Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 3: The Primary School

This week has been full of fun and eye opening experiences for me. Amber, Stephanie, and I spent every day at the Uhlandschule Primary School, located just down the street from the Anne Frank Gymnasium. We were not entirely sure what we would be doing with the students once we got there. The only thing we knew for sure was that we would be working with students in the first through fourth grades. Upon interacting with the first group of students, we realized the limited amount of English these children knew. This is due to the fact that they do not begin learning English until halfway through the first grade year. We quickly adjusted our plans and ended up having a great time with the kids!

We spent a lot of time reviewing key concepts the students already learned, such as colors and numbers. We found the most effective way to review with them was to involve them in some type of game. We learned several games from the German teachers at the school and we shared some of our own as well. With all of the second grade classes, we were able to plan lessons that introduced them to the vocabulary words for weather. We sang a song together as a class, played a memory matching game in pairs, and made individual booklets on the types of clothes one can wear in different weather conditions. The students really seemed to love this! I think our time at the primary school really taught us a lot about teaching ELL students. I know we will carry that knowledge back with us to the United States.

Although we spent a lot of time at the primary school this week, we still had time to go on other adventures after school. One day after school, we traveled with our host dad and sister to Oberhausen, a town about thirty minutes away. We toured a very interesting art gallery and went to the largest mall in Germany for some gift shopping. We also visited the town center of Lunen, which is the town Stephanie and I actually live in. We did some more shopping and enjoyed delicious ice cream. Our family also took us to meet their Spanish horses, which was a real treat! Our host dad also took us to visit another local castle and we walked to the top of an old water tower, where we had a spectacular view of the entire town. I cannot believe I only have a few short days left here before traveling back to the United States!

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