A Google doc template keeps every session organized

This is my template Google doc file. Every student gets a new doc for every session, to keep things organized. Here is what each section typically entails.

The warm up chat is five to ten minutes to give the learner time to settle in to English. We sometimes speak informally for a longer time but the structure of the document helps us see our goals, and prods us to get to work.

The status update is where the student tells me how much of their homework they were able to do, and what problems occurred. This might last for five minutes. They might share what worked well, or not. This reflection on the usefulness and amount of homework benefits both the learner, and me. We formulate an agenda for the session based on how much homework and preparation the student was able to do. If work was busy, and they had no time or energy for homework, then I can adapt accordingly. Students have said that being asked for this update at the beginning of the lesson is a useful accountability measure. Sometimes students log in early and have typed a status update for me to read when I arrive.

The table called Today’s Stuff is self-explanatory; it is where we put the work from that session.

Throughout the session, I collect errors in the students’ speech during the session, and keep them in the table called Corrections / Feedback on Spoken Error. I categorize them according to the IELTS Speaking Assessment Rubric as being grammatical or lexical or phonological in nature. I make principled choices about which speaking errors to pick up on; depending on the learner’s level, goals (e.g. to correct mispronunciations) or to correct a certain systemic grammar error (e.g. omission of the be verb in present simple sentences by Russian speakers, or syntax errors in affirmative statements within questions)

You can see some examples of Corrections / Feedback on Spoken Error here.

The follow up materials / files to be sent is where I keep track of things that I mention during the session that I need to email to the student, or add to our notes once the session is over.

Reflections / recommendations / wrap up is an important close to the session. This is where students will tell me what they liked, what they want more of, what was challenging, what was useful.

The last phase of a session, which is 55 minutes or 85 minutes, is discuss Homework or what should be next. As always, we make decisions together. This section serves as a place for the student to come back to days later to know what he or she agreed to do. I use this section to prepare for the next lesson, too.