One of the things that I do in class every day is "Calendar Time." I have a little song that I sing, we talk about what day it is and put up a velcro number on our ladybug shaped calendar. Sometimes in order to get the kids to repeat the day I go up to each one and say: "Guess what?! It's Friday (or whatever day)!!" I find that touching each child and saying words is an excuse for them to hear the word several times. I'm not sure if it's an effective method but it is fun and they get such a kick out of it (saying "a mi, prof!" until they get their turn).
I really do like Friday! I think it's because it's a day in which I don't have to think about my class for the next day! It's a time to rest and rejuvenate! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... It's not like I don't think about my classes all weekend long. In fact, so far Saturdays seem to be the day to plan for the next week. And next week is exam week so I need to start planning for my test. I've realized that tests are actually sort of scary for teachers too! We have to worry about whether the kids are actually learning anything or not. I think for me as an inexperienced teacher that it's especially scary because I don't necessarily know if my teaching methods are the best and etc. Thankfully, last month's exams went surprisingly well and the kids did alright with remembering.
I guess I should catch you all up on how teaching is going! Last week we were studying the letter "I" so we talked about insects, iguanas and ICE CREAM!! Some of the missionaries here have a plug-in ice cream maker so I decided to try to make ice cream in my classes. You had to put the container in the freezer for at least 24 hrs before and then add cream, milk and sugar in order to make the ice cream. I don't know what happened the first day but my ice cream didn't freeze and we just ended up with a chocolately sugary drink. The kids in the 4 yr old class were forgiving and obliged me with "que rico" remarks about the "ice cream." I tried to figure out what I did wrong and found out that it was better to mix the ingredients ahead of time before putting in the machine. So I turned the freezer at the school all the way up and put the container in to try it again for the next day. The second day it went much better and we actually had ice cream in the end (which is good because i think the kids in the 5 yr old class are less forgiving - funny what one year does). The only problem was that the day was cloudy and sooooooooo cold. After the ice cream, one little boy kept saying "tengo friiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooo" (I'm coooooooooold!).
This week has been the letter "O" (which is way easier for them because the Spanish "O" is closer). So, we talked about the color Orange, made owl puppets from importated lunch bags (they don't have them here) and otter tp roll crafts. We also learned some other colors and reviewed our shapes. I had a child who threw up, a child whose leg was peed on by another and several runny noses... yay! Today we had a birthday cake for Alex who loves cake (because he's more from the campo/country where cake is not a common occurence). He usually just has fruit for his snack time. You should see what some of these kids bring for snack!! One little boy always seems to have a 5 course meal and another brings things like lollipops or chocolate. Today during morning devotion time (we have it with all the grades together on Monday and Friday) it was the 4 yr. old class' turn to lead (each Fri. is a different grade). They had been working on it all week long but when it came down to it, only 3 of them wanted to really participate. One little boy, Reynaldo just sat on the stage looking angry while the drama (that he was supposed to be in) went on. He is only 3 and he is a child of extremes: joy when he's greeting you in the morning ("Hello Miss Carrie!" - he loves to say "Hello!") and anger when he doesn't get his way (he was angry yesterday because he didn't get a prize and he refused to pray before snacktime). Thankfully his moods don't last too long and he can quickly switch from one to the other. Ah, the life of a 3 and 4 yr. old!!!
I still have moments when I stop and say "I really don't know what I'm doing!!!" but for the most part I'm feeling like I'm falling into the rhythm of teaching these classes. I do hope that I'm teaching them what they need to know but at least it's kindergarten. Kindergarten has less pressure than the other grades because they still need a lot of play time and most of what you teach is just groundwork and something that will be repeated in the grades to come. phew! So, I guess I should be glad to have the kindergarteners than the older kids. Good thing God knows we He's doing even when I'm half confused!!!