active listener”?
Active listener is a person who considers the following aspects while listening to others:
· Look at the speaker.
· Do not interrupt the speaker.
· Concentrate on what is being said.
· Show interest in the speaker ideas.
· Reduce body movements.
· Use encouragement words such as I agree, I see and I understand, etc.
· Ask questions if something isn’t clear.
These aspects will motivate the speaker to express himself. Also it will give the listener a better chance to understand the speaker.
Excellent description J.
Although my ideas could be correct, they can be wrong. The only way to correct myself is to listen carefully to the other members’ ideas and pay attention to what they are saying. People have different point of views and it’s difficult to approach them. The only way is to let them express themselves and to understand their point of views.
Definitely – but easier said than done J
There are people who are good speakers and others who are good listeners as well. In order to have a positive discussion I have to listen as much as I speak. For example, if there is a conversation between me and another person the speaking and listening should be divided fairly between both of us, but if the conversation have 4 people each one should listen triple time of his speak. This means you have to listen more than speak. Involvement of passive members in the group is a very important aspect to bear in mind. It is simple to involve passive members in the discussion by throwing questions to them. Ask them what their opinion is or point of view and keep the follow up questions. This will build a positive discussion.
Excellent points… how often did you bring passive members into the discussion last week?
I believe in my last week group there were no passive members at all. We had to speak one by one, so each one had his turn to present his ideas. There were good listeners such as Sultan and Jamal, but this didn’t make them passive members. I believe they liked to listen and to understand what we were saying more than speaking. I asked them their opinions about what we were discussing and their answers were mainly YES / NO answers. So I followed up by asking them WHY/HOW. These kinds of questions brought them to the group discussion.
I agree – the discussion was so successful because there were no real passive members J I would like to believe that this is partly due to the pyramid format. Do you agree?
Yes, the pyramid discussion was perfectly selected for this task. It helped us to end up with reasonable keys. It was good because you only changed somebody's idea from the beginning at the pyramid’s basement and he will carry out defending the same idea all the way up to the top of the pyramid. The best part I liked in this discussion was after the whole class discussion when you put your keys with ours on the notes-board. As you saw all of us went to compare ours with yours. There was a key that Saleh and Salem Mohammed had at the beginning of the discussion and I persuaded them to cross it out from the list. They came directly and blamed me for crossing that key. My answer was to both of them that they shouldn’t accept my suggestion if they were sure of their ideas.
Excellent J A great description J
It was a nice experience for me because I watched my colleagues fighting to take a key out of the list and in the higher pyramids level they were fighting to keep it. I’m sure that I did the same without realizing it.
And the use of English was impressive too J
I learned some of the important keys to create a successful presentation. These keys will be useful to me in this diploma. I copied them into my notebook and I’m sure that I will have a look at them each time I set up a presentation. I will be looking for more presentation keys to add them to this list because these keys will be my references in order to have a well planed presentation.
Can we cover all the keys in every presentation?
If you are asking me the ability of covering all of them in every presentation, my answer will be YES it can be done, but sometimes some of the keys won’t be useful to be used in some presentations, so why spend time doing all of them. It is better to focus on the important keys and prepare them correctly.
Exactly – a brilliant response J
Ř As a future teacher
Although you are friendly with us as students, you are so strict when it is needed. I realized that when the majority of the students started talking in Arabic. I watched the anger in your face even though you didn’t say a word. Your action was perfectly correct when you went to your desk and start jotting notes of who was talking at that time. My personal feeling was that you over acted in this way to show the students that one of your important lesson rules had been broken. Also you showed annoyance so they will stop speaking in Arabic. I bet each one who saw your face at that time couldn’t finish his sentence. This taught me that it is good to be friendly with the students, but I have to show strict actions in situations where needed.
