Thursday, October 15, 2009

What do Jaws and the paragraph have in common?

Today we looked at the paragraph, but first I passed back their homework and then started the review of capital letters. As mentioned earlier, I will try to review each week; I hope it will encourage some of them to review, but as with all classes some will and some will not.

Once I had collected the review quiz, I reviewed orally the rules which I think most could remember. I then wrote an incorrect paragraph on the board, and had them copy it down. I then asked students (mainly from last semester) if the paragraph was OK or not. I then had different students come up and circle the areas that were wrong. Next, I used humor to explain the capital letter rules. For indenting, I had everyone push air with their hands with me; for continuing a new sentence on the same line, I used some Japanese, saying that the new sentence was lonely and that it wanted to be next to someone upstairs; for writing past the end of the line, I used the story of Jaws, telling them to be careful or the word would be eaten, again using Japanese. Once we did this, I had some students hand out the practice, three paragraphs with both capital letter and paragraph rule errors and asked them to correct and rewrite them. I gave the students about 15 minutes for this, but most had finished around 10 minutes, so I had some students hand out the answers and asked them to self-correct their work.

Next, I had them in pairs correct some wrong sentences. I asked them to do it in pairs, but many chose to do it individually. I gave them about 10 minutes and then asked several of them to come up to the board. I told them not to worry if they made mistakes and to try their best. Once this was finished I had some other students pass out the answers. Interestingly, I had made a mistake and one student noticed it and told me, so I gave him a point. It may be interesting to try this in future classes, to make a mistake on purpose and see if anyone gets it.

Finally, I had students pass out the reading question and accompanying text. I gave them 10 minutes to complete and then collected them. Before they started, I told them to look at the questions and try to find those questions in the story without reading the whole thing. I haven’t corrected the work yet, but if I notice that many were unable to finish, I may try a more explicit approach to illustrating techniques such as skimming and scanning.

Well, I think that is it for this post. If you'd like to leave a comment, by all means please do!


Note: For the image files, you may have noticed that there are no lines. I am not sure why, but I use the paint program to make the image files, and when I copy and paste the word document into paint, the lines disappear.

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