Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I have been working with the nursery teachers (three year olds) since the beginning of last week for about an hour each day. There are three nursery classes so it's hard for me to remember all of the children's names. Comparing nursery students to kinder students, I can see a huge difference in their English vocabulary. Kinders are required to speak only English in the classroom, but nursery students are still learning their native language. I was reading a story to a nursery class one day last week and the children kept commenting and answering my questions in Spanish, so the teacher had to translate everything for me. I have noticed too, that the nursery students get more free time to play in the classroom, where as kinder students get the end of the day to free play. In the states preschool has to be given over two hours of free play in the classroom on top of outside time. The students at St. Paul's get three opportunities to go outside every day and the playground for these younger students is equipped with toys you would find in American classrooms like blocks, cars, sand, etc.

On Tuesday, several of us helped a teacher create displays for the Roald Dahl's revolting rhymes. The teacher, Richard, talked to us about tips for creating the displays in our own classrooms. It was really fun working on the boards for most of the morning!

Today, I helped a teacher implement a game where the children had to roll dice and put the correct amount of counters on the spaces and who ever reached the castle at the top of the beanstalk won. The children loved it! Then the teacher, Lucie, passed out number books that had beanstalks with numbers written on the leaves. Students had to fill in the missing numbers. I helped a child who was having trouble recognizing the order of the numbers.

Today, I also learned that the children in kinder learn how to write their name and learn the sounds of the letters in their name, but don't learn the actual letter name. Lucie told me that the students learn how to read and write the next year in prep. 

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