Thursday, September 11, 2008

rotten kids update

My rotten class has gotten better- last week was a quiz and writing exercise. They had to write about a famous person. A couple of kids thought they were being so bad to write about the former president of Taiwan who's now under investigation for stashing millions of dollars US of leftover campaign funds in overseas accounts... but writing essays that insult Taiwan polilitical figures doesn't anger me too much. Especially when it's just things like "he loves money." Well, yes.

Today was OK too. The hard part is that they're still young but we have so much hard material to cover- in an hour and 40 minutes we study new words, read part of a hard book, ask questions about the hard book, learn all the possible spellings for English sounds, do some "pracitical English" like read an ad and answer questions about it, do HARD patterns (like passive voice!), so some hard activity about how people look, and if possible read some crazy comic and sing a song, then go over their hard homework. Oh, and a grammar book. So not too much time to play games!

But today I planned some games into it. My new game is beloved by every class I've played it with. (One of the new teachers shared it with me during a what's your favorite game? brainstorm in an NST meeting- yay, it worked!) Basically, if a kid is about to get a reward (star or card for their team) they can go double or nothing by doing rock-paper-scissors with you. And it can keep going until they quit or you beat them. No, that ain't much of a game but kids go crazy over it. The only problem is that I patiently teach the concept of double-or-nothing, including a x2 and a 0, and demo a few rounds without any English practice involved, and make sure they say "stop" or "go" to indicate if they want to do rock-paper-scissors, but it always ends up with the kids saying "double!" if they want to go and "nothing!" if they want to stop. I've started thinking about the legacy I'm leaving for the teacher who takes over my classes and how this poor teacher, new to Taiwan, will scratch their heads thinking "Why do they choose nothing when they could have double?"

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