Week 5: Writing Riddles

It was about 11:34 last Friday when I started typing my reflection for Week 5’s lesson. However, Taking turns at relay and supervising my team while trying to type everything in my head, all at the same time didn’t quite work. This year I encouraged my team to be part of Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, which took place at Gym 3 of the University of Regina from 7pm to 7am. Weeks before that has been fun and stressful at the same time. I had all of my classes’ dues of paper-works while I try to organize several fundraising events for the relay, as well as setting up meetings for my UR Filipino Students’ Society’s election. In the end, everything turned out well so I think that all those hardships are worth it.

Last week, I had the chance to teach a full hour of class and I taught them about writing riddles. My original plan was to make a simulation of water filtration with them. However, my experiment didn’t worked [at all] when I tried it at home, so I have to make some change of plans. I didn’t finish my lesson plan, Prezi presentation, and handouts until the morning. I had to miss the first hour of the field to smoothen my lesson for the day; after all, it was just French class and we don’t get to do anything during that time. I chose riddles because I had a previous class request about the topic.

I didn’t have any warm-up for them that day but the students were engaged from the beginning. I started with several definitions of riddles then gave them few minutes to take down some notes that will help them remember what riddles are. I followed this with identification and explanation of the two types of riddles. I shared some examples of riddles and let them guessed the answer then debrief the relationship of the answer to the riddles. Since we are writing riddles, I gave them tips on how to create their own—this is also in their handouts so that the time they’ll use for copying notes will be used to start writing their riddles. I asked them to write their own riddles and allowed them to do as much as they can. I have a couple of small victories to share. I enjoy walking around the room and checking each table’s progress with the activity. I helped a struggling student to start writing his own riddle and he was happy about its result. There’s also this moment when I checked on a student and he already finished two of his riddles. I guessed his riddles then helped him with spelling of words. I know these are simple moments but I enjoy helping and guiding students with their work.

Students had a lot of fun writing their own riddles and we used all the time, sharing and trying to answer their riddles with each other. Most of them wrote more than one riddle and I think that helped with the flow of the class. Also, the students did a great class management. They were raising their hands to answer the riddles so that they can share their riddles too. However, students from the same table can’t answer the riddle and we also take turns in which table in the area of the class will be picked so everyone can participate.

My Week 5’s struggle is about my presentation. I usually download my presentation to avoid slow Internet connection but something happened so I decided not to bring my USB. Of course, the connection was slow that day—just when I needed it the most. I began organizing the laptop as soon as their bell for recess rang but the laptop didn’t start until after 20 minutes so I have to take five minutes of my class time to deal with the computer. The class enjoys the visual presentations and it also acts as my guide so I can’t remove the presentation part from my lessons. I guess I just have to accept that things happen sometimes.

My target for Week 5 was non-verbal communication. I learned how much I unconsciously communicate with my students—on a positive side though. Facial expressions, movements, gestures, mannerisms, eye contacts and pauses are all non-verbal yet effective communications. Of all these, I think that movement—I always walk around throughout the class—is the only conscious communication that I intentionally do to communicate with the class. The rest, they are all actions I unconsciously do and thankfully they send positive communication that help students to have a better understanding of the lesson. With this in mind, I have to be more conscious with all the actions that I’m doing because they’re sending unconscious communication with my students. How about you? What non-verbal communications do you [un]intentionally send to your students? Are they effective and why? Thanks for reading my blog today.

-Aimee C.

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