Monday, September 20, 2010

First Week of school

Well It has been a busy week with school starting and getting into the groove of that. Also on the first day of school marked my one month anniversary of being in Haiti. Back to talking about school… Well Sunday I was nervous about starting school, as it was my first time going back as not a student. After being so worried, I realized there was absolutely nothing to be afraid of! The first day we kept all the little kids together which was preschool all the way to grade one. That day we sung songs, read stories, starting off with the creation story and then my favourite Robert Munch book Purple Green and Yellow. It was cool seeing them to react to the things I love. The first Day flew by before I knew it, it was over. The next day I got into teaching, I love my grade ones, though we had to over come language challenges we breezed through our first week. Between French, English and Creole, we some how understood each other. The school program we use is actually a homeschool program, called ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) and to start off grade one we do a 12 week lesson on all the sounds of each letter of the alphabet, with the first week being the A sounds with the three sounds that go it, then the do certain work sheets everyday, to understand how to tell the difference and how they work into other words. Then at the end of the week they take a test on it all. And to my surprise all my students did very well even the ones I didn’t think we comprehending it. Carolyn was very impressed since I don’t have an interpreter. It brings a sense of joy when you see it get it, when you don’t think they understand you. Oh and there is also an annoying song that goes with every lesson. Even though everything is laid out for me with this program I am able to get creative with how to drill it into their heads, for example after they learned all three A sounds I had them all sit in a circle and I had a ball I would throw to one of them, followed my me saying a word that had one of the three sounds in it (or no a sound to see if they are one the ball) and have them say which one they hear and throw the ball back. It made them really listen and think for which sound they needed to listen for, and it helped them on their test. Oh and a couple highlights from my week other than them doing really well on their tests was Friday afternoons are a slightly free/fun day since we have chapel and it’s a short day, so we put together a giant world map puzzle then I gave them paper and paint to paint their own version of the world but what I got was even better, they all painted the same four flags, Haiti, Brazil, USA and Canada just for me, so now those are going to be hung around the class room because I love the paintings. And the second highlight was when one of the boys in my class pulled out a couple toy cars to play with, and one of them made me laugh wishing I brought my camera like I planned to that day, it was a VANCOUVER CANUCKS toy bus, all the way here in Haiti. I tried to explain that I am a fan of that team and showed them on the map where it was. It was just a great moment to end a great first week of teaching. Which I absolutely love to do.

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