Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 16 - 20
This week was more focused on the very young kids during they day time and the older ones in the evening.

In the mornings I am working with daycare aged kids trying to help out in songs and games, and then try to do some 1-on-1 with a kid trying to teach some ABC's.

When it comes to the songs..as an American it is very interesting and only a few of them carry over exactly. Songs such as heads shoulders knees and toes, row your boat, and the itsy bitsy spider are the same.

The song that really blew me away that is different is the ABC's.  I had no idea there were other versions of the song. In India it's the same until the letter "P" where they repeat L, M, N, O, P..for some reason...and say Z as Zed.  I also don't even want to tell you about little Johnny Thin and Little Johnny Fat...and the horrible thing one of them tries to do with the cat!

During the movie song time I try to pull out one, maybe two kids to work on their ABC's. this can be a bit of a challenge since they don't speak English, and have a short attention span.  The method that I found most effective is playing the ABC song on my iPhone, writing the first few letters, and have them trace the letters. Once they get the hang of the motion I try to have them do it by themselves. Most struggle, but the few that do get it...man it is an amazing feeling.  There face just been a with excitement. Truly awesome.

At SEAMs at night I work with some of the older kids.  I usually work 1 on 1 and some other times small groups.  The big thing with them reading is continuously give them praise...even if they aren't perfect...or really even close to perfect. they really try hard and any type of negative feedback can be tough/demotivating.

Working in small groups is all about finding games to keep them interested and ones where they work on there English. Two games I've found to be the most effective/fun. The first is Guess Who. The kids like it, and they have to practice using full sentences. I was really surprised on how much they struggled with that at first...but soon they were rolling with it pretty well.  The second game we play is using one of the picture books we all say 8 words together. Once we complete doing that I describe one of the objects. The kids race to say which object. This is a great game and the kids love it, as long as you don't repeat the words.

In the second week most of the kids have really gotten use to me, and ask when in coming back. It's always a bit bitter sweet making these attachments so quick. I'd like to be there for the long run, but that isn't possible. I do feel much better though knowing that they have Stephen Raja, his wonderful family, and the great adults around them as a constant presence.  I'm glad that I'm a part of this and that I get to share the amazing fun moments with the kids.

- Mike