Friday, September 12, 2008

i'm in! and Extreme pickles pringles are good!

I got to teach this week!

On Tuesday I went into the classroom and did some fast thinking and lots of internal pep-talking with myself at the lack of materials, books, wall decorations...

The walls were covered in white posterboards with vocabulary words on them... which is great if you are a man teacher, I guess, but I wanted to barf. I know decorations shouldn't be my first priority, but if I can't think properly because there are blank white walls, I'm perty sure some of the students won't be able to, either.
so my mission tomorrow is to go thrift-store/dollar store shopping and get some supplies... such as crafty stuff (scissors, markers, glue), some type of fabric for the prison-like windows that are set 6 or so feet off the ground and are only 2x2ft. square,... some posters possibly, or at least some paint, and maybe a bookshelf for my bedroom (which is totally unrelated). and maybe a desk slash dresser.

On the first day I had (whoever was in class) write down why they were in spanish / what they wanted to learn / study this year. Some kids didn't write anything, others wrote "nothing," "learn to play the guitar real good," (?!?!?) some wrote "talk to girls, sweet talking," still others actually gave me helpful suggestions, like learning to speak more fluently, learning "more" color words, How to say (this or that,...) .
And then I had them "write 4 sentences in spanish - about whatever you want. this is for me, to see how much you guys have learned so far..." (so for the month before I came, there was a doctorate student kinda teaching the class, and then it was a bunch of substitutes, so these kids seem like they're really behind...) I got some good sentences. Like "Yo estoy enfermedad." (I am sickness.... ) and "my friend is ___. She is drunk."
"I need 120 beef tacos. and a Coke. Please."

Oh boy. :)
Day two - I gave them three front-and-back sheets of paper with ABCs, Numbers 1 to a million, a few key "greeting" phrases, and a list of 69 animals in spanish (with the English equivalents). Basically we spent the hour repeating the words/phrases so they could hear what they sounded like, and then my one spanish two class (I am kinda giving them the same material for now, ...) I had make skits with the vocab from the day... There were a bunch of composition books in the closet, so i took those out and gave one to each group in Spn.2 and they put their skits in there. One group decided to make a dialogue between a hippo and a few other animals. Bua ha ha. Yes! I was really hoping for some creativity.

Day three (yesterday): Probably a really dry and boring day for the students, but I think maybe it was important. I had them take notes on the rules for dividing (Spanish) words into syllables, and then (tried to) explained the rules, and gave a few examples. And made them attempt to divide the animal vocabulary into syllables...

Day four: (today!) I tried to make it more fun.... Yesterday after the staff meeting (my first one! yikes! I had to talk about myself. ewww) I checked out some books from Candi, the librarian, who is blonde (! - there are not very many here.... ;) ) on Spanish speaking countries for a project I have planned. So in class, I told them about it - (Since there are P/T conferences next week (it's going to be interesting, since I have very little idea of what's gone on before I arrived).
I am having them make travel brochures so I can have something to decorate the room with besides family trees that they made sometime in the beginning of the year... Little do they know that's pretty much the only reason they are doing this. Haha, just kidding. Kind of.

I am also making them make flashcards of all (yes, all 69) animals from the animal list and dividing them into syllables. I don't really care that much about the syllable, but it really will help them with pronunciation at least. They sound like Americans, lol... if you're a foreign language student you so know what I mean. A lot of my professors/teachers made fun of the students that spoke Xlanguage with an American accent. I don't think anyone's ever told me my Spanish sounded American; Zarema, my Russian prof, told me I have an ear for languages,... so when i hear an american spanish accent, hahaha... run away!

So with the chillens making flashcards and brochures, I had a little bit of time to finish up putting grades in the computer (i finally found the program that lets me do that last night - I had to install Firefox to be able to use it, I guess...) and I handed back (well, made them hand back) a ton of paperage....

I have no idea how many points I am supposed to be giving these people.... so right now there are just "homework, projects, quizzes, and tests. and i haven't found any "tests" yet, so i think they're safe there. I don't know what to do about grades for people that maybe weren't in class that day, though.... meh.

I should go to bed. I kinda signed up for Netflix and spent half an hour on there looking at the movies they offer. It should give me something to do, and maybe I can find some good spanishy movies...
write me a letter! I'll write back!!

PO Bx 1114
Sanders, AZ 86512
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