a few notes
The experiment of putting my PowerPoints on workspace.officelive.com has not worked as I hoped it would. It isn’t necessarily because it doesn’t work, but it doesn’t work well in my situation. When I have enough time to set up, workspace works, but I only have time for my first two classes. Getting to my third class, I don’t have the time to set up and have been giving students activities for the first minutes of class so I can get started, but waiting another few minutes to sign in and download from workspace would just take up too much time. Another drawback with workspace is that I cannot put video there. Ironically, after I decided not to use workspace, I lost my usb drive and fortunately had the back ups or workspace for most of the class work on line. I later found the usb drive, but have decided to back up as often as possible on workspace or box.net.
I have been using the attendance app on iPhone to keep attendance. It is very handy and reduces time taking attendance which I sort of sneak in during an activity now. I then have attendance that I can send myself and keep on my computer. I like it very much and have thought it would be great to have for a long time before I got an iPhone.
This semester I have been trying out mini homework assignments. By that I mean I give assignments that are short but challenging. Two that I have used with my writing class were write a 20 word simple sentence which expanded to 22 words if the first one wasn’t correct and, recently, use these two tell me sentences I am a hardworking student, and ________ has a beautiful house/apartment and write show me sentences one for each of the tell me sentences. This has proven to be a challenging assignment even though it is short. Students have a difficult time showing in their writing. I think part of it is that students lack the vocabulary to confidently write specific sentences.
Today, an adjunct teacher who also teaches in the college prep program says that teaching ESL requires more preparation than teaching for native speakers. I really can’t compare, but I know I am still preparing a lot for classes even though I have been teaching some of the same classes semester to semester. Even semester I try to improve what I am doing and end up revising PowerPoints and making new exercises or activities.