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開學第2週的小記

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開學第2週了, 一樣忙著各種瑣碎的開學事務, 但是這學期我給自己了一些新的目標, 期待可以提昇自己的戰鬥力和時不時冒出來的職業倦怠感。

教學第十四(還是十五?)年, 帶班第2.5個班, 好像也開始慢慢熟悉。得給自己一個小小的掌聲, 我試過科任和班導兩種軌道了, 似乎帶班也沒有想像的難。國語和數學也開始慢慢找到方法磨練學生的思考與應用能力, 但其實我最想做到的是挑戰自己重新學習與應變的能力。

所以, 在這裡我要開始記錄一些教學上的小小足跡, 不見得是偉大的發明, 但應是教室裡最實際的實驗與收穫。我自認是努力甚於資優的學習者, 實驗對我來說是必要的過程與學習。即便是Try and error 也是一大步!

寫作教學應該 keep it short, keep it sweet, make it happen more often!

  1. 令人頭疼的作文常寫不是要常改嗎? 所以我覺得應該從短篇的段落開始寫。一次只寫一段。我這次試著每一課找4句短語, 用EBOOK公佈出來, 經過小組討論/修正之後, 可做到釐清詞義與應用時機。此部份都是口頭進行。
  2. 然後要求學生把這4句短語分別’長胖’成一小段。我們是用國語作業簿, 一行10格。我要求一句短語要長胖成4行。長胖的過程要提示
    • 標點符號也佔一格  孩子們會很喜歡這個規定, 但不見得能達成此要求。交來的作業從頭到尾沒逗號的也不在少數。
    • 要加入前因後果,才足以看出孩子是否真能運用語詞在適當的情境。
    • 可提示學生加入對話於造句中, 訓練孩子們運用’引言’的能力。
    • 一定要三不五時有 in-class writing, 才能觀察出孩子寫作時的模樣的各式課題。
  3. 我也嘗試讓孩子寫各種清單( I love making list!), 例如
    • 寒假中讓我印象最深刻的十件事
    • 做完糖葫蘆後, 讓他們寫下做糖葫蘆的步驟
    • 以上皆用bullet points的方式寫作
  4. 試情況剥奪學生的橡皮擦與字典, 讓學生做過 in-class writing 的老師應該都看過這種寫半個字用1次橡皮擦, 或是寫一句話查一次字典的學生。Do confisticate their erasers and dictionaries! 我要求這些孩子直接劃掉寫錯的字詞, 用注音或空格表示不會的字, 然後繼續不間斷的寫作, 就是不准用橡皮擦!
  5. 因為作文難改, 所以前幾年我常積了好幾週才痛苦改完。這學期, 我開始積極訓練他們自我編輯的能力, 一方面出的題目多為短文, 可快速批改完畢。一方面學生已認得我的一字符號, 較能自我檢視並開始編輯寫作內容, 到目前為止, 我有看到他們邏輯能力變得較強, 敍事也較清楚了。
  6. 編輯後的內容往往相當凌亂, 一定要他們再重新寫一份乾淨的文章, 不管是造句/週記/清單還是短文, 我覺得要求他們再重寫一份乾淨的稿子是必要的磨練。

英語CD到底是聽還是不聽? 怎麼檢查? 要檢查嗎?

換了位子實務狀況隨即改變, 若仍是英語科任, 這不會是我投注心力的地方。但畢竟26個人還挺好管的,所以每週2次的聽英語CD並簽名是固定功課。若有人沒聽, 我也會盡量讓孩子下課時用班級電腦補聽完成。這學期開始又是同一批人永遠不做此功課, 偏偏又是英語能力偏低! 我怎麼可能無感! 於是乎, 處罰是工整抄1次聽力功課當頁的對話+回家補聽。我特別聲明: 得一字不差, 而且必須注意英語寫作的格式。只要有一個錯誤, 就是重抄1次。

  1. 這樣的抄寫功課能複習孩子基本英語寫作格式能力
  2. 好好寫, 就只寫1次, 培養慢的態度。
  3. 於是, 6人中只寫1次就過關的居然是我估計程度最低的孩子。其他5人都陸續寫了4-5次才過關。這過程中,他們也開始會自我評論/審視錯誤的原因。

寫到這裡, 已腰酸背痛, 明天起放4天假, netflix 我來了!

