At the ice rink in Gangneung.

2015 Winter English Camp- Nintendo Olympics

This January, I spent my eighth, and final, English camp at my school. As you can probably imagine, my well of geeky themes was running a bit dry. Months ago, I decided my Nintendo theme would beat out my Harry Potter one. We had done so much role-playing with Star Trek, LOTR, and superheroes, I figured Harry Potter would be too much of a retread. This time around, each team would be a different Nintendo franchise, and they would compete against each other to have their world host the Nintendo Olympics. That was a way to incorporate the camp project (presentation) into an Olympics’ bid-type activity. I borrowed that idea from one I gave to GYL for the 2015 programme (which I won’t be a part of).

To give you a sense of what we did in one fell swoop, here is the booklet I created for the teachers (a colleague, and myself). The individual student booklets differed, of course.

2015 Winter Camp Booklet- Teachers’ Master Copy

You can download everything here. However, Google Drive has all but destroyed the formatting of those documents. If you want, I can email stuff to you.

Wednesday’s 40 scavenger hunt missions were a crowd-pleaser. It was really balanced and nobody complained they couldn’t do something. On Thursday, they played Mario Kart 8 while blindfolded (as explained in the above booklet). While it was an awesome idea, I was a bit worried they would fight for control of the controllers. I needn’t have worried; the students who weren’t blindfolded did their best to direct the steering students and everyone was caught up in the moment (it was like the Stanley Cup finals).

Blindfolded Mario Kart 8

Blindfolded Mario Kart 8

It took a herculean effort to plan everything, and subtly direct the camp from within, but it was probably the most enjoyable group of students we’ve had at a camp thus far. Great chemistry all around.

I didn’t make a recap of the camp, because I was entirely too busy. I did, however, produce two different videos for it. Both illustrate the students doing their thing with each other, and should give you a fly on the wall perspective of what went down. I decided to give it a rawer feel, so none of it appears to be staged.

In this video, I try to interview each team as they design their cakes (on January 6th). I encouraged some of the students to just fool around, and make up their own answers to the questions. Others gave straight answers to the best of their abilities. The second half of the video is pretty much one long ‘take’, as I wasn’t paying attention to what the camera was doing. It offers an unfiltered glimpse on our camaraderie that day.

This video really serves as a sequel to the open class video I did two years ago. You’re basically with us as the students give their presentations to convince the judges their worlds are worthy to host the Olympics. We’ve been doing these kinds of presentations for years now, and I actually have recorded them. However, I never uploaded them to YouTube, because it’s a pain to edit. This time I decided to give it a go, in an effort to provide more open class footage. If you only have time to watch a part of the video, I recommend the Zelda team’s presentation at 25:35. Their presentation is pretty solid, and the ensuing Q&A session is amusing.

I didn’t cut anything out, so there are times when the camera bumps around (or dangles from my neck).

On the Friday we went skating, and some of us stuck around for an extra ninety minutes. I didn’t get any video of that, though.

All in all, a very enjoyable outing. Had a bit of an emotional crash afterwards, because I really enjoyed spending time with this group.


Korean Public School EPIK Lesson Plan Template

If you’ve never made a lesson plan before, the process might be a little bit daunting. It’s difficult to estimate what needs to be included, and how much information is necessary. I remember when I was in cadets, and the first time I made a lesson plan. It basically became a script including all the pauses I needed when I was talking. It wasn’t pretty.

Teaching lesson plans don’t require that much detail. They just require the beats to maintain the rhythm of the lesson.

Here’s the modified template I have been using for four years in Gangneung:

Korean Public School EPIK Lesson Plan by Zackary Perry Downey

Looks pretty simple, eh?

Now let’s see what it looks like, when it’s fully fleshed out. I’ll use a lesson I taught in one of my classes in 2014.

The first side of the worksheet I gave the students was the listening test provided with the school book’s CD-ROM. The second half included this worksheet:

Grade 2- Unit 10- I Can’t Believe My Eyes!- 02- Worksheet by Zackary Perry Downey

And, as the lesson plan stated, it was in tandem with this Prezi:

This week is my vacation, so I have uploaded all the lesson plans/worksheets/camp material I created in 2014 to Google Drive. You can find a complete list on this page.

The lesson I used for this post was at the end of the school year, when the students’ tests were finished. It’s a bit sparser compared to some of the others, as there was a more informal atmosphere in class. When I create my lessons, I try to balance what must be done, with other needs. In this case, I had to do the always-despised listening test. I generally try to get that out of the way at first, because it eats up roughly a third of the class. By putting it first, I can be flexible with the rest of the time. Having the students create their super hero characters took another third, which left the remaining time for intercommunication, and then reporting on what they created.

If I require the Korean co-teacher for a particular part, I might highlight it in the lesson plan. However, as my co-teachers are usually saddled with extra work, I tend to be as independent as possible. This entire lesson could be (and was) taught entirely by myself, and I kept that in mind when I created it. That’s why students with even the most basic understanding levels can follow the instructions in the Prezi.

Good luck in class!