oxymoron67: (Default)
I just received my student evaluations report for last Fall.

My students really seemed to like me and what I was doing.

Well, all but one of them. And even that one person (I'm assuming it's the same person, and I even think I know who it is)rated me as "Average."

Usually, the students I rub the wrong way, I REALLY rub the wrong way, and they give lots of "ineffective"s and "poor"s.

Here's the thing... when you teach, one or two students per class (at least) aren't going to like you... or their learning styles clash with your teaching styles... in fact, I tell my students to be honest.

After all, I have tenure. Also, if everyone says somethng went wrong, then I have to go back and really look at it. If only one person says that, I can just shrug and move on.

However, the most interesting part of this was the section on group work and class assignments. Twenty percent of my students said that my use of group work was "ineffective".

That's not strictly true. The proper term is "nonexistant". (Which half the class got: they said eithr "inapplicable" or "not used".)

Overall, a really good evaluation, even if 5% of my Community College-attending students said that they were in grad school.
oxymoron67: (Default)
This is what I wrote on the board before class:

I have PLANS! Grand, glorious plans that will make me THE MASTER OF THE WORLD! Mwahhahahahahaha! ... But, you know, that's *A LOT* of work. I'll just give you a quiz instead.

Now, this quiz was announced two weeks previously, and in each class meeting after that. It's not a pop quiz.

I'm not a fan of pop quizzes, anyway.

Before the quiz, we went over the pronunciation of the various -s endings (for pluralization or possession). These work remarkably like -ed endings. There are three rules:

1) If a word ends in a voiceless sound, the s ending sounds like an /s/ ex. pot -- pots
2) If a word ends in a voiced sound, the s ending sounds like a /z/. Ex. enjoy -- enjoys
4) Of a word ends in an s, z, sh, zh, ch, or j sound, the s ending sounds like /Iz/ watch -- watches

The students had a few questions about the States Project. Normal things: "Can I focus on a specific area or city?" or "I have too much information here!"

The responses* are fairly easy: of course, they can focus on one place or city and I do make them look up too much information. It's easier to do a research project when you have too much information. Cutting information is much easier than ad-libbing stuff you don't have.

"Response" ends in an /s/ sound, so it follow rule #3 above.

Then, the quiz. I haven't looked at them yet, but given how they left the room, I'm guessing many of them bombed.

I also announced that any work that hadn't been turned in yet was due by Thursday. After that, I just don;t want it.

Late on Tuesday night, I received e-mails from two students: the cheater and one of the slackers*.

The cheater has missed a lot of class recently. She apologized for this and said she'd explain on Thursday. if it;s a legitimate explanation, fine. But, even if I'm convinced to give her an extension, it won't be past next Tuesday. I need to correct all of this stuff. And that takes time.

The slacker e-mailed to say that she'd been in a car accident on Monday, which is why the sentences that were due yesterday were missing.

Of course, that doesn't explain why she hasn't turned anything in since late October. Seriously. She hasn;t done at least four of the weekly recordings. The weekly recordings are half the grade for the class.

Again, I may give an extension. But only until Tuesday.

*"slacker" ends in a voiced sound, so the -s ending sounds like a /z/, as in the rules above. Some speakers of English de-voice the last sound in words so it would start out as a /z/ but end as an /s/, but this is not standard.
oxymoron67: (Default)
We started by watching their news broadcast.

I went through the takes they did when they were videotaped and edited the best ones together. Well, "best" is a bit of an overstatement, sometimes it was more "this one sucks the least."

To liven things up, I made three "commercials" for the news cast.

The first was a map of North Dakota, and I said:

This segment of the news is brought to you by the state of North Dakota, where nothing ever happens. North Dakota: the state you're all happy you didn't get in the states project.

Then there was one for Shakespeare.

The news is brought to you tonight by the Immortal Bard, William Shakespeare who is proud of his 500 year tradition of terrorizing English students the world over.

Finally, there was one for Jack Daniels.

