Fiona has graduated from teaching preschoolers to teaching the second grade, the highest class the school offers. I am her willing assistant. The kids range in age from seven to twelve. Some of them are diligent. Some of them are wild things. Hopefully our reading of Donde Viven Los Monstrous (Where the Wild Things Are – or literally where the monsters live) today will not have inspired the latter.
First, the concepts that we teach are harder. Rather than identifying where a nose goes on a face today we learned about:
- How three digit numbers are made up of hundreds, tens and ones
- Syllables in words (esp important in Spanish because there are rules about emphasis)
- Parts of the plant
- Drawing maps from a birds eye view
Second, some of them feel the responsibility they have for younger siblings at home extends to school. This can be disruptive of their learning. For example today:
- One of our students brought her two year old sister to school, because there was no one to leave her with at home (she spent some time with the preschoolers, but most on her sister’s lap)
- Another is constantly wanting to check and see if her little brother is doing what he ought in Preschool (he almost certainly isn’t but that’s not her responsibility in school hours)
And finally the kids tend to be more independent. They did like being read to today, but also also capable of reading the books themselves, see below. Sometimes they read so slowly it’s hard to know whether they get the meaning as well as the sounds, but this seems to be the case.
Thankfully reading is one area where I can be of some assistance. The kids sound out the word and, because Spanish is spelt phonetically, even without know what the word is I can know whether they’re getting it right.