Friday, April 20, 2012

4th Graders ROCK!

Today I taught all on my own. While technically, PCVs aren't able to teach alone as we are not certified teachers here in Macedonia, my counterpart was gone and my Director ok'd it this time. I had the three 4th grade classes and one 6th grade class. The 4th graders have been my favourites since I did my site visit back in November but today just solidified it in my mind that my 4th graders are the best ever!

My counterpart told me I could just continue on with what they were learning and teach them the new vocab words then read the dialogue from the book as the kids like reading. I thought about it and decided that since I had complete control over every aspect of the classes today, I wanted to do it my way. From the moment I walked into the classroom, I knew it would go well as when I told the kids I was teaching on my own today, the room was filled with screams of delight and huge smiles. I started out teaching them the new words by showing them a picture, having them guess the word in English, then I wrote it in English and Macedonian on the chalkboard next to the picture. The kids were so amazed that I could write in Macedonian that the whole time I kept hearing, "wow!" I asked them what they were "wow-ing" and they said, "You know Macedonian! You've only been here a little bit. You must be really smart". To that, I laughed. I told them I studied hard, just like they should with English (had to throw in a little plug for studying). Every time I wrote a word in Macedonian, my writing was matched with "wow".

After copying the words and repeating them, we moved onto the dialogue from the book. I read it to them first as they followed along. Next was my favourite part of the dialogues. I read a sentence, they repeat it. When they repeat from the CD, they just repeat. When they repeat after I have read something, they imitate my every intonation, raising their voices when I did, expressing emotions just like I did. They also do so with slight Minnesotan accents which is really cute. Finally, I had volunteers read a speaking bubble, then translate it into Macedonian.

The last thing I did with them was introduce BINGO to them using the new vocabulary words. Last night I made BINGO cards with pictures of the new words. They had never played BINGO before so I was a little curious how it would go explaining the directions, however, they did really well. At least one child in each class understood what I was saying and was able to translate the parts I didn't know how to say into Macedonian for the others. They LOVED BINGO and asked to play it every day. I told them we would play again sometime in the future with  new words. When they got a BINGO, they had to tell me the words they got in English before coming up to collect a prize (thank you again mom and dad for the pencils, erasers, and stickers!).

The kids behaved so well for me and were so excited and every child participated, which doesn't always happen. Hopefully this will be a good start for me getting to do a little more in the classroom, at least with the 4th graders.

For homework the other day, the kids had to write a letter to someone based off the sample in the book. They had to give a description on themselves then talk about what they like and don't like. Some of them were so cute I just have to share.
This girl is so sweet and quite. I loved her spelling.
A drawing on one of the letters- the letter is below.
She chose to write to one of the characters from the English textbook.
Another drawing with the letter below.
I too wonder if Lady Gaga likes fish.
This boy copied the text from the book almost exactly, however, he doesn't have a cat so he just left a blank where the cat's name would go.
Apparently this student's friend is Hitler?
This student got a little confused if he is Blago or Cindy.
And the writing of one of the best English students in the 4th grade.
 My 6th graders were good today to, however, they just aren't as cute as the 4th graders. Rounding out my day today will be a trip to the pazar, a phone call with the Peace Corps Country Director about my exorbitant electricity bills (and how my current house does not meet the requirements for being electrically efficient which may mean I need to move) and a trip home...well to my Macedonian home of Lozovo for a weekend with the host family to celebrate my host sister's birthday.

No comments:

Post a Comment