Part 1 of 4:
- re: Checkpoint 5 Question 8 - My best answer (to date: Apr.24/12)
Looking for a feasable way to reach all asking the same question I see in different sections, etc... This was in 4 parts, I am parking it here for now, and just putting up links to it wherever I see it being asked... as it was too big to fit in a regular 'response' box anyway... enjoy...
I think it was Plato (or Socrates?) once said… “Whatever we express, we impress” ... as in... “whatever we express” (to others)… “we impress” (upon ourselves) I felt compelled to answer this one for a number of reasons besides this… so please take from it what you will...
The question is basically asking how to do a Lesson Plan (which is a big question obviously!) So this cannot be exhaustive but is coming from my experience (I did feel compelled to bang this out…) I finally accepted there is no getting away from Lesson Plans! (aaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!)
I went through CP.5 three times, so don't feel bad. Even on the third attempt I still learned new information and still had a few things pointed out to me that needed 'improving'! Thank God, they graciously just pointed it out that time (knock on wood). So being given feedback is a blessing, (a tough one, but a blessing none the less!) It opened my mind and forced to me to see both the bigger picture and the important details... My biggest mistake looking back... I was trying too hard to be creative. Don't re-invent the wheel! Look VERY closely at the example lesson plans provided and do it THAT way (for now), don’t add to, and especially don’t ‘take away from’… force yourself to keep going over all the lesson plans until you start to see WHY they are doing it that way (they do all have the same pattern)... if necessary, sit back and take out the time to visualize that YOU are the student with a teacher going through that plan with you!
Part 2 of 4:
That said, one of the best examples is in Module 10 (Lesson Planning) on pg 14. That is an excellent example because it is the written form of the VIDEO example in CHECKPOINT 3. HOWEVER! It incorrectly makes reference to the videos in Module 4!??? (Anyone looking for the video it makes reference to won't find it there! - ANYONE please correct me if I am wrong here...)
I have contacted them about the correction but I am not sure if they 'heard' me yet (as I didn't get 'specific' feedback (was asking for a ‘bonus’ ;-)... IN ANY EVENT... if you really want to 'zero' in on the lesson plan, I highly recommend you get the .pdf Example Lesson Plan from Mod 10, pg 14 in hand, and study the Example Lesson Plan VIDEO at/in CHECKPOINT 3! You will see that he does it almost exactly to the written Example (ingenious imo!) (Hint: also get the other two .pdf doc Lesson Plans on pg 11 for safe keeping)
(I think I should get a free ‘Essential TEFL Book’ for this one …haha! or at least a $20 discount - vote here!)
Part 3 of 4:
Another thing in retrospect that didn’t ‘come together’ in my mind until after my 3rd feedback, was having a better understanding of the difference between PRESENTATION - PRACTICE - and PRODUCTION (That is what you are really doing after all...) I started to see that on the surface sometimes they can seem the same... at first I thought it was about it getting more progressively 'complicated' ... NOT necessarily... PRESENTATION is pretty straightforward, you have warmed them up and hopefully snuck in some 'context' and then you present the specific 'Target List' (preferably with elicitation)... PRACTICE is now doing some kind of task/exercise to reinforce what you have just 'presented'... the usual example is a gap fill, there’s many other things but that is a 'GOOD’ example (you don't have to re-invent the wheel) but think about WHY that would be good practice after a presentation? .... and PRODUCTION doesn't necessarily have to be 'harder' (it CAN be...) Remember it is also called 'FREER PRACTICE’... ie. the idea is that the students get to try and do something more on their own... one of the best examples is where they interact with each other (freely!) using the target list in some way...
Part 4 of 4:
And lastly - the idea of ‘presentation’ ‘drilling’ and ‘plenary’ as a GENERAL model for EACH stage; (I am using 'presentation' here in general, for example 'presenting' an exercise/task for the 'PRACTICE' stage, etc.) Again it makes sense if you think about it practically. I am presenting something new… then after explaining it, I want to run through it several times (drilling) to get some rote memory going… and then a plenary (whole class) activity is to make sure I also generated some real understanding… using a whole group activity, making sure the whole class is understanding and ready to move on, together… I am keeping this section very general, it is just my take on it, but I think I was getting this mixed up too (thinking drilling was the last part)… not putting them in the right order…
I hope this helps, let me know if this helpful at all... (always open to any constructive feedback… ;-)
Response to Rebeccaaa89 - May.20/2012
I added my response up here (keeps saying my responses are too long? (go figure)
- Hi Rebecca, Not really, I think you have the right idea, in a sense it is the 'other side' of the Target Language, i.e. the focus is specific, you must know exactly what it is you are introducing, therefore the Presentation Stage should reflect that same focus as well. When I think about this it makes sense. Because if I am specific in my Target Language and I am specific in my Presentation Stage. I am laying a good foundation for what follows. It will also make it easier to assess both myself and the students when it comes time to test and evaluate. I would add that I did notice that we were required (or they seemed to appreciate it more) when we put in more detail then the actual lesson example pdf docs that are provided in the course.
I am not sure if it was because I wasn't using the proper terminology correctly or if they just expect more detail. It does say somewhere that if in doubt don't be afraid to add in extra information, and I did find that it was definitely more well received. Another thing I had gotten pointed out; it was also critical NOT to introduce the Target language UNTIL the Presentationn Stage (and not a second before! (lol)) which is tricky as you sometimes want something (or at least I was trying to find something that is 'related' or 'would follow up to') the Target Language without actually being the Target information. I hope that makes sense, but I was given feed back on that... (as I guess that would be a "Pre-Presentation Stage" :O,
So basically, to be safe, be sure to describe in as much detail as you can exactly how you are going to use those pictures and exactly how you are going to present those words, ie. just flash them? or put them on the board? have people come up and put them together? or write them? or some combination? - something that you feel will really help them associate those words in a dramatic way... this is where your creativity can make a difference from just repeating what is written in the examples, which in turn should also affect how you are going to do the Drills.
So there you have it, I do think you have got the right idea. And I have to admit it is definitely easier 'said' then 'done' ... I found when I was getting confused or it just all started sounding like the same thing, that I had to pull back and visualize a real class (daydream if you like!) I still think I need more work on creating Lesson Plans because it forces you to pull so much information together (as silly as that sounds, you need to have the steps in your head, you need to know lots of activities that you can apply, you need to project or anticipate what the student repsonses might be. I think the teachers take the Lesson Planning very seriously, and you will want to have this solid when you do the Specialist Modules... (or teach in a class!)
Hope this helps!