Week 3 Reflections

Week 2 is always a disappointing week for me. Students are usually amazing in week 1 when they are so thrilled and excited to be back at school which is always delightful. However I then plan lesson plans for those enthusiastic students only to discover that by week 2 they did a ‘Jekyl and Hyde’ over the weekend and my lessons do not turn out quite the way I had envisaged. 

Week 3, thus is a great week by comparison! I am prepared, in fact usually over prepared, but at least this time it is strategic over planning unlike week 2 where it was head in the clouds over planning. I can’t believe I tried to do a movie talk last week with the combined year 6/7 left overs that focused on entirely unfamiliar structures! What was I thinking?? Not surprisingly it was a huge flop. Still, I learned a huge lesson from it – doesn’t matter how engaging the video  is, if it’s not comprehensible, it will not be engaging.

This week with another group of year 6/7 left overs, I showed Laskar Pelangi which was far more successful for several reasons.  

 Firstly, it was purely an English culture break and considering the film went for 3 lessons and students were engrossed right up to the end, I was happy with that. I also have to confess that it was my first time watching the movie so maybe in future years I may consider using it as a MT now that I can see the potential. The lessons progressed well in that we began with a single lesson and then 2 days later had a double. I said very little before the movie started yet before continuing with the movie in the double lesson, I talked about several aspects including a little Belitong history and providing a bit more information about the main characters. Yet it was the discussion about the symbolism that students enjoyed the most and then commented on during the movie. I spoke about the symbolism of fences (dividing communities), crocodiles (obstructions) and rainbows (happiness, togetherness and positive hopes for the future).  

This term with the other classes (ie all but the year 6/7’s), we are looking at the kancil & Buaya story. At the end of term 3, our hub group met and we simplified the story to ensure the story only incorporated a few unfamiliar structures as well as revised many of our known structures. Last week I introduced the word ‘kancil’ and largely in English we talked about their body shape, their diet and where they are found globally. Naturally it was only their diet that lent itself to circling! Kancil makan apa? This week I introduced the word ‘buaya’ using both a picture of a buaya, a soft teddy buaya and a hilarious crocodile hat I found at Savers last Sunday. As usual, using Annie’s voices, I introduced the word encouraging the students to repeat buaya over and over in a variety of ways including singing, syllablising, weird voices and generally having fun. I then held up the buaya soft teddy and circled buaya.  
 

Buaya! 

Buaya? Ya buaya. 

Kancil? 

Bukan. Buaya. 

Kancil atau buaya? Buaya.

I then opened a bag of soft teddy animals including the crocodile hat. I held the buaya soft teddy in one hand and with the other dug into the bag. I pulled out random animals and asked, ‘Buaya?’ The students loved the suspense of not knowing what was coming out of the bag and all screamed with delight when I finally pulled out the crocodile hat!  

 The hat is great because of its large mouth and which allowed me to revise makan. Buaya makan sepatu? I walked around amongst the students stating sentences like that and then having the crocodile mouth the shoe. Or I would point at my nose and say a couple of times ‘hidung’ before saying buaya mau makan hidung Joey. They just loved it and were all begging to be eaten!! It was chaotic and loud with lots of laughing. I actually had a parent looking for their child, knock and put their head in the door while I was bent over a student ‘makan sepatu’ and I’d love to know what she made of what she saw! Hopefully she asks her son! It was strange though because I felt guilty that I was having too much fun! That I should have been more serious! Oh well…. 

I did a ‘kindergarten reading’ with the story with the year 4’s where I had them sitting on the floor in front of me and I read a big book version with large colourful pictures. They were totally engrossed yet when I asked afterwards whether they preferred acting out the story or listening to it, the majority said they much preferred acting it out!! Didn’t see that coming. 

This story incorporates the numbers 1 – 10 which has been a great. Early in the week I suddenly remembered a counting song from Languages Online. Unfortunately it goes way too quickly for my younger classes, but then I had a brain wave! Instead of singing satu, dua, tiga bunga (not a familiar word), I changed it to satu, dua, tiga buaya!! Then I got even more creative and sang about kancils, penguins, orangutans and finished with murid murid! The more repetitions I can get with this song the better to cement number acquisition. 

And speaking of songs, I also ‘wrote’ this song on the weekend for later in the term:

Kancil, kancil di hutan

Tidak bisa berenang

Datang banyak buaya

Hap! Tidak ditangkap!

Can you pick the tune? Lifted from cicak cicak di dinding!

Hope you had a great week too.

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