happy feelings

In no particular order.

1) It feels so awesome when I finish class just as the bell rings – nothing left out, nothing hastily improvised to fill the remaining seconds. Perfect.

2) I love announcing to my classes (as I did this week) that I brought chocolate as a prize and hearing them whoop for joy. Some classes even break out into applause. It’s so funny.

3) I was so proud of one of my teams of kids this week during the game we were playing. They were doing so well at answering the questions together (rather than just one or two kids carrying the whole team), but they were unlucky in that they kept picking the questions that resulted in loss of points rather than gaining points. Even when they knew the dynamite was coming to wipe out their points again because of my co-teacher’s expression, they still good-naturedly gave the answer and applauded their own misfortune as the “dynamite” popped up on the screen.

(In case you’re not familiar with the concept of the PPT “bomb” game: teams choose a random letter, number, or picture displayed on the main screen, which links to a question. They answer the question, and if they’re correct, they will either be awarded points or lose points. It’s a game of chance that keeps all the teams involved till the end because of the “lose all points via bomb” element, which gives underdog teams an opportunity to win at the last minute. You can check out the one I made this week here. Yeah, I’m kinda proud that I taught myself how to make these games with PowerPoint. It’s simple but effective. You have to download it and open it in PowerPoint for the hyperlinks, etc. to work.)

4) In the few minutes before we started class, one of the kids noticed that I had brought candy and said to me, “Teacher, last time, our team win. So give candy.” I laughed and had to tell him I could not award candy posthumously, as it were. Sadly, his team did not win this time.

5) After another such class, one of the kids from a non-winning team approached me and said, “Teacher, I was wondering if you could give me some candy.” So what, you ask? Well, “I was wondering if you could…” was our key expression of the day. So of course I really really wanted to give him candy just for being so clever, but with other candyless kids still sitting there, I obviously couldn’t.

6) We have developed a bit of a routine for our classes (and by “we,” I mean the 3rd graders and I) – they know that I will introduce the target language of the day, they will do some choral repetition, they will do some textbook work and practice some dialogues with a partner… and if they get through all those things and make an effort, then we will play a game. I enjoy putting a slide in my PPT that just says “Game time!” with a fun GIF (post on GIFs coming soon). I pull up that slide while they’re finishing up their dialogue practice, and it serves the double purpose of making them laugh and helping me transition them, since they quiet down pretty fast when they realize it’s time to play a game.

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