Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The 15th of August School

This was week three at the 15th of August School in Tirrasses for us and like magic order seemed to appear out of the chaos. We had two groups this week instead of three and therefore were able to spend more time with each group. We went into the library confident in our ability to work with the kids and have them take away some new English words or phrases from our time with them. When we got there we were not allowed into the library for about 20 minutes because it was being cleaned. We took this time to get prepared and figure out who had books and which books we were going to read for the day. When we got into the library, the teacher gave us five sets of the game memory to play with the kids. We played memory for about a half hour to forty five minutes with the kids and they loved it! I found it to be extremely productive the kids had great success with it. On each card were a picture and then the word in English. The pictures allowed them to connect with the word even if they did not quite know what it was in English. Every time a card was picked up there were “ohhs” and “awwws” depending on if the person picked up the same cards or different ones. The thing that I loved the most about it was the laughter. I loved laughing with the kids over the little things. I felt like I was able to connect with them and that I was their friend. It was an awesome feeling. The kids got really into it and some of them even cheated but it was all in good fun.

After memory we played a couple games of Bingo that Anya had made up for the day. There were two different Bingo boards, one with colors and the other with basic common phrases. We ended up using only the board with the colors. The first group of students was younger and therefore had a difficult time reading the words on the board. I went and got colored Legos for each of the colors so that the kids could have a visual and this helped tremendously. The older group was much better at their colors and was able to not only identify the colors as I held them up, but was able to find the word on the board that matched the color. The kids learned a lot as they saw the words over and over throughout our time together.

This was by far the most successful and productive week that we have had with the kids. The past two times we have been, we sit the kids down in a large group and read to them. Often 70% of the kids are focused on the book while the other 30% are focused on other things. We breakout with the kids after reading in a big group into individual groups and play with Legos and other toys that the library has. This is fun but is extremely chaotic and the kids do not learn as much as they could be. This week, things were very organized and the kids learned a lot more because we had activities to last through the whole period we had together. I think that we are on the right track to being successful in our goals of helping the kids practice and learn better English. I am excited that this week was so successful and I know that next week will be even better because we have begun to discover what works.

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