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Can you guess what this activity is?

What we learned about this week

Our students learned about activities for week 3, and it was exciting to hear the activities our students did outside of school. Some of the most popular activities were playing basketball, playing pingpong, and reading. Jessica and I brought our uniform, balls, or trophies and prompted our students to guess the activities we did. Wendy’s main activity is playing the piano, so she played a popular Chinese song on piano as the kids were logging on and had the kids guess the song which was “少年“。

showing my students my dance trophies
asking my students to guess this activity: volleyball

Another fun activity we did this week was charades! We acted out different activities for our students and asked them to guess what we were doing. To our surprise, our students were all very engaged in this game and guessed all the activities within seconds of us acting them out. We acted out activities such as piano, swimming, biking, and soccer.

what activity is this? it’s soccer
asking what stroke this is: backstroke

Our lesson this week was very immersive and interesting, but I encountered some technical problems with my Nanping classes on Sunday and Monday that really challenged me this week. During these two days, the students on my screen were all blacked out, and I wasn’t able to hear or see them. They were also unable to see me. Since my lesson plan for them included a lot of activities where they had to look at the props I brought or look at my video and shout out the answers, I was extremely unsure of what to do to keep the class moving. After a confusing 5 minutes at the beginning of class, I told my students over chat that they needed to use the chat to answer my questions. We also figured out that my students could still see the screen if I shared my screen. Our program assistant, Sara, also joined in on the call, and we were able to talk to each other while teaching the kids. I also found a book online to read, so Sara and I alternated reading the book, and we also alternated answering the fill in the blank questions so that the students could still learn. During these two class periods, it was hard for me to keep up the energy because I wasn’t sure if the students were listening to us at all because we were just talking to black screens with no response. Although these class periods were very lonely for me, I began to appreciate the value of human connection. Our main job is to teach our students English but without a personal connection with our students, teaching and learning is not as enjoyable.

On Thursday, Jessica and I had an interesting lesson because we only had one student log onto the zoom link for the lesson, but it was a blessing in disguise because we got to learn so much about her individually! She was great about answering our questions even though it was probably intimidating to talk to me, Hsiao-Mei, and Jessica in English for 40 minutes. We joked that it was like a private lesson, and we learned so much about her! She likes shopping and she’s also very good at cooking. Whenever she had a hard time understanding the question, I would type out my question in the chat so that she could read and process the question at her own speed, and this proved to be very helpful. It was great getting to know her, and I really wish we got more opportunities like this to learn about each of our students individually. Each week brings unique surprises, but I always appreciate them!

our “private lesson” with our Friday Nanping student