 

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國小英師的逆流而上-從培養英語閱讀品味開始自我提昇並保持英語戰鬥力 PART 1

會寫這一篇是因為陸續有人問我英語寫作的訣竅(好啦,其實只有2個人問我:-)。所以我想不如寫一篇來分享一下,而且,我也想知道其他厲害的英師是怎麼保持英語戰鬥力的?

對外語書市完全不了解的一般讀者,如何開始選書呢?

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身為英師我們有先天上的語言優勢,雖然如此,最簡易的選書方法當然還是從電影原著開始。有了熟悉的情節,再回頭看文字的描述,更容易有深刻的體會。

我覺得閱讀品味就是從看過踩到各種地雷書開始! 就是這樣才會慢慢堆積出來自己的選書原則和第六感。記得我看完的第一本原文小說是A window with a view窗外有藍天,也是電影小說。到現在我還留著這本已經泛黃的書做紀念, 並且曾帶到學校和我的社團孩子們分享這本書對我的意義。有些書你永遠都不會忘記,因為他們就像你平凡生活中的亮點,清楚標示出在這個時刻,你又翻過了這座山頭, 超越了過去的自己。

我看的書很廣,但若真要說馬上跳入腦海中的卻是少有。因此接下來每一本我提到的書我都可以清楚記得買書的地點,書籍陳列的地點與擺設,這書發生過什麼事兒, 當時身邊還有誰, 看這本書時是在什麼季節什麼國家。這些書紀錄著生命裏的高潮與低潮,從困惑到領悟的歷程。沒錯,我真的是隻書蟲。

像是澳洲媒體大亨的Murdoch (美國福斯電視就是他的)的Rupert’s Adventures in China(中國歷險紀,我自己亂翻的)就很有趣,,2007出版時就已陸續有多起台商在中國經商紛爭的新聞出現,對照在書裏這個家財萬貫的媒體大亨也一樣裁在中國手裏,當時我心裏想,怎麼台灣都沒人想到翻譯這本書, 這裏頭談了太多中國官僚體係層層相疊,迷宮式的自利機制; 沒有任何一種外力,即使是強如梅鐸,也難以打入這個謎樣的紫禁城體系。書中提及梅鐸也在這遠征中國的過程中娶了個年輕幾十的中國太太,但不幸也在前陣子離婚了。

當然,若你喜愛旅遊,可以看看Bill Bryson的作品,包準你邊看邊笑,所以很有可能在捷運上被人側目。舉幾個我覺得很妙的僑段和大家分享。

‘England was full of words I’d never heard before – streaky bacon, short back and sides, Belisha beacon, serviettes, high tea, ice-cream cornet.’

關於這一段我太有感覺了,因為自認英語能力不差的我在澳洲唸書時也發現處處是生字,每句話都要至少問3遍! serviettes= napkins, lollies = candies 連點個咖啡也在研究什麼是flate white and long black?

‘More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to.’

‘I always tell people there’s only one trick to writing: You have to write something that people are willing to pay money to read. It doesn’t have to be very good, necessarily, but somebody, somewhere, has got to be willing to pay money for it.’

他的書充滿著自嘲與對幽默的世界觀, BrainyQuote裏他就有滿滿的3頁! 你也可以先去看一看,有些實在很有喜感但又有些卓別林式淡淡的哀傷啊!

另外,還有幾個我很喜愛的作家,像是Ken Follett, 專長中古世紀歷史, 若你對基督教歷史與建築很有興趣,你會成為他的書奴。雖然台灣並未發展出以血統為主軸的社會階級文化,但是誰說我們就沒有階級呢? 這個社會到處充斥著以官階,外表,財富,專業或家族而定義的階級。人性的各種面向不分語言與彊域, Ken Follet緊湊的筆法將中世紀歐洲的生活情調,一般百姓的困苦與面對各式來自教會與貴族階級的欺壓精彩呈現。我的第一本Ken Follet的作品Pillars of the earth實在太引人入勝,於是接著買World without end, 都是大部頭的呈現中古世紀的歐洲歷史。這其中我陸續買了The Modigliani Scandal (有關價值連城的失竊名畫),The Key to Rebecca (有關納粹的情報間諜戰)等較輕的小說,但是最讓我相見恨晚的是那豐厚的Fall of Giants, 如果我讀世界歷史時搭配這本書,相信高中時那難以消化的一次/二次世界大戰誰打誰誰聯盟誰,我會更有概念!

