Friday, October 17, 2008

Biblioteca Palafoxiana and more

What a week this has been! I'm so glad that I have absolutely no plans for tomorrow - other than the accumulated errands of a week. I think I'll be a hermit this evening and tomorrow. Truly I enjoyed the week, but I'm quite thoroughly tired too.

On Monday I was feeling well enough to teach, although some food poisoning was still holding on. After we'd had our staff meeting, I had my first English class with a 10 or 11 year old boy who goes to my church. He practiced reading out of one of the first graders' story books, recited colors, the alphabet, the days of the week and months of the year, and then began to name animals that I have in the classroom. He stayed with me from 1 o'clock (before my students get out of class) until 5:15, except for the time when I was in staff meeting.

Abraham finished his Spanish class with another PCS teacher at the same time, so we dropped Isai off at his bus, and then went over to my apartment to read from one of Abraham's homework books and eat dinner.

Immediately after school on Tuesday, Abraham came over, and we went downtown to see the incredible Biblioteca Palafoxiana which has free entry on Tuesdays. Photography is absolutely forbidden, even without flash, although I was allowed to take some flash-free pictures from outside the library. It's an amazing place! It dates from the 16 hundreds and contains thousands of dusty old tomes neatly ranked on ornate shelves. If you visit Puebla, stop in to the library in the Casa de la Cultura.

Like usual, the two of us headed out to Dios es Amor for Oansa on Wednesday night. In the youth group we're studying Hebrews, a book I find challenging to understand even in English.

Thursday afternoon was the third ESL class for friends from PCS and Dios es Amor. Two of the PCS teachers can't come at 6 (too late) and three of the other students can't come at 5(too early), so I started class with the three who could be there at five, reading the first chapter of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The two teachers each have two children who came along; three are elementary students, and one is a high schooler.

Before the class began, I had hastily made a batch of cookies, but somehow they turned out as flat mush. It was tasty flat mush, so the kids were willing to eat it all, but the high school boy said severely,"Miss Greenlee, you need to learn how to make cookies better!" Half kidding I said, "Well, why don't you show me how it's done?" And just like that, he and the other boy decided they would make some cookies for the class. Little did I know they'd never baked before...

As the English learners read page by page and asked vocabulary questions, the sounds of the cookie mixer and periodic questions from the new bakers interspersed the reading. The boys took me seriously when I said to grease the cookie sheets well: they must have emptied half a can of Pam spray on one sheet!

At six o'clock, the other three students arrived. We hadn't gotten very far in the reading, so I gave them the chapter photocopies, and they caught up reading silently. From then on it was a regular zoo of adults, one teen, and children. The two bakers produced pancake-flat chocolate oatmeal cookies that everyone promptly devoured. At 7:30, we'd finished all the cookies and two chapters of the book. Everyone but Abraham left, and quiet descended for the first time in 2 1/2 hours.

In first and second grade, we've been talking about bones, and yesterday in class the kids made pasta skeletons. It's a craft that takes quite a bit of time to make, but it turns out well and does help reinforce the vocabulary that I'm teaching the kids. It also is fun, which doesn't hurt anything.

This week went more smoothly with the little 'penguin.' He seems to have gotten the idea that finishing his work on time in class is a good idea. Wednesday he tied his shoe laces together, and when I asked him why, he said, "I'm helping you, teacher. I stay in my seat better when the laces are tied!" What good logic.

1 comment:

Bookwyrme said...

Hey, it's great logic!

Did it work?