September 8, 2010
Our school has a contract with a Korean textbook company called Be Smart. They make textbooks for teaching English. We use them in all of our classes, kindergarten through middle school. They are terrible; filled with spelling errors, grammar mistakes, ridiculous topics. Here are some examples of why we hate (and sometimes love) using these books:
**You can scroll over, or click on, the pictures to make them bigger.
For the “Let’s Play” pages, we are supposed to explain what’s happening in the pages, act it out, and then have the kids act it out. So, here’s the one that Scott and I both had to do recently.
So, after I explained the process of going to the bathroom, and acted it out (much to the 5-year-olds’ joy), I put a chair in the front of the room and said “Ok, this is our toilet. Now you all can pretend you are going to the bathroom.” They always love this part, and today was no different. The first girl rushed to the front of the classroom. I said “OK Joan (pronounced Joanne), show us the first step. Pull down your pants.” She proceeded to pull down her pants. NOT pretend pull down her pants….REAL pull down her pants.
**side note, notice the expression on the boy’s face on the far left.
In the Be Smart book, there are pages dedicated to mind maps. For mind maps, we write a word on the board and the kids tell us everything they can think of that has to do with that word. We are supposed to write them on the board and encourage the kids to come up with 15 ideas for each mind map. Scott and I have both had the good fortune to teach the Be Smart book that has a mind map for “anus”. Below is a picture from the teacher’s book, with some suggestions written in by a previous teacher. As you can imagine, the 5th graders’ ideas were not so scientific and mature.
These mind maps were kind of hard to do. Basically, they just encouraged the kids to spit out every stereotype they know. But, I thought the picture for American was pretty hilarious.
Each day, the kindergarten teachers put up an “Expression of the Day” which they get from the Be Smart books. One morning, I walked into classroom and saw this one:
And the grand finale: