It was Labour Day here in Singapore, and my students have worked hard to produce some corkers in the classroom this week:
Last week I made some new sea creatures to make our phonics fishing game more fun. Using magnetic fishing rods, we matched flashcards to the correct word through stretching out the sounds. Just don’t ask what the ‘bus’ shape is meant to be.
Tied up in knots
Teaching silent letters can be tricky. When my students read the word ‘know’ I asked them to distinguish between the homophones ‘no’ and ‘know’ using gestures. One child said, “I know ‘know’ and ‘no,’ you know.”
Teaching English, I understand how apologetic us Brits sound when asking for things. Rather than saying, “I want the chicken soup,” a Brit might ask the waiter, “Could I possibly have the chicken soup, please?” That is why I was thrilled to see one of my students experimenting with a phrase they’d picked up:
Thank you for your letter. I hope you are in the pink of health.
So near, yet so far.
Please note that I sometimes take photos before making all the necessary corrections for comic effect!
This week, I was asked to be observed by three teachers. Of course, my students were on top form in front of their new audience. When I asked for an example sentence, one student said, “Thank you for being trifle” rather than ‘truthful.’
The learning journey
As a teacher, I always tell my students that it is part of learning to make mistakes. For older students, I enjoy showing them this by deliberately making my own on the whiteboard and encouraging them to correct me. One child, who already knew my mantra on this, repeated it for the others but didn’t quite get it right: “It’s ok to make mixtapes.”
One of the boys I teach has behavioural issues but we are usually able to avert any meltdowns by diffusing the situation with humour. I always have a few bad teacher jokes up my sleeve, or failing that, a funny story with facial expressions to match. This week, he came prepared with his own jokes:
Him: What is the loudest pet you can have?
Me: Hmmm, I don’t know.
Him: A TRUMpet!
Him: Why can’t dinosaurs clap?
Me: They have short arms?
Him: They’re dead.
Him: Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl use the toilet?
Me: I don’t know. Why?
Him: The pee is silent.
Something in the water
Finally, it is well-known that the water in Singapore contains a high level of chlorine, which can be attributed to hair loss. Until now, I’ve considered it an urban myth and will happily drink the tap water, but after seeing this picture that a student drew of me, I might just reconsider:
Until next week.