越寫越多, 先在此暫停! 以下為我喜愛的書單, 參考一下嘍!


  1. A window with a view 
  2. Rupert Murdoch’s China Adventures: How the World’s Most Powerful Media Mogul Lost a Fortune and Found a Wife
  3. Books by Bill Bryson
  4. Books by Ken Follett

What we can do other than teaching by the textbook?活化英語教學

My first time back to the school I spent 6 years of my life. The only thing stays in my memory is the  school gate and the aging toilet that was said to be haunted during my school years:-P

I’ve tried several PPT sharing platform but they either fail to come out in normal fonts or they took forever to convert the file! Finally, embed it in seems to work with my file perfectly.

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http://embedit.in/GbgnDF2R5h.swf

My working holiday in Cambridge…

Yes, it is a working holiday for sure. This is my third day in Cambridge and I’ve been extremely busy for the past few days.

P1000131The campus of Bell in Cambridge is very beautiful and spacious. 

We dine in the Great Hall, which is at the far end of the picture. I was very impressed with the English garden. It’s not like the clean-cut Japanese styled garden. It’s the kind of garden that seems to encourage each and every plants to grown on its own terms. I found quite a few exotic species that I’ve never seen before. Like the following one – Spiky Monster (no, it’s not the real name, but I think this name fits the appearance)

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The plant seems very  aggressive with its spiky stems and its long tall trunk. 

The lavender here grow in bushes!!! Not like the eeny tiny little ones we have in small spots. Here the lavender BUSHES can be seen everywhere along the sidewalk. They are tall and strong and the smell is very refreshing.

Some pictures taken on the guided walk in the city of Cambridge

There are 31 colleges in Cambridge university!! 31 of them!!!

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Pic 1  Punting in Cambridge seems like a must here…wonder if I would have the chance to experience it?

Pic 2 This clock allegedly costs some million pounds!!! The inspect on top of the clock is the grasshopper that signifies time is eaten away bit by bit….

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Winter is coming…ETA shopping day

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Funny I suddenly felt the urge to review the memories in Czech. This is the picture taken in Telc, one of the many famous UNESCO town in Europe. It was a cold day in late January. The town was almost coved in white with snow and heavy fog. Not much to see since the castle was closed.

I came across a couple from Taiwan in my stay in Telc and fortunate enough to be neighbors with them for one night.

I think I’ll visit there again, definitely in summer this time!!

 

 

 

I just came back from ETA book fair. This is probably the shortest ETA shopping day for me so far. However I still managed to spend over 3000 NT in 2 hours. I browsed through several major brand names in the market and also discovered some interesting new names , ie. Interactile Learning. I plan to use their Spelling Hive workbook for my winter remedial teaching class.

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I bought several big books in Cats and MacKIDS. Learned that the teaching kit for Big green monster still costs 970 NT after discount. Well, I still prefer my DIY one made with felt. One of my pleasant discovery is MacKIDS’s CD collection for various major picture books(e.g.. Big green monster and Brown bear). Each comes in only 135 NT!!! What a save!!

 

It’s a shame that I just couldn’t stay long enough to join the free seminar offered by Union Ocean. Better wear sneakers next time!

Lovely E-book resources- Big Universe

After a tiring day in Taipei, nothing is more refreshing than a cup of tea. image

I opened my notebook and try to write something I learned today in the discussion panel. Year after year, similar discussion panel was set up and year after year, we reported the same existing problems. English teachers don’t have reasonable teaching hours to achieve satisfying learning result. We as the facilitators of professional development don’t have reasonable time as well as resources to provide better service to teachers. As a result, English teachers burned out the passion to change and settle for reality.

After years of adjusting myself to fit in this seemingly quiet educational environment. I come to realize the best motivation for PD comes from sharing. Sharing your new teaching adventure with students and colleagues. Admiring kids’ growing knowledge as well as feedback from like-minded teachers are the best reward.

As for expecting someone from the bureaucracy to improve the situation, well, self-help is always quicker.

 

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Big universe is a really nice place to find e-book resources. Be sure to subscribe them to get free access to new books. Their recent free book "Counting in the city" is a great book to introduce/review city landscape and transportation. Note that the free access only last for a couple of days so be sure to back them up while you can. Hint: screen capture is our best friend…

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Hmmmmm, what about taking this as the read-aloud material for kids?

 

Thinking …