Sunday, June 24, 2012

Class Profile: Ikamvalesizwe Combined School Grade 5A

Grade 5A in Kenton on Sea:
Total students: 21; 10 girls, 11 boys
2 students we have suspected to have some kind of reading disability, maybe dyslexia.
Ages: Mostly 11 and 12, one 13 and one 14.
English speaking ability: All of them are far more comfortable speaking isiXhosa, but a few always volunteered to speak and try to say something.
Interests: Singing, dancing, acting, drawing.

The class was so much fun to work with. They put forth a great effort every day and almost every day they were all present. They made good progress with the vocabulary and did much better on writing their own sentences in their post-tests.

Meg Rutkowski and Fundi Fihlani

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lesson Plan: Tuesday, June 5

School: Samuel Ntsiko Primary (Class 6A)
Grade: 6
Subject: English
Lesson Topic: Vocabulary
Class size: 36
Teachers: Ms. Victoria and Ms. Julie

  • Learners will be able to construct one sentence for each of the ten vocabulary words in its appropriate context.

  • Student folders
  • Vocabulary note cards
  • Writing utensil buckets
  • English/Xhosa vocabulary charts
  • Sentence example charts
  • Fill-in-the-blank charts
  • WWW What=2 How=2 chart
    • Who
    • When
    • Where
    • What do character do?
    • What happens next?
    • How do characters feel?
    • How does the story end?
  • "The Black Cow" story copies
Opening Activities:
  • Brain Dance (energy up)
  • Xhosa/English word of choice paper chain link
  • Review vocabulary words with their designated motions
    • mourning
    • cautious
    • sufficient
    • greedy
    • despair
    • glide
    • sob
    • secret
    • delicious
    • obliged
  • Begin working on sentences for vocabulary words
    • Students copy two example sentences for each word onto their note cards
    • Students write their own sentence for each word on their note cards
    • Move at a slow pace, focusing on one word at a time and giving students a sufficient amount of time to create their own sentence
    • Sentences should demonstrate the learners' understanding of the meaning of the word. For example, rather than simply stating "The cake was delicious," students should write something like, "The cake was delicious because it was sweet and moist."
  • Have 10 students share their sentences (one for each word) by sticking a numbered post-it to their desk and having them go to the board to write it and read it aloud
  • Present five fill-in-the-blank sentences on charts (include a word bank) and review answers by having students volunteer to come to the board and fill in the correct word:
    1. The baby _______ when her mother took the toy away.
    2. She was _______ to complete her homework assignment.
    3. Miss Victoria felt _______ after her favorite rugby team lost the tournament.
    4. Birds _______ gracefully through the sky.
    5. When Miss Julie's dog died she was in _______.

  • Review WWW What=2 How=2 with motions
  • Pass out "The Black Cow" stories; one for each students
  • Have learners read the first paragraph individually and underline the who, when, and where in specific color code
  • Circulating the room to check on learners' sentences, allowing several students to share, and the fill-in-the-blank activity are all methods of assessing vocabulary retention and word comprehension
  • Color-coding the WWW in the first paragraph of "The Black Cow" serves as a good way to both introduce the story and assess students' ability to recognize parts of a story
  • Finish  reading "The Black Cow" aloud; have students perform vocabulary motions upon hearing them in the story
  • Brain Dance (energy down)
  • Round of applause

-Victoria Nolan

Lesson Plan: Monday, June 4th

Language Arts

Teachers: Miss Stephanie and Miss Angel
Samuel Ntsiko Grade 6B
On Monday, June 4th, the first day of our second week of teaching, we had all thirty-seven students present in the classroom. Our objective was to have a few students share their stories that they wrote over the weekend for homework using the WWW W=2 H=2 and POW methods and to introduce the vocabulary words for “The Magic Horns.” Students will remember the vocabulary words by creating flash cards with the English word and Xhosa word on one side and the definition on the other.
We began to present the vocabulary for “The Magic Horns,” the story we would be working on for the rest of our time teaching here. We made a list of the ten vocabulary words and presented them to the students in English and also in Xhosa, followed by the definitions in English. After that, the students really enjoyed making up movements and actions as a visual aid and to remember the meaning of the vocabulary. They have quite an imaginative set of minds. We also handed out index cards so the students could make flashcards that they can review on their own and quiz one another. Again, the students are incredibly artistic; they really take pride in all of the work that we ask them to do.

-           index cards (for flash cards)

-          pencils/erasers

-          coloured pencils

-          word chart

-          definition chart

-          sentence charts
After the students created and decorated their flash cards, they copied down some model sentences that we prepared for them that showed the meaning of the words.
For example:  There was a famine because the crops died in the bad weather.
This proved to be especially useful when we later asked the students to create their own sentences using the vocabulary words.

-Stephanie Cerniauskas and Angel Salisbury

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 @ Kenton On Sea

The objective for this day was to assess how much the students understood the vocabulary words from "The Magic Horn." We started the day with a 5 fill in the blank sentences as a warm up drill. The students was also provided with a word bank of the vocabulary word. This activity was to evaluate the students comprehension of the vocabulary words.

