Our second week of school was pretty interesting. After visiting the bi-lingual school on Monday, we went back to the Grundshule Am Stadtsee with varied perspectives on the differences between the two schools. An example would be that at the bi-lingual school, a lot more lessons are taught in English and students are more receptive to switching between two languages within a lesson. Another example would be that in the bi-lingual school, there is more cooperative learning and less direct instruction.
Jessica and I were given the opportunity to show the difference in solving subtraction and addition problems as well as teach a mini English lesson. The difference in addition is that the students do not carry above the numbers but below the numbers. In subtraction, they use more mental math versus actually subtracting to solve the problem. They use the bottom number of the problem to find out how many they need to add to equal the top number, for example 9-2=7, how many do we add to 2 to make 9.
In English, our cooperating teacher allotted us 20 minutes at the end of the lesson to speak some English with the students. We were told that they are learning about pets, clothing, and family members. We chose to focus our mini-lesson on clothing and colors (which they already know) by playing the game I SPY. This gave the teacher another resource to use while teaching about different topics in English and kept the students engaged while having fun. Of course we had to explain the game before we were able to play but the students quickly learned the concept and learned how to describe articles of clothing in English. Towards the end, we switched from articles of clothing to objects in the room as long as they described the objects in English they were able to use them.
During a Deutsch lesson, the students were able to go outside and experience a blind simulation course. Parcours im Dunkeln came to the school and set up the simulation so that all the students in the school could experience what it would be like to be blind. They put on an eye mask and were given a walking stick in which they had to maneuver themselves through the course by using a sweeping motion to guide them. This simulation enabled the students to have a real world connection and have a better understanding of how blind people live their daily lives and the challenges they encounter every day.
Overall, this week was a good week for us all! We are very comfortable speaking with the headmaster about any concerns or questions that we have and are happy that the teachers are accommodating and allowing us the opportunities to be more involved with the students.
-Jennifer and Jessica