The news is sponsored tonight by Jack Daniels Whiskey. If you want to wake up next to someone you don't remember meeting the night before, drink Jack Daniels.

We went back to discussing rhythm after that, in particular, we discussed thought groups, pausing and linking. Since they will record The Gettysburg Address tomorrow, I used the first sentence to show where to pause.

We also discussed what the first sentence actually says, since none of them understood the phrase "Four score and seven years ago". When I explained that a score was twenty... then it made more sense.

Tomorrow? -ed endings! The Gettysburg Address!
oxymoron67: (Default)
I wanted to take all of my students' news videos, edit them together and broadcast the resulting movie to them.

Life interfered.

For whatever reason, my computer wouldn't even PLAY the clips, so I had to use one of the teacher's stations in the labs. I managed to grade them, but the labs were in use so much this week, that was all I could do.

We can do that on Tuesday. No biggie.

It was time to introduce rhythm to class, which involves teaching parts of speech. The ESL students knew the parts of speech; the native speakers, not so much. Several of them said things like, "I hate grammar." or "Why do i need to learn this?"

Which led me to this:

Grammar gives your thoughts coherence. Without grammar, we wouldn't understand one another at all. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

After that, we discussed Thursday's reading, the St. Crispin's Day monologue from Henry V. they had lots of questions about pronunciation. I pointed out that I have to listen to 26 versions of this, so they had better be interesting.

They all stared at me,

So, I said, "I am going to italicize the line where I stop paying attention to you. You will lose a half point for every line from there until the end. This is on top of any other point loss for pronunciation issues."

We then briefly discussed next week's reading, The Gettysburg Address.
oxymoron67: (Default)
We did the recordings for the News broadcast.

As I was proctoring the class, one by one, the students went into the next room, where they were videotaped.

One person volunteered, so she went first. Then she picked who went next. And so on and so on.

See, this way, they don't hate ME; they hate one another.

On Monday, I'll take the videos and edit them all together into a news broadcast. If I'm feeling energetic, I may put in a few "commercials."

So that the students would have something else to do (and to keep the class going), I handed out a list of words and told them that they had to do the following:

1) Record themselves pronouncing each word... they could look the words up online for pronunciation. I suggested dctionary.com.

2) Transcribe the words from English into IPA.

3) Write a sentence for each word.

The last two were just for the first column of words. While the pronunciation part was due by the end of class, the rest are all due on 11/15.

I also put the St. Crispin's Day monologue on Blackboard: it's their recording for next week. I pointed out to them that need to practice it because, well, it's Shakespeare. if they don't practice they're screwed.

A few of my students just downloaded the text for St. Crispin's Day onnto their iPads and Kindles. Fine by me. The students who were videotaped first actually practiced St. Crispin's a few times. They're scared because it;s so long -- easily triple the next longest readings we've done.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Usually, there is a great deal of research fail.

No, really. It can drive a man to drink.

I'm actually quite pleased this time. Most of them did really well on week one's research.

So far, the Grand Canyon has not moved. Volcanoes have not appeared where they never existed before.

I did find out two (real) facts. One from Missouri and one from Oklahoma.

Oklahoma has an Illinois River. This surprised me because when I think of the Illinois River (which, granted, is not often), I think of the one in, you know, Illinois.

One of Missouri's attractions is the Johnson's Shut-ins State Park.

With a name like that, I expected it to be a secluded forest where the Johnsons, a family of agoraphobes, took refuge. You know, sort of like M. Night Shaymalan's (sp?) The Village, only with no one terrorizing the blind girl* by wearing a monster costume.

Ogf course, I don;t know how they'd keep the family going if they were all shut ins. Unless they led a daring raid to get wives for the menfolk and husbands for the womenfolk. Sort of like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, only with less dancing and more creepiness.

No, it's a state park.

*The blind girl who wanders safely through the almost certainly predator-laden forest alone.
oxymoron67: (Default)
These are NOT part of the States Project.