 Read the following sentences and choose the correct vocabulary word to fill in the blank.
  1. My mom went on an                     to the beach last summer. (journey)
  2. When i was a baby and was sick, my mother and father would                      me. (tend)
  3. I asked Miss Lindsay to                      all of the pencils. (bundle)
  4. Whenever I think that I am                      I take medicine or go to the clinic. (ill)
  5. In class the students will                      their stories with a partner and read them. (exchange)

The objective for Math was to introduce and get the students familiar with the 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 5 and 10 multiplication tables. When doing this assignment the students was asked to recognized the pattern within each set and deliver the answers as a class. After they quickly finished this activity successful, they were assigned 10 multiplication problems that they had to solve individually. Shortly after, we had the students engage in a fun activity that allowed them to compete with each other and also familiarize themselves with addition subtraction and multiplication. This activity known as Bingo was a fun, competitive game for the students.

Another activity that allowed all students to be involved was the Math War game. The purpose of this activity was for a student from each group to solve a problem as quickly as possible. The person who answered the problem first and correctly received a point for their team.

--Jasmine Harris and Lindsay Jones

The Wheels on the Bus

The wheels on the bus
go round and round.
My head in the trees
my heels on the ground.
I asked the hard questions
and look what I found:
what hasn't been said
weighs the heaviest pound.
Silence screeches
like rusting brakes
and stops me abruptly
with the sound it makes,
but if provocation
is what it takes...
spare me a spear
and sharpen the stakes!
Ask me your questions.
Tell me your lies
and where to watch the sun
and the bread rise.
Lead me to your water.
Let me greet your skies,
sing with the children
and the mother who cries.
There is no face
on the moon here.
There is no place
where the girl feels secure.
There is no white money
for the black man in fear.
There is no bus coming
but on we steer.
There is no bus, sweetie,
coming through in the clutch.
There is no car, daughter,
sit down and hush.
There is no water,
only this dust.
There is no bus coming
for the son in the bush.

--poem by Ang la Buxton

Learning isiXhosa

There are eleven official languages of South Africa. Our students' mother tongue is isiXhosa, which originated with the Khoisan people. We are all doing our best to learn words and phrases from our students and our homestay friends. Professor Russell H. Kaschula, who heads the languages department at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, reviewed many of the sounds, rules, and general concepts of the language with us during a lecture yesterday afternoon. It is a beautiful language but definitely quite tricky: there are many different clicks and other noises that contribute to the fluidity of isiXhosa. Luckily, we have a classroom full of native speakers to help teach us, and I think that teachers and students alike are loving the give and take relationship. Here's some of the basics that we've learned thus far:

Basic sounds

  • "c"  refers to a click made by pushing the tip of your tongue behind your top teeth and quickly bringing it down without exhaling. This sound is heard in the word "ncinci," meaning "small."
  • "q" refers to a click that is similar to the "c" sound, however you bring your tongue to the middle of the roof of your mouth for a deeper sound. One of the vocabulary words that Julie and I have taught in our class uses this sound: "qaphela," which means "cautious."
  • "x" refers to a click that comes from pushing air out of both sides of your mouth. This sound is heard in the actual name of the language, Xhosa.
  • Consonant combinations unfamiliar to English speakers as well as various click combinations contribute to other basic sounds heard in the language.
Questions and phrases

  • "Ungubani?" is a question one may ask to inquire about someone's basic information, including name and surname, origin, how one is doing, etc.
  • "Ngubani igama lakho?" asks for someone's name
    • "Ngu" is an indicative question prefix
    • bani= what or who
    • igama= name
    • lakho= your
  • You would respond by saying, "Igama lam ngu[Name]." For example, I would give my name by saying "Igama lam nguVictoria."
  • To ask for someone's surname, or last name, you would say "Ngubani ifani yakho?" If I were to respond, I would say, "Ifani yam nguNolan."
  • Bani= who
  • "Uhlala phi?" asks "Where do you stay?"
    • You would respond by saying "Ndihlala eMelika."
    • "Ndi" is the indicator, which combined with "hlala" means "I stay."
    • "e" refers to a specific spot or place
    • Melika= America
  • To be more specific in regards to a town or city, one may ask "phi?" or "where" once more, to which I would respond "eBaltimore."
    • eklasini= in the classroom
Class system
  • There is a class system in isiXhosa that differs immensely from English. To give an extremely general overview, there are 15 classes of nouns in isiXhosa, and by determining which class a noun fits into you are able to establish what the rest of the sentence will look like. Here are examples of the first two classes:
    • The first class of nouns includes to singular objects, and therefore will refer to individual people.
      • funda= to read or to learn
      • umfundi= learner
      • uyafunda= one student is learning
    • The second class of nouns essentially refers to multiple items, or the plural.
      • abafundi= learners
      • bayafunda= students are learning
Hopefully, this basic overview will allow you to see just a little bit more of what our daily lives entail while in Grahamstown, South Africa. Enjoy!

-Victoria Nolan

Promised Pictures

Here are some pictures from Samuel Ntsiko Primary School that I promised you all yesterday! Also, there is one picture of the beautiful elephants we were lucky enough to see :)