Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day Two in South Africa

My friends around the US you have some competition from the teachers across the Atlantic. These South African teachers are eating up WBT in a huge way! As mentioned in other posts, they have the same problems we do in the states with poverty, challenging kids, and schools not meeting the mark. They are digging in just like we all do and they are getting the job done.

Today we spent a fair amount of time on the Triple Whammy Writing and they saw a huge need for that. They even mentioned that they could use it in their "triple naught'/ 000 classes. That is a class that is two years below kindergarten...yes they start them early here in a semi-school program that helps kids learn the basics. What a novel idea!

So we are talking about Guff today, and a teacher asks what that means. So I tell her it is when someone gives you some back talk. She responded, in her best South African accent (which to Americans is similar to British) "Oh, you mean Back Chatters!" Yes my friends, what a great phrase it is. Try it out, back chatters! Say it again with a British accent!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Lost in translation

Whenever you go to a different part of the country or world and you are presenting information that you know well, you may want to check to see if there is anything that may be said or pronounced differently. For example, I'm going through the whole Oral Writing part of WBT with a group of South African teachers and I am telling them about the three end marks that we are doing along with the gestures. I told them about the period and showed them the gesture and there were several blank stares. You know the kind, they want to be polite, but there is no comprehension going on. Soon after, a lady in the back raised her hand, and ever so politely said, "It's called a full stop here." Everyone laughed and it was quite funny. I now have a new way for the kids to learn about that back home.

Just in case you are ever South Africa, here are some phrases that you may want to know....
Robots...traffic lights
Knackered...really tired
Swim Costumes...swim suits
Bri...(long i) BBQ

Quick Jaunt to the Reserve

Have you ever wanted to sit close to wild animals and pet them? I had the rare opportunity here in South Africa today. It was an amazing time to see GOD's creatures up close and personal. The pictures don't tell it all, but they do give you some perspective. Yes I was that close....and they are real!

Headed out to a school tomorrow to talk more WBT...I'll keep you posted on how WBT works here in another part of the world!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 1 in South Africa

Today I learned many things about the nature of children. We take so many things for granted in the U.S. For example, I'm working with teachers today that can't access the internet because they are in a secluded enough location that they just aren't able. And yet...they are reaching the lives of children everyday. We can all learn from them as they struggle through the same things that other teachers across the globe all struggle with together.

They learned about the Core 4+ and the first few levels that will help them address the most pressing need that they have here in their types of'll never guess that need. Go ahead...try to guess!

OK you may have already, their most pressing need is dealing with Challenging kids! WOW...the same thing that we are facing in America and other parts of the world. We said it for awhile now, but it hit home today when I talked with these amazing teachers. Did I mention that they are all volunteers? Yes that's the best part, this is what they do because they are working so hard at making their communities better through the education process.

GOD Bless them all!

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Time...Practice Cards

Every year is different of course, but it has come down to this...I'm going to stay happy while teaching, so it's time for the kids to have more practice. Too often we get to this point and are frustrated because Sam isn't following the directions, or he keeps blurting out the answers while others are thinking.

Practice cards are the next step in a list of things that fill the WBT teachers back pocket. Check out our website for more on this, but I'm here to tell you tomorrow will be a great day for the kids and me. You see, I don't need to get mad, frustrated, red in the face...they just need to practice more. They practice at recess and then we send home a note that helps them practice more at home.

I remind them that they are not in trouble, they just need more practice! This way we all get what we want.