Felicia Black
Felicia Black
South Africa 2011- 2012
I am a recent Belmont graduate (Class of 2011) and I am going back to South Africa. I first went to South Africa in the fall of my junior year at Belmont and I had so much fun I decided to apply for the Lumos award and have been lucky enough to go again! Check out my previous blog at http://coming2sa.blogspot.com/ I will also be updating that blog as I return to South Africa so check ‘em out! Read More About Felicia →

The Way It’s Supposed to Be…

Today was a great day. It was challenging but it was still really good. I taught my first full class. I was nervous but comforted by the fact that my teacher did not leave alone ONCE in the classroom. I’m not sure if you’ve been reading this blog enough to truly understand the amazingness of that but let me just say that THAT NEVER HAPPENS. I was so happy!

So today I was working with my math teacher (by far the superior subject to English). We were (or I guess I was) teaching them about rounding to the nearest ten. It still amazes me how something so simple (at least to me) can be so difficult to teach (more props to my teachers). I started off by reviewing place value. Just to make sure we were on the same page. We were which was awesome but there was one problem that I had not anticipated: number lines. So I basically explain that to round you needed to know which two tens surrounded the number you were trying to round. For example, if the number was 12. You would have to know that 10 and 20 surrounded 12 in order to round. After that you could draw a number line (10 to 20) and then figure out where 12 was (fill in the rest of the numbers), then determine what number was 12 closer to 10 or 20? Simple right? Not really. It was a massive undertaking explaining to the kids how to figure out the tens, especially when we got to any number over 100. It was hard. Much more difficult than I imagined.

So I went through various examples trying to get them to understand. After a few examples, I gave them an activity to work on their own and helped out wherever I was needed, which as it turned out was everywhere…Yeah, it was exhausting but I still loved it because I felt like I was actually doing something. Sometimes it feels like I do nothing of importance so today was really nice.

We worked with that first class until break time. Meaning it took about an hour to get through my lesson and the activity and I’m pretty sure all of them didn’t get through it. After break, we moved onto another class and after some thinking during break, I thought of another way to make my lesson more effective. My kids love to use their fingers to count so I thought why not use that to my advantage. It sort of worked. I ended up going through the same lesson with the added use of the fingers method and helped out when needed as well. It went better than the first group but still as I went through and marked the papers there were still a lot of issues. It’s hard to really know what is the issue: language, delivery, methodology. But tomorrow I get to have at it again and hopefully the lessons from today will help with tomorrow.

I helped out with workshop today. Our theme for the month is space and the universe and it’s been really fun. Our display is awesome. Tomorrow is picture day so I’ll try to get some pictures! Today we had a literacy based lesson. We started a story with: Oh no! Our spaceship has crashed. I see all these strange things and I don’t know how to get back to earth….The kids had to finish the story. I was worried that it wouldn’t work because there were such varying grade levels but with our assistance it turned out really well. The stories were actually amazing.

Wednesday is also Nia day. Every Monday and Wednesday I take this dance class called Nia and if you haven’t tried, I urge you to. It’s amazing. It’s hard to describe but it’s a mixture of ballet, martial art, etc. It’s really fun. Today was extra awesome because Michelle (our dance instructor) brought in her awesome pants! So every session she wears these crazy pants that look amazing. Apparently she sells them, so I bought a pair instantly and I can’t wait for her to bring some more back.

The actual class was good too. We played with swords, invisible play swords that is. But it’s always fun. I love it but it’s a combination of following the instructor and then free dance so you can let it all out. It’s fun and you work up a sweat. What could be better?

Wednesday is also social night (so many good things in one day). It was trivia round which is always fun even if you know nothing (which I normally do). The coolest part was trying to figure out the top 25 songs from 2011. It was a crazy mix of all the songs and it was really difficult but fun to listen to and then there were normal questions, apparently brought to you by Australian day (which is tomorrow in case you’re wondering). It was a good time. What a good day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *