Day two of schule.
We were still trying to work out my schedule for teaching here in Germany so I continued to follow Viola to all of her classes! Today was the first day I taught a lesson! Before I left for Germany I had my sixth graders at the school in Kentucky write letters, on my last day, to the German students. They are very close in age! My sixth grades were eleven and twelve and my fifth graders here are ten, eleven, and some twelve year olds! I was very excited they were close in age, as this would give them many commonalities to share with one another! So, Tuesday I gave each student a letter from the American student. I wish I had taken a picture of their faces! They were SO excited they would be starting "pen pals" with another student from Kentucky! It was so cute seeing them! After giving them the letters, I explained how we would write them back. I have their English book and looked over it Monday night. In the back there is an English to Germany dictionary and a German to English dictionary, which is a great resource! I then went over a brief version of the friendly letter format. I explained that they would write Dear _____, (the name of the student they received in Kentucky), then the body or the paragraph where they would to questions and tell their pen pal about themselves, their family, hobbies, and much more! Then we ended the letters with Your new friend, _____ (and their name). They struggled with some English but we went around and helped them! I also drew a t-chart on the board. On one side I wrote common English words used in the letters such as:: my name is, hobbies, family, years old, etc. On the other side I translated it in German for them:: mein name ist, hobbies, familie, jahre alt. This way the students could better translate their letters! The students also got into groups and read their letters aloud to one another. Viola and I talk all the time about it is better to learn a language when you can hear how it is supposed to be spoken, rather than simply reading it out of a textbook! This is SO true! This was a great time for them to practice hearing and reading it to one another! For homework, they were required to make corrections and/or complete the first draft of their letter! One student even suggested that they send pictures of themselves, their family, their homes, and their town. I failed to mention this so I was very happy to see the children engaged and wanting to do more! They are such bright little kiddos! :)
My favorite part of the day was while the students were writing their first drafts. One student came up to Viola and asked, "How much does it cost to get to Kentucky?" Viola turned to me and asked me. I told her it was very expensive and the price. The student's eyes got so big! He was stunned and you could see it written all over his face, "I don't have that much money". So what would you do? Start saving? Take out a loan? Get a scholarship? Well, whatever it is you don't need to worry any longer. This precious child has just the answer. He then replied with, "Well I guess I will just take the bus!" Viola and I then burst into laughter. It was so sweet! I can see it now. That student on a bus and reaching the Atlantic only to find the bus can't travel on water! It was too funny! We explained how far it was and that you couldn't take a bus. We decided it be best that I share just how far away Kentucky is from OstBevern.
Later Tuesday night I prepared a PowerPoint for the kids. I knew I had to show them how far it was somehow and make it fun! I will share with you on my next blog what I did!
The rest of the day was great! The kids were all so sweet and I continued to introduce myself to a few other classes using my "me bag" and the picture slide show. I did it so many times but it never got old! It was so exciting each and every time, as the classes were all much different. Some of them struggled a lot with English and asking questions, where other classes would have had me fooled that they were even German! They remind me so much of the kids back in Kentucky. No matter where you are in the world, kids are kids. This is why I LOVE what I do!!
Till' Next Time!