Days 5 and 6 in Djangoa: Struggling with exam preparation sessions
The library is running quite well, the kids really enjoy all the new books. Unfortunately we struggle a bit with our French classes. Read about it in this post!
Establishing a morning routine: At 5.45 a.m., I - Sarah - again went running with Azaly, while Domi stayed in bed, curing his stomach and head ache. Surprisingly, two female 5th grade students joined us at the main road on Tuesday, and on Wednesday they brought another 5th grade student! The girls are quite fit, even without shoes! Although communication is quite difficult, they are still very happy to go running with us.
Welcoming the younger students to the library: With the kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 3th grade students, we did the same library introduction programme as with the 4th and 5th graders, but we sang another song and explained everything more interactively. The teachers participated actively in the library session, which was great! But let's speak about Storya, our librarian. To be honest: it would not work quite nearly as well without her. She speaks French and Malagasy, so she can translate everything that we say. This is important, especially for the younger students, as they don't really understand French. She's also great with kids and knows perfectly how to interact with them, no matter what age. Glad to have you on board, Storya!
Exam preparation sessions: In the afternoon, we did exam preparation sessions with the 5th and 3rd grade students (yesterday, 12th June) and the 5th and 2nd grade students (today, 13th June). We - Storya, Domi, and Sarah - had a hard time preparing for these sessions because we had no idea about their French levels, the teaching goals and the content of the final exams. We decided to conjugate the verbes 'être' and 'avoir' in different tenses and try to formulate some simple sentences with the kids to see where they're standing. The session itself was quite difficult, as some teachers could not really support us due to their low French skills. However, we struggled even more with the kids' French levels, as most of them could not formulate simple sentences. We were pretty frustrated and did not even know where to start. Still, the session today was a bit better, as we knew what to expect and started with the basics of the construction of simple sentences. Actually I - Domi - thought it was quite fun, as I was alone with the kids (the teacher was excused) and they seemed to have fun learning about 'sujets, verbes et compléments'. Cool! Still, we were looking forward to the meeting with the teachers to share information and expectations...
Teachers' meeting: We exchanged our expectations and recognized that they want us to teach these sessions because they think our French skills are way better then theirs and that the kids could profit more from us doing the sessions. We agreed that the library team - Storya, Domi, and Sarah - and the teachers should plan the exam preparation sessions together as this would be the best use of resources. Although 3 teachers already gave us their teaching materials, we'll still have to brainstorm on teaching methods!
Discovering Djangoa; In the 45 minutes school break, we - Sarah and Domi - got a bit adventurous and decided to check ou the forest behind the school. Turns out that the forest and the river Romeo told us about, was only a 3 minutes walk from the school. Beautiful! (See the pics)
That's it for today, hope you enjoyed it. See you soon! June 13, Sarah and Dominic