Scottish day

6 09 2009

Wednesday 8th July

I made the HT work hard today!  I had a world map, Scotland map, Scottish book of photographs, my two photograph albums, postcards and a big book on Castlefield made by the pupils with me and the HT had to translate all of the information on this 9 times through the day!

We went into each class and took some of them in 2 groups until everyone had seen everything.  It took about 45 mins per session and we were both exhausted at the end.  I was really pleased all the pupils had the chance to see everything and it also meant if the pupils looked at the photos in the afternoon they would know what they were.  He was very good at it, as far as I could tell, but he did say I had tired him out.

Busy HT

Busy HT

We also did the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar with St 1, 2 and 3.  I had taken over a copy of the book as we had used it last year in our literacy in-service day and they loved it so I demonstrated and the HT translated how to read the book with the children using good questioning techniques and think, pair, share for discussion questions between the pupils.  We made sure that the other teachers were also watching so that they could practice this as well.  The children found it strange at first as they were not used to discussion and I was highlighting wait time which I am not sure will catch on!  The children are too keen to answer the question (if they know) so they are all shouting out right away and the teachers are very used to just asking for the first answer.  We did keep trying all of these things for the rest of the time I was there.  Something I could have gone to do but you really need longer there, would then be to encourage them in how they react to a pupil if they give a wrong answer as I felt it was quite discouraging but the time just flew away!

I went to the HT’s house for lunch that day and found that he had a tv and dvd player although the tv only works for the dvd player.  He only had one dvd but it made me realise that I could send dvd’s over of photographs, the film clips I took, messages from Castlefield etc and he could take it all into the school and show the pupils.  It runs from a complicated looking car battery system but we both got very excited of showing the pupils photos and film clips of themselves on screen.  I would love to be there to see that!

HT's house

HT's house

curiousity about the dvd player

curiousity about the dvd player

 

Five year old peeling and chopping potatoes for dinner

Five year old peeling and chopping potatoes for dinner

Had balloons out for them in the afternoon which is always a bit of a riot and then went for a run with them but my usually strong stomach was rebelling and I ended up not very well.  I had a feeling sorry for myself moment as I had really bad stomach cramps and just felt a bit miserable and realised I was going to have a few more trips than planned to the squat toilet and that I would have to explain to the family through Lameck as I would have to not eat for a bit. 

DHT's son - Tony

DHT's son - Tony

all ages loved the balloons

all ages loved the balloons

He was pointing out the children all waiting on me while I went off to bathe and saying they would really miss me this time which then made me more upset and I went off to bathe and sat in there having a bit of a cry!  With a toad for company!

So then had to explain about not eating – as I thought Lameck understood this but my family were very concerned and wanted to take me off to hospital!  Managed to not eat for 2 days pretty much and then I was okay but they never stopped asking me if I wanted food.

My usual things to do with the pupils were running, skipping, balloons, bubbles, tennis balls but I started playing tig with them tonight just as it started to be getting to dusk.  This meant they were moving about and I was keeping them warm!  It was great fun and for them they obviously just loved the fact that I was actually playing something with them and they were so excited!  We did it every night after that and I would pick different pupils to be the chasers with me.

Thursday 9th July

Today only 7 teachers were in school and when I asked about this was told that the rest were away at the TDC (Teacher Development Centre) marking the ST8 mock examination papers.  Things like this happen (and this happened for the next four days) all the time and it is another thing that hampers the pupils development.  If I had not been there I think the classes where teachers were not there would not get a teacher but I made sure that each class had a teacher.

We really did a lot while I was there this time to encourage the link with Clastlefield.  Each class in Castlefield had either drawn pictures or written letters or fact files for the other class and today ST1 and 3 with more coloured pencils and crayons that I had brought drew pictures back and wrote their names.  St 5 also wrote letters but this was hard for them in English and the teacher had to write up the bones of a letter on the board and then work hard translating the rest of the things the pupils wanted to write.

drawing pictures

drawing pictures

I wanted to do a similar thing with all of the other classes that I did with the Hungry Caterpillar so I took one of the stories we had bought English and Chichewa copies of last year and I had spent time the night before making up good discussion questions and grammar and language points to ask questions about and I did that today with St4 and 5, with the pupils having copies of the book in groups and doing paired reading and then having the teacher translate my questions and doing the same wait time and think, pair, share techniques that I had done with the infants.  These classes took to the discussion much better and it was great to see this but it was harder for me with these teachers trying to explain what I wanted the pupils to do as they were auxilliary teachers who had only just started.  If I spoke more than a few words of Chichewa it would really help!

I made up a number line when I got back to the house this afternoon and as I was sitting outside kids started to come out and join me so I got the crayons out and got them to colour in the numbers for me.  What started off 5 kids quickly became 40!  So luckily I had a lot of paper with me and crayons and I got that out for them all as well as photos and the postcards for them to copy scottish animals if they wanted.  This ended up reguarly being the first thing we did in the afternoons although it took all of the time I was there to teach them to share the crayons!

colouring in

colouring in

I was reminded today about the card my mum had sent after I got home last year.  As Lameck and his mum had written cards to all of my mum, she replied with a very short note along the lines of thanking everyone in the village for looking after me etc.  Well I got told today that it was absolutely revered; read out to pupils and shown to teachers, passed around parents in the village and now held safe by the school management committee and village chiefs.  Sent her a text saying she would have to do another one this year!

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