Thoughts on this session

My traditional write-up of how my classes went with ideas for improvement; also my thoughts on giving each class a portfolio assignment worth 25% of their final grade:

Intermediate Speaking/Listening: This was a huge class (22 students).  That’s just a little ridiculous for a speaking class.  Several students commented to me last week that they felt the class was often out of control.  “It’s not your fault,” they assured me, and I knew that class was out of control for all of the teachers.  But maybe it was my fault a little.  I wish I had organized that class better and tweaked my speaking activities so they were less chaotic.

The portfolio assignment was: in the words of my students, “so-so.”

Advanced I Reading: Advanced is a misnomer for this level in our program.  I think they must say that to make the students feel better.  I don’t know if it works or not.  I think this class went well.  I was tempted to overwork them, as I always do with reading classes, but I think I held back this time.  I introduced the unit on poverty both globally and in America, and they gave short presentations on a charity they had researched.  This was one of the best units I’ve ever created.  I’m giving myself a pat on the back for this one.  I will definitely be using the materials I created again.

The portfolio assignment was: great.

Advanced II Writing: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  This is a bit of exaggeration (nothing was THAT bad in this class), but my writing class definitely had its highs and lows.  The high: canceling class on Fridays for conferences.  So worth it.  I’m just always going to do that from now on.  The low: organizing the blog.  It was the first attempt at the blog, so my expectations were not high.  But it was a lot of work for the students with very little pay-off.  I couldn’t get the other teachers to plug the blog in their classes, so hardly anyone read it.  But, I asked my students for suggestions on improving the blog, and they had so many fantastic ideas.  I was excited to see that even though the assignment didn’t go so well, they still had a lot of passion for it.

The portfolio assignment was: too much (since they had to do the blog as well).

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