Continuing yesterday topic about peer reflection, I would like to post some of the works done by my students. It is all about the comic book presentation they have watched before. All in all, I have 11 students in my group, and would like to share with you all their opinions.

When I saw my work posted in my teacher’s blog, I was glad so much. I even wrote that “it was like a reward for my little trying”. I hope, when my students will see these posts and find their own writing published, they would definitely feel the same.

And now, today I want to show you some other papers – reflections on the comic book presentation they have watched before.

One of my smart students writes,

1. Today we saw the comics book of Nazym, Balzhan and Zhanat. It is the story about mastermind, whose name is Mr.XXX. He wants to create new generation of new people, and kill the present generation. But team of NIS will save the planet. I like this comics, it has good design, attractive heroes, funny villains and a nice robot. There were so many explosions, fightings. Nevertheless, kindness defeated evil.

2. It was a classic story. There was nothing that surprised me, it was sometimes even predictable.

3. If the small robot have had a big power and could hypnotize people, it would have been more absorbing. Nobody knew that the robot was the main villain. But robot fell in love with one of the superheroes and became kind. The love saved the world!

A very good interpretation of the story, as we say, “so many people, so many minds”.

Here is another flow of ideas from my another student:

1. I liked the main idea and the way of making their comics, also their superheros. It is a very interesting and fascinating comic. The cartoons with superheros like “XXX man” are my favourite ones. They have done their comic in a very funny way, it was very colorful. Also, I liked the name of the comic ( It was called “2012”).

2. However, they have told shortly about their work. There were only five superheros. I think, it is not enough for a meaningful story.

3. Maybe, I might have changed the scenario of the story. I advice them to make comic more meaningful and complete. Altogether, it is ok for the beginning. I hope, there will the next edition of  “2012” Comic book. =)

The ideas and suggestions for the book presentation are different, but all of them have something to tell about the book.

As I have told you before, just a few days ago we practiced creating our own comic books. As a result of it we had one group ready with their book to the end of the lesson. If you had read my previous post, you’ll see, we had some time left so I asked the students reflect on what their classmates had done. After they had watched a book presentation, they were given papers to reflect on the presentation. Today, having all their papers in my hands and analyzing, I found out that there are many good ideas they have to say.

Actually, here is one of my student’s work.

(If you remember, there were three points to write reflection: what they liked, what they disliked and what they might change.)

1. Assuredly, I liked this comic, because there are a lot of bright colors. What I liked most is that they imagine themselves in characters of superheros in comics. I liked the design of a mini book and location of the main characters in the pictures too. Also, I liked that there was no death, because I prefer some peaceful stories. I was surprised when I heard the following in their story. For example, a robot called Mr. XXX (Mr. Egg) wanted to kill someone.

2. Really, I didn’t understand the main idea. Comic is incomplete. I haven’t seen activities or bad things from “evil sight”. When they demonstrated comic book, I was a bit bored, because it was a little bit not interesting. For example, if I saw it on the shelf of magazines, I  wouldn’t buy it. I disliked special effects, because there were a huge amount of them. In my opinion, it would have been more interesting if they have  included more actions to the story.

3. If I were the author of this comics, I would include more actions (Something like bad activities or fierce plans of Mr.Egg) and active protection of superheros. Also, I want to see supernatural abilities of them.

But in all, I liked the presentation, because it is difficult to imagine your own story, I think.

I don’t know how other teachers would have assessed this work, but I gave the highest point for the reflection and for the ideas, paying no attention to any grammar or vocabulary mistakes.

Still we will see what other students have written about the same book presentation, and hopefully will put it on my next blog posts.

