Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mitzi y Julie la Exploradora

We took our knowledge of Dora the Explorer to a whole new level today.

Teresa made the letter "a" using her chewed gum.
 First, we watched the last of the students present their lessons today.  There was one lesson in particular that was outstanding!  Johana told all of us "8th graders" that we were going to the zoo and it was going to be such an awesome trip.  Of course, Jenifer just happens to have a poster of a zoo in her magical bag of re-purposed teaching supplies--- I told her it is like Hermione's bag!  Once we all stopped laughing, Johana told us to put our heads on the desk because it would be the best zoo ever-- because it was going to be in our
imaginations!  We then acted out some of the animals we saw and told the class what we learned.  Seeing the gorillas was priceless!  Mitzi and I "saw" penguins and bragged about our Omaha zoo.  We reinforced the Multiple Intelligences and Universal Design for Learning and how they really work together.

On the next adventure, Mitzi led the group in some basic reading strategies.  It was definitely exploring--- exploring what they didn't know about comprehension and finding that reading fluency is really what they
check.  It's truly a difficult concept to consider reading comprehension and the various strategies but Mitzi started them off by connecting it to their own experiences.  They didn't really realize they were using strategies other than sitting in a comfortable chair.

Julie went on an adventure to make copies.  There were a lot of people but I was able to visit with the owner of the store. She is very concerned about her children's education and pays a lot of money to send them to a private school.  There were 51 students in her son's 7th grade classroom this year for just one teacher and she pays nearly $40/month in tuition.  The average teacher earns about $200/month so this would be 20% of a family's monthly income to pay for a better school.  Very expensive.

Then, after everyone left for the day, we truly became exploradoras.  Mitzi wanted to go to a part of Leon
 that she had not seen yet so we kept walking.... and walking. We crossed a dirt bridge, walked along a dry creek that functioned as a barrio dump, saw a woman cutting a tree to cook supper and we kept walking.  We walked until the very end of the Subtiava neighborhood and found quite the surprise.  There is some hidden mansion that at one time had a very significant gate at the entrance.  There is now a dog as the guard so we didn't venture any closer.  Seeing kids
playing soccer using bricks to measure out the goals reminded me how much I love soccer.

We eventually made it back to la casa and Ulises had no idea where we had been.  I'm so thankful he is using his talents for his U.S. Embassy project.  He has developed excellent critical thinking skills and has a passion for learning.   We visited about so much untapped potential and the importance of building relationships with people of a different culture.  However, a GPS he is not.  As expected, he had no idea where we had been today.

Looking forward to more exploring of reading strategies and Nicaragua tomorrow.

-- Julie la exploradora
We walked through Subtiava and found this at the end of the road.

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