Welcome to our sixth newsletter of the year! February has finally passed and March is upon us. This month seemed to be a bit of an adjustment period for many of the students due to the Chinese New Year break. The weekly topics were England/France, Welcome/Feelings/Emotions, the Five Senses, and America/Brazil. We also continued our focus on conversing with full sentences and with good pronunciation. We also continued to work on independence and fluency in our writing.
Our first weekly theme was England and France. During the brainstorm, the students did a wonderful job of discussing the differences between cities, states, and countries. They also did a wonderful job of learning many of the countries in Europe. During role-play, we practiced painting traditional murals in the method that Michelangelo used to paint the Sistine Chapel. The students also did great work during our science lesson when we learned all about aqueducts and their use of siphons to transport water in the ancient era.
Because the second week in February was our Chinese New Year break, the third week of lessons focused on welcoming students back and managing their feelings and emotions. The students had a great time listening watching and acting out many of the different complex emotions that we covered, as well as learning the appropriate times to display them. I was very pleased with their ability to understand the difference between feelings and emotions.
The final week of lessons was about the five senses. This was a very fun week for the children, especially during role play when we learned about the special relationship between the senses of taste and smell by taste testing a number of different foods with a blindfold, and while plugging their noses. The students got a very good grasp on the concept of senses as opposed to feelings. They experimented with blindness by being forced to rely on their other senses to identify objects in our science lesson. It was a wonderful week.
The writing samples included are from our work in our journal lessons. 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 emotions, and the five senses. During the first sample I had the students try to write stories about either a real life experience, or a fictional character that experiences a number of emotions. In the second sample I had the students think of ways in which they could use their five senses to describe situations, and then write more stories using these descriptions. We have begun to focus more on stories as a class due to their ability to force students to think in a unified manner. It is a very tough step on the path to writing independence, and I am very impressed with our progress so far.
I was very impressed with all of the hard work I have seen, and I am glad to see all of the students return to class.
John Joseph Miller