Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mind-Mapping Me

This year,  I was relocated to an Elementary School due to financial reasons within the education office.  I previously taught at a Middle School for four years so this change mean't having to learn how to connect with younger ESL learners.

It's always a good idea to use the first lesson at any new school as an introductory lesson.  This will give the students the opportunity to learn about you.  You can talk about your likes, dislikes as well as where you come from.  I put together a detailed PowerPoint presentation with pictures of hobbies, interests and my country to educate the kids about "Miss Candy"  (that's my name at school).  To make the lesson a bit more interactive, I asked the students to guess what each picture represented.  This engaged the students and held their attention for the entire lesson.

After School Class
Part of my responsibilities at the new school is to conduct an after school class.  I have complete control over this class which means that I get to select the lesson topic and chose the direction in which I want the lesson to head in.  I meet with the students three times a week so I have to have a different lesson prepared for each class.  The after school classes lasts 50 minutes (10 minutes longer than regular classes) which means that my content needs to be super fun or I will lose the kids at minute one. I currently have 5 students in my after school class which is perfect for giving individual attention to each student.
Map about me

For my introductory lesson with my after school class I got the students to create mind maps about
themselves.  I supplied the students with poster paper and a template of an apple.  We wrote our names in the centre of the apple and used that as the core of our maps.  I got the students to write little sentences about different things they like, their hobbies, family and friends.  The kids also  got a little creative and drew little pictures to illustrate their points.

The objective of the lesson was to learn about each each other but it also gave the students an opportunity to practice writing in the target language.  This activity will also be great for the first day of class at the start of a new school year.

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