I am so appreciative that I started out with lessons that can stay the same for each group, but be adapted up or down quickly. Today is day 2 of doing body mazes, which means we get the younger groups. I made sure to do a lesson in the hall where we all moved left, right, forward, backward, up, down and make a big step. We ended up having teams of students help the blindfolded student through the body maze so they could help each other with their English. I noticed most of my younger kids in 3 classes had issues with the “eh” sound in “step” and instead pronounced it as “stop.” I tried to correct it, but I know that’s a speech pattern that I’ll have to keep an eye out for.
Each group had to have the activity with a different variation. One group needed a strong lesson before the activity and we could break into 2 groups and create 2 mazes. One group needed a strong lesson, and I wasn’t confident to have the kids go through the maze, so I had them guide my TA through the maze. Two groups had one big maze with several students guiding their peers through.
Some groups I had finish early for one reason or another. While we waited for class to end, I gave them bookmarks with facts about Pennsylvania, and asked them if they recognized any English words on the bookmark.
I handed out Reece’s to my homeroom today and I was interested to see how they took their time eating the candy. And during snack time, we were given Grzeski candy bars. They reminded me of my childhood when my parents would always buy vanilla wafers.
During the afternoon, I helped in the movie room. We had a little hiccup when the power went out for a few minutes, but I gathered some coloring books and the power came back quickly. We were watching American movies on Netflix with Polish subtitles. I appreciated the Polish subtitles, because I could try and pick up a few more words. We were watching Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron, so I was able to point out the setting on a map and talk a little about the time period to help out the kids.
I think the biggest thing that the teachers and TAs keep sharing is that kids are kids no matter the culture. Yes, we have learned about some cultural differences, but these kids are great at trying and love to have fun! I know right now, I’m checking my lessons to make sure they are engaging enough and will help them enjoy this experience!
Tomorrow is Polish day, and I can’t wait to listen to them share their culture with me!