As usual, I spent my morning at school with my students. It is the beginning of a new term for them, but for me – it is the last lesson this week. Telling the truth, I am happy to have three-weeks holiday. It would be enough to refresh my head and relax for the last several months I had nothing to do, but study and study and work. Sometimes, I seem strange even to myself. I advise people to do this or that, not to do this or that, but the same advise doesn’t work with me. I write posts about paying more attention to the friends and relatives, but if it comes to me – then I find out that I haven’t seen my family, relatives and most of my friends more than a half year. How can I write about the things I am doing myself? I thought. So decided to make last breath before going with my over have-nothing-to-do-but-relax-and-enjoy condition.

Instead, I have found out that my students still cannot switch from spring holidays back to the lessons. They also seem to need even more time for rest. This is what brought me to this idea.

Right now we have the theme of superheroes and on the last lesson we began writing our own comics book. About superheros. We do really plan to have some of them published so that even other students and even teachers can take and read them. The students were eager to start their book. Though, firstly, they hesitated a bit, I guess, they thought how comics and the English lesson could be combined. That’s why they listened to my further instructions and kept silence for a few seconds. Further, I said that it would be accomplished in the internet. I could notice their desire to start as soon as possible. There is a website in the internet, where you can create your own comics book and download it. It is called Superherosquad. Sometimes, there are topics impossible to talk about seriously. In such cases a teacher can use different entertaining sites as a.m.one. It would be more useful and appropriate for teaching if to ask the students to use new vocabulary, new grammar rule and so on. I showed my comics book idea in order to get them more interested in the lesson.

Comics

So the next time I’ll see how they managed to create their work – “Masterpiece”, as one of my students said “We want it to be our masterpiece”.

Today, we have already watched one of those works. As we had only one book ready and still had some time I asked students to reflect on what they have seen. The students were asked to write:

  • what they liked
  • what they disliked
  • what they might change

As a result, I had so many ideas about the book and even some possible continuations. Nevertheless, there are some other comics books the students will present in the next lesson. On my part, I want to say, it doesn’t matter what use in your lessons, the most important thing is whether students are learning from your lessons or not. Even other teachers have no right to judge your teaching style. Just a few days ago, a teachers from the same school, with 30 years of teaching background, told us, her colleagues, a very interesting case happened to her. She organized her English lesson through the method of applique. Giving instructions to the students in English and making them to draw and cut and cut, she taught them vocabulary. Unfortunately, the headmaster, who was watching the duration of the lesson, disliked it and criticized the teacher’s approach in front of the other teachers so that making them understand that such methods of teaching were not welcomed at school. If she only knew, she was wrong!

Right now, we manage our lessons in quite unusual ways, we walk around during the lesson, we create comics books, we sing a song, we dance, we have field trips and so on. There is no correct approach to teaching, but one a teacher considers right.

Today we had a quest speaker from UCL to talk about multiple intelligences. As usual we were glad to see him in our classroom. Multiple intelligence was a new thing I learnt from our PDP teacher. When I studied at the institute I read something about it, but I didn’t pay so much attention to it, because it was not emphasized so much to use it with my future students. Actually, if I wasn’t introduced to it by Kristina and Josh, I wouldn’t come to it myself. Now I am glad to know more about MI than my teachers at the institute and at school as well.

I learned many new things from Josh’s(our guest) talk, but the most interesting info for me was implication of multiple intelligences to practice. It is good if you have an idea of students’ intelligences, it is better to put what you know into practice. A few days before Josh gave us URL to define our MI and 21 page reading to get deeper understanding of MI basics. In addition, we had him to speak in front of us and ask our questions. In what Josh gave us to read I read MI theory, IQ and eight intelligences, but today we found out one more intelligence, that is called existential – existence intelligence. In the beginning of his presentation Josh pointed out to three intelligences out of nine, that can be tested at school: verbal, logical and numerical reasoning. As a matter of fact, Gardner, a scientist, who investigated intelligences so much says that there are eight and a half intelligences.

