Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wonderful Workshop Wednesday

I am a teacher back in the states. My classroom is full of technology: 14 computers, a printer, a scanner, a copier, and a Smartboard. So when I signed up to come and teach here in Kenya, I couldn’t even imagine what that would look like.

My first few days of planning lessons were hard. How can kids learn if you can’t print of worksheets or show a You-Tube video? What I learned is that it is easy to adjust. You get used to chalk covering your clothes. You get used to printing less and getting more creative with lessons. And you get used to talking just a little louder because the walls don’t reach the ceiling and you can hear the class next to you shouting their ABCs.
-- Sharing a love of reading --
I also learned that kids are the same no matter where you go. They still act silly. They still get shy. And they still love to read! These kids grow up speaking Swahili, but schools are taught in English. They are drilled with grammar and rules. They understand present continuous tense and present perfect continuous tense better than I do, but they lack a school library and miss out on reading for enjoyment.

GVI decided to launch a trial reading/writing program with Standard 4 and Base Academy that would change that. We call it WWW, or Wonderful Workshop Wednesday. This workshop allows the students time to read and write independently, while incorporating different skills and strategies for them to be practicing.
-- Students writing their own stories --

I had the joy of watching the first two weeks of this program in action. It was great! Their
eyes were glued to the stories you read to them. Their hands were reaching for the books you hand them. Their pencils were writing stories and poems that mimicked the styles of real authors. GVI is now making plans to open a library in Shimoni.