Thursday, January 23, 2014

Light Bulb!

As one who really enjoyed the movie Despicable Me, I (Julie) couldn't help but think of Gru today each time the participants had these "aha" moments.  Mitzi continued the hard work of providing strategies for teaching reading comprehension. This is no easy task for any of us.  For our Nica teachers, we are asking them to consider such a paradigm shift in the way they teach that it must be very frustrating for them.  Yet, when something finally clicked there was a collective "sigh" in the room and a lot of smiles.  "Light   Bulb"

Dania teaching a reading strategy to Margarita
We had 97% on time attendance this morning which was amazing!  The one person coming in late was only 10 minutes behind which is still early for Nicas.  Their homework last night was to read an article about a teacher in Mexico and to pay attention to their own reading processes.   Several of them commented on the inspiration of the article and how students of any age need to be controlling their learning or they won't learn as well. (The article is in both English and Spanish here: ).  Drumroll....... 100% of homework was returned today!!

Reading the Spanish story on the projector
Reading to think about reading can be exhausting!

Requiring them to present their lessons from Module 4 gave us so many teachable moments!!  We have
been able to refer back to their examples as we introduce new material which has been a great connection to their own work. There was a lot of classification used in lessons but no reading.  This is common because the primary methodology at all levels in Nicaragua is rote memory and copying from the board. Mitzi was teaching the "Think Aloud" strategy and the confusion on the participants' faces was so palpable.  After a few more examples, they were able to make the necessary connections. "Light Bulb."

Graphic Organizer
 While reviewing the final projects for Module 4, I began noticing more detail in many of the projects.  There was a new level of pride for many of them-- which goes back to the higher expectations.  Several people included more formal covers and others followed the highlighting of UDL that Kris & Beth taught.  It was impressive enough for me to take notes on each person's project to use tomorrow in describing their next assignment.  (I was primarily reading nouns and only used Google Translate four times!)

Fancy Cover-- even included the UNO symbol
Created her own crossword

Tonight was interesting.  Mitzi and I were walking around town finalizing plans for tomorrow.  A woman stopped, turned around and said "you speak English?"  Turns out she and her husband are from Canada and just arrived in Leon.  They bought us juice at Jugolo as we explained some of the places to go see.  Hopefully they are able to work with Julio!  While sitting there, one of our participants came in along with her daughter Leonella.  I first met Leonella at Los Pipitos in 2008 and it is so amazing to see her maturing.  I love the feeling of being in Leon, Nicaragua and running into people I know.  Being able to use Nicaraguan Sign Language was a bonus!

Things are very bright here... but, it's time for this "Light Bulb" to be turned off for the night.

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