Welcome to our second newsletter of the year! October flew by in a flash with the students working hard and learning new English vocabulary. Our 3A classes this month covered topics loosely based upon the world around us. The weekly topics were transportation, community, weather, and fall and Halloween. We had a lot of fun learning the theme vocabulary, reading our songbird stories, and acting out our role plays. The students have shown some real progression in their English skills, and they have become more independent writers.
Our first weekly theme was transportation. During the brainstorm, the students did a wonderful job of discussing specific forms of transportation they have used, as well as the different places these forms of transportation can take us. During role-play, we practiced directing traffic, making way for emergency vehicles, and being safe in an intersection. The students practiced waiting for the proper street light, and yielding to pedestrians and policemen.
Our second weekly theme was community. The lessons from this week were focused around the broad role a community plays in our everyday lives, as well as the types of people and facilities that make up the place in which we live. The children gained perspective on this topic during our role-play in which we practiced creating a new city and placing all the different types of facilities so that all of the people in their new city were cared for. This helped enforce the idea of community responsibility.
The third week of lessons focused on weather. We worked hard to distinguish between different types of weather, as well as the differences between the weather of specific regions, such as the differences between the weather in the US and the weather in Taiwan. The students had a great time preparing for a typhoon and other natural disasters. I was very pleased at how they were able to stay calm and perform the necessary tasks to stay safe during the storm.
The final week of lessons was about fall and Halloween. This was a very fun week for the children, especially during science class when we made up our own holidays and the traditions that we would perform for them. They also greatly enjoyed trick or treating, decorating our trick or treating bags, learning about different monsters, and singing our Halloween songs.
The writing samples included are from our work in our journal. We usually use our journal exercises to expand upon the material we learn during the weekly introduction and make it personally relevant. The topics covered in the samples were weather, as well as fall and Halloween. During the first sample I had the students try to list all of the steps that take place in the water cycle. In the second sample I had the students try to discuss all of the activities involved in the fall and Halloween such as trick or treating and the harvest of our crops.
This being the second monthly newsletter, the students are much more settled and in the rhythm of our daily routine. I have nothing but high hopes for the rest of the semester and I am looking forward to more fun next month.
John Joseph Miller