Help! Not just anybody! But someone who can speak Burmese! Sheila and I arrived at school to teach Kindergarten and Grade 1 today to find the girl we were hoping to have to translate for us had a meeting and would not be in today (yes we are praying she is in tomorrow).
Luckily Alicia and Hannah's teacher had no classes first period and so we hijacked him! This went relatively well - with the children looking at photos of Scottish home life, in groups, and then working out the correct label for each photo in English ( I had been asked to try to include some element of new English vocabulary). The children appeared to have a good discussion about each photo, listened well to new vocabulary and were more than capable of orally copying it. However at this stage they were reluctant to ask questions about the photos, to deepen their understanding, of Scottish life. Was this due to cultural diferences of not being asked to create questions in school? Were they too shy? Could I have done this another way?
We then went to the nursery for an hour and were excited to see the children working in small groups, with an adult, using a variety of resources such as lego and threading beads. The children sustained this play for over an hour in a very focused manner. Each child used the resources in a different way! Great play! We came away smiling!
By now we had placed an emergency call for a translator and sailed through period 4 at a greater pace - even had time for a song or two. However, this Kindergarten class of children from age 5, did not seem to get the same out the lesson as the Grade 1s. Maturity and even less experience of life and English may have been the case.
EMERGENCY - 1 hour and 30 min lesson in Maths, only number to 5, no translator!! The same Kindergarten class! No resources! Well we survived! Five Green Bottles, 1,2,3,4,5 Once I caught a fish alive and 5 Little Ducks. We threw in a game of Buzz which flicked between Burmese and English, throwing numbers and using our fingers to look at number bonds and getting into groups of .... . No differentiation and it does not matter if they could actually count above 5 because that is what they get. And tomorrow what will we do for maths for an hour and a half - well that is what I must go and figure out so I can sleep tonight. We thought maths in context - but we shall see.