Tuesday morning the Community Outreach interns woke up early for our first day at the school. We teach every Tuesday and Wednesday for the next 6 weeks. I hardly slept the night before in anticipation for the big day.
Kindergarten starts at 8:00 AM and Heather began her class with rules and expectations, nametags where students practice writing their name, and a song about school. Each class is an hour long and the students are divided into four groups, Kindergarten, 1st + 2nd grade, 3rd + 4th grade, and 5th + 6th grade.
I teach the oldest group, my 5th + 6th grade class is from 11:50 to 12:50. On the first day we did a getting to know you activity. The students fold a piece of paper into 4 parts, write their name and age, two words that describe them, their favorite subject, and something they want to learn during the semester. They write all the words in English and Spanish to build vocabulary skills. I like this activity because it helps me get to know my students and identify their interests. Before collecting the work for later review and leaving the school I promoted my after school science club which is every Wednesday at 3 pm in La Concha. La Concha is the concrete paved and covered area with bleachers in the center of town before the fork in the road. It is a multi-purpose meeting place for the community and this is also where they play soccer. The kids seemed excited about the science club, and Conleigh’s music club, and many of them wrote that they wanted to learn more about science on their paper. Other topics they want to learn about are Music, Math, Social Studies, English, and Animals.
The 5th graders weren’t in school on the second day so I planned a special lesson for the 6th graders. I taught them the English and Spanish words that pertain to the Water Cycle, Ciclo de Agua, and then we illustrated it on large paper, labeled the parts, and painted it with watercolors. The students did a great job with the activity, of course they test me a little bit, I wouldn’t expect anything less of them, but they are respectful, intelligent, and hardworking. About half an hour into the lesson students started coming in from other classrooms and soon I had 10 more children from the lower grades painting on the floor. It was a party!
We didn’t have time to finish the water cycle paintings but I had to cut them off somewhere, there was paint all over the floor and I had to get back to the house to get ready for Science club. Yeison, or Jason, one of my students who has earned himself a reputation in San Miguel and with past interns for his bad behavior, grabbed a mop and cleaned up our mess without even being prompted to do so. I sure did appreciate his help.