During our conversation, I noticed that we called intelligences ‘skills’, ‘interests’, and even ‘abilities’. However, Josh explained that the word ‘ability’ cannot replace “intelligence’, because we have capabilities IN intelligences.
Further, Josh assured us that we shouldn’t take our results in MI test seriously and definitive for as Gardner said “No definite intelligence profile exist. And there is no need for them.”

Once you know the intelligences your students possess you can easily use the results to organize your lesson plans. It helps to find appropriate activity for your students. And one more thing that Josh told us about is that your lowest score in a definite intelligence. If you are weak in musical intelligences, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t study music. MI test is only a tool that helps to define your intelligences.
Once you give MI test to the students, you can find out their weaknesses and strengths. And here is an interesting moment: what do teachers usually do? If they know that students are good at Maths, they give them more and more mathematical tasks to further develop their ability. However, once you have your student’s intelligences in your hands, you should focus your attention on their weaknesses. That is what Westerners do with their students. They focus on weaknesses to turn them into strengths. It is a very good approach to cope with weak points of the students. In this way a teacher is capable of balancing their multiple intelligences.

Concerning the implication of MI to practice, every teacher should know that MI can be used in any context. MI cannot be used in isolation from each other.
That is what I got from Josh’s one hour speech. His speech is very understandable and his language is clear. He is young and lively, and he has a good sense of humor. His body language is very “sociable”, what he did and didn’t say he showed it with gestures. After Josh’s talk, I think we found out answer how to use it in the classroom. For me I am for trying it with NIS students and try to put into practice as soon as possible.

Later my PDP teacher wroteI noticed that you were doing very well in the end with the fill in the gap exercise. Wow! What a memory! Maybe that is an intelligence that should be added. Just kidding!” “Maybe, that we should tell about it to Josh. Let’s call it drilling memory intelligence. smileThen Aina and me possess this new type of intelligence well. ” I responded. So if in future scientists add a new intelligence ( memory drilling), simply keep mind a person, who first suggested this idea. 😉

Last week was the most difficult for me for I had full-time work to do at school. The school, where I teach right now, can be really called “the school of XXI century”. I regret I didn’t study there when I was a schoolgirl. Though the school didn’t exist when I was of school age. The thing I like about the school is that it does really motivate teachers to teach, because it is a pleasure to work there. All the school needs from you is your creativity and novelty in lesson organization. So last week was a real examination of my abilities to be called a modern teacher. OR a teacher of XXI century.

As I had mentioned above, last week I had so many English classes that I didn’t even notice how that week passed. I taught 8, 9 and 10th grades. I taught them alone for my teacher went to London with a special course offered to students. That is what I like about the school, you can self develop and share your teaching methods with international teachers and learn something new from them as well. So, my last week at school was like this:

on Monday I felt very scared and afraid to stay with students eye to eye. People say worst is the first, fortunately, my lessons were alright:

on Tuesday the presence of fear didn’t leave me.

on Wednesday the feeling of fear began to vanish, but still I could feel it.

on Thursday my fear was replaced by little sense of confidence.

on Friday my confidence didn’t get higher for I had 6 lessons of English one after one.

on Saturday my confidence was at the peak, but the week was over.))

Looking back now, I realize that teaching is not so bad if you know what you are expected to do. Nowadays, teacher-centered teaching doesn’t give good results as student-centered one. I have understood that a teacher has only one function at school and it is an instructor. A teacher shouldn’t speak more than students do. A teacher shouldn’t act more than students do. A teacher should only give students directions in doing this or that kind of an action. It is useful for both groups of teaching procedure. Simply imagine, what a pleasure it is just to sit and watch students doing everything themselves. I want to say here than giving instructions and examining students’ works shouldn’t be confused with indifferent teacher’s way to handle a lesson in the classroom.

