Wednesday, June 22, 2011

George's excellent lesson format....

George's lesson centered around a very touching story about a father's desire to instill the love of music in his son.

In the anticipatory set of the lesson, George drew upon his student's background knowledge of music.  "Do any of you play a musical instrument?"  George asked.  This brought out an animated discussion with the students.

After having the students read the title of the article, George asked a series of questions about the father, using the father's picture in the article.

As the students listened and followed along, George read the story to his students.  "What struck you about this story?"  George asked when he'd finished reading.

The students got the message of the story immediately.... and accurately too.  Great comprehension!

The students really got into this story as George read it to them. 

The story was read a second time, by students who moved to the front of the class.  It was during the second reading that George asked students to underline any vocabulary words they did not know.

The first reading, in other words, was for the students to listen to the fluency of the story as they also listened with comprehension in mind.

Any word the students found difficult or new, they were asked to underline.

With the reading done, George asked the students how many words they'd found per paragraph.

"Look for the clues in the sentence, for the meaning to the word."  George encouraged his students to look for context clues, in the sentences, so that the students themselves defined the new vocabulary words. 

George had a gentile style of asking probing and clarifying questions, so that the students had to dig for the meaning of the new words.

Nearing the end of the lesson, George had students come to the board to write summary sentences.  Once these were written, he reviewed each sentence with the whole class, to make sure they understood what was written and that they agreed with what was written too.

Throughout the lesson, George checked for understanding through a series of comprehension questions.  George is a bit of a master at not giving the students the answer.... rather.... asking those guiding questions that help students arrive at their own answers.

This is a fantastic way to teach!  George is a living example of my motto.... "Whoever talks, learns!"

George asks the questions..... the students talk.

Reflective Conversation

Following my observation of George's lesson, I held a reflective conversation with him.  As we talked, the conversation grew to include Aravindan, the English Department Head. 

I first had George review with me, his lesson, step-by-step.  As we moved into the grit of the lesson, the concern that was raised by George and Aravindan, was the student's writing skills.  This is a definately an area where the students could use help.

Since basic sentence structure and verb tense seems to be some of the problem, I suggested the English Department go back to the basics if need be.  By this I explained, after students have read an article, have them go sentence by sentence and underline the subject, verb and direct object. 

In other words.... make the sentence as basic as possible.  Help the students understand the most basic structure of the sentence, then slowly show them how to add all those flowery words, that make reading so enjoyable!

No comments: