Thursday, May 8, 2014

Week of Teaching

I have really enjoyed this week in Germany.  There has been much less traveling and more interactions with the people here.  I love to interact with the elementary students.  It has been really fun teaching the lessons.  We taught the 1st and 2nd graders about body parts using pointing and lots of repetition.  Then they sang "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" while I played the piano.  Since the 1st and 2nd graders are still learning how to read in German, we are not allowed to use any English text.  All learning has been verbal.  The 3rd and 4th graders are learning about family vocabulary.  They draw a picture of their family and then we discuss in small groups.  On the second day of classes, the students came to our room during recess and begged us to come outside and play.  I played "Fangen" which is  the German form of Tag.  I want to suggest a different game tomorrow because they always chase me!  Soccer is also a common game on the playground. The elementary students use simpler German words to speak to each other, so I have been able to understand them often.  They keep asking me to talk more in German.  Yesterday after our classes at the school in Herbern, we went to an elementary school in Werne to do some activities with the students there.  We were able to play some very fun games.  All of the teachers are very nice and welcoming.
This week was my first chance to really spend time with my host family.  They have been serving delicious food!  I offer to help prepare dinner but they do not let me, so it is like I am at a restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  In Germany it is the season for spargel, which is white asparagus.  I had so much at dinner last night that I could not eat anymore today.  They put this really good cheese/butter sauce on top.  Breakfast is always bread and jam.  My host mother has some homemade jam from a fruit I cannot name.  Here is a picture of me and my host sisters Esther and Judith.  We are about to eat some ice cream.
The family also has a piano, so I have been able to play some songs.  Judith and my host mother are both very good pianists, and they played some songs for me on Tuesday - it was very relaxing.  It turns out that I only took one trip this week.  On Tuesday one of the host mothers wanted to take the 3 Herbern teachers to a nearby coal mining museum.  They had a very realistic replica of a German coal mine that we were able to tour.  They showed how all of the mining machinery works.  It was fairly interesting, but I would have liked it more if the tour was in English.  The host mother had to translate some for us.  Last night I watched "Rock It" with my host sisters (with English subtitles).  Judith described it as the German High School Musical, and that is a pretty accurate description.  I really enjoyed relaxing with them.  The big trip of the week will be tomorrow.  I will be going to Cologne with Kayla, her host sister, Jennay, and her host sister.  I know there is a big cathedral and a chocolate factory, but I do not know what else we will do.

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