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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Do something crazy!

The craziness of this post (in addition to the 'being a missionary, working with kids, living in SA' aspect) comes from 1) writing this via stream of consciousness, rather than a developed structure, and 2) using a LOT of pictures PLUS a video. Hold on folks, it’s about to get wild!

Br. Rob’s departure hasn’t made too big a difference to my specific work responsibilities other than 1) being a more utilized driver for afternoon bus routes and 2) becoming the official bell ringer to signify beginning of school and the end of midday playtime. Our school staff is quite proficient in performing their tasks; as such, Holy Cross School has hardly missed a beat.
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For the past two weeks, grades 2 and 1 have teamed up for movement class.

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Br. Josias giving one-on-one help to a grade 2 student.

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Grade 1 students practicing their reading, after learning the letter “b”.

The after-school clinic is going very well. We have 3 regular attendees, and they are becoming increasingly competent with their studies. When they have a technology-related task, they know how to navigate the internet and print information on their own. For written assignments, they usually only seek my help for the occasional spell-check or clarification of instruction. Remember how the clinic used to entail tedious instruction on computer tasks (I briefly mentioned it here)? Nowadays, I find myself less of an instructor and more of an observer; I credit this to the students becoming more self-sufficient.
I especially enjoyed this day, when two students (right and left) taught another (middle) how to copy & paste an image onto Word. Teach a person to fish, and they can teach others.
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 During the school day: I’ve started using stories more frequently in English class, often focusing on a story for multiple days in the row. After reading a new story, we usually discuss it the following day, or act it out as a group (big hit with the kids!), and later have the students group up and arrange the story’s picture cards into chronological order. This is a GREAT way to get students engaged in learning. They are now quite knowledgeable about (among other stories) 3 little pigs, gingerbread man, and goldilocks!
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Enormous Crocodile! First reading since it’s big success back in September.

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Clifford the Big Red Dog. The books were a gift from a recent visitor.

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side note: Remember how we occasionally watch movies on Friday? We recently re-watched ‘Shrek’, and the kids’ faces absolutely lit up when I pointed out the gingerbread man. I hope they notice even more characters when/if we re-watch it later!

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Sequencing the 3 little pigs. The kids were troopers for handling smaller pictures this day.

Another (continuing) highlight has been laptop class. I give each student a typing activity that focuses on a new task (for example, practicing spacing between words). After completing the activity, they are free to play games. The latest popular ‘game’ has been a program that speaks your text.
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Yesterday, after splitting the students into 3 groups, we created a morning rotation of 1) meeting with the head teacher for math instruction, 2) playing games on the school laptops, and 3) using my laptop to take/print pictures of themselves with the words “My name is [their name]”. I monitored stations 2 & 3. The stations were great not only for introducing them to a printer, but also to get extra practice time.
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While talking about laptops, I’d be remiss not to show you this video of a child’s first experience with the computer camera. You can also witness another child’s victory dance in the background:
Fun times :)

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I’ve eclipsed 700 words, so I suspect this is enough for now. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey, and thank you for all the ways you have shown support. The 5 minutes you take to read these posts (perhaps a little longer than 5 minutes this time), in and of itself, is appreciated.

Have a blessed week!!!
In Christ,
-Cameron

ps I have one last question for now: As you read this post, did any of the pictures appear blurry to you? Whether you noticed or not, I'd like to know!! I'm experimenting with picture sizes.

4 comments:

  1. All the pix look great, Cameron. Nice and big beautiful smiling faces. It's great to see the glee of learning and mastery. I'm glad you've continued to find the wonder of teaching and sharing. xo

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    1. Thanks for the kind words as always, Shannon!!!

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  2. Photos were great. Love reading your blog and hearing about the terrific work you're doing.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Diane!! I hope everything is going well back in the US!

      How nice to hear from you :)

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