1) Pittsburgh is now its own state.
2) Philadelphia is now somewhere in the midwest... as are Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester.
3) The part of the United states that contains Boston and Maine? It's now called Eastern England. Or Northern England.
4) "Standard American English is based on the Midlands dialect which is spoken in the Midwest, in places like South Carolina."
oxymoron67: (Default)
I had to attend the hybrid/online seminar and was afraid I would be late, so I wrote the following message on the whiteboard:

I have a meeting and may be a few minutes late. I will be here, though, so stick around.

Me being me, I also wrote something on the other whiteboard:

While you're waiting for me, you can start panicking because, next Thursday, I'm going to videotape you! Go to Blackboard and click on assignments for the exciting details!

I actually get back to my office (which is attached to my labs) ten minutes before class starts. So, I go into class, and several of my students are excited about the viedotaping.

We briefly discussed what we're going to do. They're going to summarize a news story as if they're reporting it.

Several wanted to see the midterm, but I told them that they'd have to wait until Tuesday.

Then I introduced the movie: part one of Do You Speak American?, a three part PBS miniseries about the varieties of English spoken in the U.S. After watching the movie, they have to record a reaction to it. I give them questions, but, honestly, as long as they talk about the movie, they'll get good grades.

This is the easiest A in my class. Yet, about a third of them (over the years) just don't do it.

Their loss.

Before the movie, one of my students asked about the mass media/public communication specialty in our major because she wants to go into broadcasting. This student... doesn't really have a voice for that. There's no... precision or crispness to her voice. Everything just kind of slurs together.

So, I don't see that happening. On the other hand, Communications is a flexible major. She could do worse.
oxymoron67: (Default)
From a teaching standpoint, giving the midterm is easy. Writing it is a pain... correcting it is often an exercize in frustration ("How could they not have gotten that? I went over it a gazillion times!"), but giving it? Not a problem.

Read more... )
oxymoron67: (Default)
We were going over the "er" sounds and the r-diphthongs last night when the sample word "cur" came up.

Since no one int he class knew what "cur" meant, I made them look it up. This lead to the following:

Student1: It means... a male dog.
Me: Yes.
Student2: It also says that it's an archaic way of describing an man.
Me: Also true, and not a complimentary description either.
Student1: Why would we call a man a dog?
Me: Why do we call women bitches?
The entire class: ...
Student1: I am going to start calling guys "curs" ALL THE TIME.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Here are the states for this term: Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wyoming, Montana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, West Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and South Dakota.

When the student who has Maryland came to the screen to locate her state (I point out where New York is, so they can get some idea of where their state is in comparison to where we are.) , she first pointed to Colorado. That's fine: she needed to start from somewhere. I told her to go further east, and she went directly to New Jersey. Much closer.

Then the following happened:

Me: Just to the west.
Student points at Pennsylvania.
Me: Close! Just to the south.
Student points at West Virginia.
Me: Okay, just to the east.
Student points at Virginia.
Me: You have pointed to almost all of the states that surround your state. It's right in the center of all these states.
Student points at Indiana.
Me: *facepalm*

To her credit, the student got it right next time, then said something like, "I didn't even know something that small and ... weird shaped... could be a state."

This made me chuckle.
oxymoron67: (Default)
I wrote , "Today, we have a quiz! Hahahahahahahaha!"* on the board.
This was the high point! )
oxymoron67: (history)
Honestly, it went quickly.

I returned the homework from Tuesday: it was problematic. They had to transcribe 20 names of cities from IPA to English. Since they had a week, spelling counted.

It was ... not good.

This was a difficult assignment, to be sure, but damn.

The radio ads were the next topic. I think it was clear. We'll see.

Then we spent the rest of class working on individual consonant sounds. We did the th sounds, the affricates and -zh-.

We'll finish up with /s/ and /z/ on Tuesday, launch into the vowels and have a quiz.


oxymoron67: (Default)

October 2013

  123 45


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 07:21 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios