And its only Thursday!
Tomorrow is a full school day until 1:30 so back to the ditties/dictation/reading activities and showing the teachers different ways to use the resources we made!
The children here are all preparing for their end of year exams and so my visit this time is proving very valuable and taking some of the intensity away. Thankfully the children do not have to remain in the same class if they do not pass- which I understand was once the case within the primary sector.
Thursday, 31 March
Today has been all about planning for the huge workshop on Saturday, so Sneha, (a senior teacher), Brenda and Pritty ( the two Headmistresses) have an opportunity to present to their colleagues. It gives them a vehicle to share their expertise, take ownership, and for me to help them build ‘capacity’. The teachers need to make Jolly Phonics their own whilst ensuring it maintains the integrity of approach.
Sneha had a look at all the resources we made during our resource making day and was over the moon! Her face just dropped when she saw how much money had been raised and to say delighted, doesn’t do any justice. Brenda cried- with joy! The Nursery Teachers are making their sand and water play wish lists. Saturday for them all is going to be a bit like Christmas.
Wednesday, 30 March
Ditties, dictation and Elmer hit Goa!
I had a wonderful time this morning modelling early dictation and spellings with the equivalent of Year 1 and 2. The children really know their sounds now and can blend well. The challenge is now developing their writing skills. Some letters pose a challenge linguistically like /b/ and /p/ and the vowel sounds /a/, /e/ and /i/ can easily be muddled with the Konkani sounds! However, this does not deter the children at all. They loved seeing their efforts rewarded and encouraged seeing where they had written the words correctly and were very keen to correct! They loved the signs for a capital letter and flamboyant action for a full stop which of course our Reception and Year 1 boys know so well!
I arrived in one class this morning and was met with a barrage of drawings and a little chick with an egg. This was because I had taught them ‘Chick, Chick Chicken’ last year to help them remember the /ch/ sound. It was also an Easter gift!
I read Elmer three times today to model story telling. Never has there been such peace in a classroom, one of the teachers commented. Such is the value of reading real story books. Elmer has taken on a bit of an Indian flourish as pictures started appearing whilst I was teaching an ICT lesson. One class is going to try writing their own Elmer story. The resources, which group of kind volunteers made earlier this term, are already in use, copied and are being used next week.
I also went to down town Panjani (or Panjim as it was called once upon a time) in search of the Book Centre which I duly found having turned down several interesting alleys. I have managed to find some suitable books for the Nursery classes – not the quite the choice, as one would expect, but a good starting point. ‘Harry and the Dinosaurs’, ‘Aliens love underpants’ as well as Kipper seem very popular here!
Tuesday, 29 March
Today was planned, but like all things in sunny Goa, they don’t always run to the plan that has been carefully crafted! This was, however a good thing! Having been worried that Cambridge University Press in New Delhi had not replied to any of my emails, I found that they had reacted and had already been in touch with Father Jose. Cambridge University Press had arranged to send their representative all the way from Mumbai to met me in person. The order has been placed thanks to you! This however, was not a simple process as various documentation, stamps, signatures, emails, photos had to be done to authenticate the order. It took ……..two and a half hours! As a result of this, I only managed to teach two lessons and spend time with the Nursery Class.
What is particularly exciting is that Dabolim and Oxdel are going to be the first schools in Goa State to use Jolly Phonics properly. This will be a big coup for Don Bosco Konkan Development Society.
Easter Monday, 28 March
I have had a very good flight and was lucky enough to be upgraded to Business class for the Manchester to Doha leg. What a lovely start to my travels!
It was a hot sticky 28°c when I arrived at Dabolim this morning at 03:45. The sights and sounds of Goa were there to greet me as the sun started to rise - the ladies by the roadside with their marigold wreaths, the churches festooned with lights, household steps being cleaned ready for a new day and that wonderful smell of hot, scorching earth. It’s lovely to be back.