China Teaching Day Two
Breakfast is from the Western Cuisine Center. We had eggs, bacon, and hash browns.
Starting off as a whole group. There was an announcement from a Principal that I didn’t understand at all. The teachers have been told that they are only to use English.
One of the American teachers presented their story of creating a relationship with a student. This is important to help establish the professionalism Next up was Myths and Legends. Myths and Legends were introduced. The Myth of the Oaken Mead was projected onto the screen for the students. The idea of foreshadowing and predicting was shared. After the story, the students drew pictures of the main characters. The pictures were shared with the entire group via a wireless camera.
An icebreaker was next up. The Human Knot was the subject. The Human Knot is where the students are group into 2 groups of ten. One group of guys, one of women. Each forms a circle and grabs the hand of two other people in the middle of the circle.
Next up was sharing vocabulary and reading strategies using music. The song chosen was “Hear Me Roar” by Katie Perry. The strategy followed up the Talk to The Text strategy taught last night. The teachers were instructed to use their talking to the text strategy of identifying the new words in the song. The teachers then stood and had movements that went with the vocabulary words identified.
Our Homeroom is filled with terrific teachers. It is amazing how quickly they have become active participants in the class.
We built off the previous day’s lessons by having them work through the Name Game. They lined up in height order, without talking, and then had to say their name. Well, the first person did. The second person then states the name of the previous person and their name. The third person had to say the first person’s name, the second person’s name and then their name. And so on. As we were getting to the end of the line, they pulled Shawn and me into the line so that we would have to participate as well. They definitely would not have done that yesterday.
They have lots of good questions about teaching strategies. We had them pair up by picking a partner. Then, they had complete an assignment that involves two people walking at different paces and when their left foot would strike the ground in unison. Next we processed how they completed the assignment. The answer wasn’t the important part of the assignment, the process was. We had them review how they solved the puzzle. Some of them had worked it out as a Math problem. Some of the them had walked the hallway together to figure it out. Some of them had drawn lines on paper to figure it out. The students shared how they solved the problem while we wrote those out on the board. We also noted learning spaces (on paper and physical space – hallway). The physical space is important because allowing students to use the hallway as an appropriate learning space is unusual for them.
Next we had the teachers complete a Multiple Intelligences survey. They scored their surveys and then moved to appropriate space in the room (we posted a paper with each heading around the room). The interaction with teachers was phenomenal. The teachers are asking questions about implementing the strategies in their classroom already. We are trying to be extremely cognizant about pointing why we are doing each activity.
We’ve decided to start the afternoon out with a “Bell Ringer” activity every day. We introduced the activity of Story Cubes to the students. Story cubes have various pictures on the die. The dice are rolled (there are six of them) and whichever pictures come up are used to develop a story. Although six cubes were rolled, we selected four of the cubes to use. These four cubes were then projected onto the board using a document camera. The four die came up as a wand, an apple, an eye and a clock. We explained that different people would use different words to identify the pictures. The teachers wrote the words down that signified the images for them. Next, they developed and a story with those words. We discussed why and how we use “Bell Ringer” activities with students. We also discussed how this develops over time; how students get faster and better with practice.
Next, we returned to the Multiple Intelligence work. The teachers have a list of activities that align with seven of the multiple intelligences. We had each table review all of the activities for two of the identified intelligences (there are no activities for the Naturalist intelligence). Next, we had each table design a skit, demonstration or other way to describe one of the activities. Given that they have very little context for this, and that they have few models from which to pull, they did an assume job. As they acted out each strategy, the audience had to see if they could identify the strategy.
The evening session was mine tonight. (These are rotated amongst the American teachers with all of the Chinese teachers attending.) I had planned on doing Graphic Organizers. However, working through the Frayer model took long than I had anticipated. I had the student complete a couple of Frayer models and discuss how they would use the them in their class. I believe that it was very successful. The Chinese teachers were excited and demonstrated that it can work in their classroom. The teachers had lots of good questions. Although I had prepared for lots of graphic organizers, we only made it through Frayer Models tonight. Thus, we still plan on teaching the other models, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.
As a side note, the Chinese teachers are literally locked into this professional development. They are not allowed to leave the campus at all. I’m allowed to leave, but I walk through a guarded locked gate.
Finally, I had a student asked when we doing the book? There were explicit directions given to all of the Chinese teachers that we would NOT be teaching them “the book”, but rather teaching strategies that could be applied to the book. This is not unexpected. I’ve been asked the same question no matter where I’ve done training.