Thursday, March 3, 2011

Post Cards

My school

Me and one of my year 1 students.

Year 7 working hard.

Year 7 students

Year 5 class

Sharing Post Cards
As you know, I am collecting post cards for my school to promote English and learning about different cultures. Tasi, from New Zealand was the first one to send me one. Actually, not just one but four! On these post cards, he filled countless information about the history of New Zealand, about his family, and New Zealand currently. This provided countless teaching opportunities in all levels. I also learned a lot as well, since I have never been there. To me, it was interesting hearing about the Maori people, the first ones to settle on New Zealand.
To enhance my teaching as much as possible, I brought in an atlas (compliments of my mother), and taught the children how to use a Table of Contents to find the country we are looking about. I know this is a skill we will have to keep revisiting throughout the entire year. Some classrooms also had maps, and we tried to find the country on the given maps.
The best learning took place in the upper grades. They worked on read and listening as we went through the post cards. We talked about new vocabulary, and used the population numbers to compare. (It was perfect that we were working on comparative adjectives during the week.) We even acted out our own Haka dance to compare it to what the one in New Zealand looks like, and practiced saying hello the way Maori people do (they touch noses). When the students finished their work they had free reign to read and look at the pictures leisurely. They actually wanted to read and re-read them every chance they got. (I think it was their first time getting mail.)
As I visited classes in the lower levels, I shorted the sentences that I shared, to make sure there was complete understanding. We still used the pictures to guide our understanding.
By the time I got to years 1 and 2, I was only speaking Samoan to them, but they loved learning about a country where they have family members.
I have a book that I am collecting them in, and every day the students take out the book to read them. It is a beautiful site to see them read.
Thank you Tasi for starting off my project in a successful manner!

I just received two more post cards today from America-Wisconsin and Minnesota. Thank you both for sending them!!

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