Interesting J Especially as I was noting down the positive contributions of those who were not speaking Arabic J Just shows how a little theatre can go a long way. You are right about the balance of friendliness and authority. It is one that is always important to maintain J
Passive Students Involvement
Passive students’ involvement is one of the most difficult things to do in classroom. Usually I involve them by directing questions to them, but their answer will be very short and most of the time they will panic. Your way of involvement was clear when you selected Sultan and Saif to lead the discussion. Even the way you selected them when you asked us (their colleagues) to select the most passive student in both groups.
This is fascinating because I didn’t ask about ‘passive’ students – I asked about pacifist students (i.e. the peace keepers) J Mmm – I wonder if you would have chosen the same students if you had all understood? What do you think?
I don’t know if you realized how much we hesitated to give you our colleague’s name. This was because we thought you were asking for the “passive” students not the pacifist ones. I think it is easier to ask a person to point out his colleagues’ positive things than pointing the negatives. Selecting the pacifist students is easier and much faster than selecting passive students.
Yes – I had wondered why the hesitation because pacifist is a positive trait. I hope as you get to know me you will realise that I would never ask students about negatives only constructively critical and positive points J
Well, professionals can make mistakes too. This proves that there is no perfect lesson.
I think the missing elements was “clear instructions” checking students understand the instructions clearly. This can be done in deferent ways:
· Pace the instructions
· Grade the language to suite the students level
· Use simple clear English
· Demonstrate the instructions (gestures, facials, mimes)
· Check students’ understanding (by asking one of the students to repeat the instructions using his words.)
A good list, Khalid. I sometimes use 3-word instruction cards which are an excellent way of preparing your instructions. J
This shows to me how important the clarity of instructions is and how easy it is to be misunderstood by the students. In my future lessons I’ll bear in mind this element to avoid this kind of circumstances.
Good awareness J
I’m not criticizing you, but applying what I learned at the ADMC. So don’t misunderstand meJ
I don’t misunderstand you at all. In fact, I applaud you especially since you are correct J
This action gave them the opportunity to express their ideas. I learned from this as a future teacher that I shouldn’t pay attention only to active students, but I have to look for techniques which will involve the passive students in my lesson.
Yes – an excellent point. There are hundreds of ways to involve passive students without letting them feel they are in the spotlight.
It was going to be hard to understand the meaning of the word stroll, stride, pace, march, creep and meander without the performance you did. This saved us long time of explaining and the difficulties of understanding these words. I believe this will be a useful way to use when I face same kind of word in my future career. Also I can use the gestures and facial expressions to convey the meaning to my students.
Yes – with many words where translation does not capture the different nuances mime and meaning tables are the best forms of presentation J
Ř My 2nd Mini-teaching
I prepared Computer’s Hard Disk physical movement to teach my colleagues, but Mr. Steven told us that we can use the subject which will be taught on Tuesday at the Navy School for our mini-teaching. I think this will be useful because we will have time to practice and run our lesson three days before the actual teaching. This will give us an extra practice and enough time to correct our lesson’s plans and activities.
Yes – myself, Steve and Ruth wanted to be sure that you were not doing extra work but had the same concentrated focus for all three courses when you are doing your Navy teaching. Is this a good idea for you as the students? Why?
Sure it is. When we focus our concentration on one task and match what we have been learning to create a complete job. Now we will prepare our material to present as mini-teaching in your lessons. This will give our group hints of how the group’s members will deliver their bit. It will be useful for us to see each other mini-teachings because this will direct us in the correct way of planning our lesson. This will be with Ruth who will show us the best way of planning this lesson. Finally, we will have the opportunity to present a full 40-minute lesson to our Navy School students which will be with Steven on Tuesday who will guide us for the coming teaching and will inform us the changes we must do in order to have a high-quality planed and delivered lesson.
Interesting that after this morning several students suggested that we need to change the assessment criteria for the mini-teaching because we have moved into this focus on the Navy teaching. What do you think?
Let be democratic, I believe it will be better if we vote for it. If you want my personal opinion about it, I think it is better to be change regularly so we will be able to cover more during the semester.
Sounds good – I’ll build it into next Saturday’s lesson J
Great entry Khalid