Last Thursday I didn't do my normal activities out in the hall instead the kids were learning about Veteran's Day. Ms. Wenner gave a presentation and then there were mini activities that we did with the kids throughout the presentation. One of the activities was for the kids to build a sphere out of plato. The kids also learned about days of the month. After learning about Veteran's Day we had snack and then we all went to the computer lab where I helped kids log into their account to play a type of learning game. After some time at the computer lab my time was up and it was time for me to say good-bye.
I knew that this service project would challenge me as I'm not always the most patient (or clear at times) in explaining things, especially with kids. I was surprised to find that the kids were patient with me as well when I needed them to be, either with helping another student along or regrouping myself. I have learned that when teaching, it's often easier to go along with what the students are more interested in and are attentive to than strict plans, as they get more out of that kind of learning opportunity than something that doesn't hold their attention. I also expected this service to take more time or preparation, and while it does require some, I know that a lot of what we end up doing relies on what the kids want to do and their mood, so it can change from day to day. The value of being adaptable but also having a plan is important, and also something I know I can continue to work on.
I feel both myself and the kids are gaining the same ability to learn a new way to communicate, so in that way, I would say we are receiving the same. While my part requires preparation and knowledge, they also allow me the opportunity to get out of a more stressful academic environment and have fun while helping others, so I truly feel that both sides are benefiting from this experience nearly equally.
I did not even begin learning Spanish until 2nd grade and didn't have a formal class until 7th, so I think it's really incredible that these kids have the opportunity to begin learning and also are curious to learn at a young age so that they are better prepared in the future. I can tell which of them are eager to learn, and I think it's great that they are able to feel like they're excelling at something and have skills that a lot of their peers don't, even if it's just knowing a few words. I always enjoyed being challenged when I was younger, so I like to see that these kids want to challenge themselves and test their knowledge as well.
With the last lesson of los numeros, the kids were very active and engaged, which made this lesson a lot more fun. I had a smaller group for my story and game time, which made it a lot easier to let all of the kids have a turn and participate or ask questions. They also were able to be more collaborative, which worked well for my game. They were able to use Spanish more easily than any other lesson; they would often call out the Spanish color without saying it in English first. They were also able to pick out some numbers without English but got confused with a few (mostly 2-3-4). While it was easier for the kids to be collaborative, it was still difficult to let everyone have a chance to learn when there are a few who take charge and try to keep them focused but not discouraged.
It went great! I presented to the whole class about my culture. I was talking about the traditional holidays, clothing, and foods that are within my lifestyle.
Watched a movie since it was cold out! Made some popcorn also.
Read "An atumum walk" with the kids
We went to the Bookmark and got her "I Love to Read" coupon from her school redeemed. It was interesting to see how the Saint Peter public schools are involved with the Gustavus community.