One of the most important things to remember is being honest with your students. Never try to command in the classroom, better listen to their ideas about a definite action. Unmotivated students will cause you more problems than you can imagine. Motivated students will solve all your problems easily. A teacher should motivate students to love her lesson and let the rest of the job done by them. It is easy, but it is not so easy to bring motivation to their hearts. Only after constant efforts you can get a lot out of it. Making the necessary efforts, some teachers can get their screw loose, some can get their blood boiling, others can succeed in it from the first try. Everything is up to a person and his level of wish to succeed. Finally, I want to say to all people, regardless of their profession and passion,  “try and fail, but never fail to try.”

This week I am totally in teaching. I have from two up to five lessons a day. And it seems to be interesting day by day. On the first day of teaching I was afraid, I don’t know what I was afraid of, but I could feel a presence of fear. The next day the half of my fear vanished and I felt myself more comfortable in the classroom compared with the first day. On the third day I began gaining confidence in organization of my lessons. As my supervisor told me I tried to do everything to make students like my lesson. Perhaps, it was good that my teacher went to London and gave me leeway in lesson organization. I am happy there is nobody to control me. Otherwise, as I was taught in the institute I will try to be liked by a teacher first, and then by students. I think the most important thing for a teacher should be her students’ assessment. If they like your lesson, what can be more rewarding? The more I teach students, the more I realize that students are more important for me than any other teachers. If students like your lesson, they will thank you. If teachers like your lesson, they will criticize you. Each time students say “Thank you for the lesson” I feel cheerful and happy.

I remember last week I taught one teacher’s class – the eleventh grade. Again I was afraid, because the eleventh grade students are only 3 years junior me. I thought they won’t treat me seriously, in addition, they knew that I was to teach only one day. Instead I found students to be friendly. I was glad, and when the lesson was over, students asked me whether I would teach them always. I said no. They were disappointed, but I was glad. So in the end one of the boys said “You are always welcome in our class”.

What I like about my students is their English. They speak English well, and it is interesting to handle different activities with them. Whatever task you give them, they accomplish it with a lot of fantasy and fun. Below you can the members of an advertising agency trying to cooperate with a company, that makes shoes. Here students explain their advertisement of trainers to the company.

Later we watched online advertisement and discussed it with each other. Students told about their likes and dislikes to each other.

Today we had adjectives of emotions. First I did drag-and-drop exercise with them, and then we did guess-it activity. By the way, you can go to visualesl.com to find more drag-and-drop exercises.

Here students are guessing what their classmate tries to say.

I think teaching always requires self-education. Students I teach right now are very strong, so I need to have extra activities ready for them in case they have free time. I want my students to be honest with me, because if they won’t understand me, it means that I fail the lesson. Now I am looking forward to find many interesting activities to do in English, so if you have any examples, I will be very glad to try them with my hard-to-crack students.

Today,as usual, I spent my first part of the day at school. I am getting to like this school more and more. As I have said before my teacher is so great and modern. She is open to people’s opinions, suggestions and comments. And she can listen to the students, she always pays attention to their voices. Today, I was surprised by what my future students and my teacher had done for me. I came to the first lesson with the idea of learning more new things from my supervisor. But, it turned out to be that we had other things to do at school today. So, I missed the first lesson. Actually, it was a pair of English. And participated in the second one. The teacher was about to check their hometask. I wondered why they didn’t do it on the first lesson. Usually, we, first, check the given hometask and only then move with forward according to the lesson plan. Actually, the students wanted ME to be there and listen to them. So, the teacher suggested to do it on the second lesson. I was pretty surprised. All of the students were divided into several groups, and each presented the poster they had prepared for the lesson. The posters were about different celebrities: Mike Kenji, Robert Downey, Eminem, Emma Watson, Will Smith, etc. They hang their posters all over the classroom and told about their star to everyone who moved to listen to them. I was also enrolled into their presentation asking several questions. The students were active, and I hope they liked to speak English with me, because the rest part of the lesson we were speaking English only.

They told me that on Monday, when I came to their class for the first time, they were guessing who I was. The teacher forgot to get me introduced.  In a word, I like my PDP classes and I like students and teachers at school.