Wednesday, April 10, 2013

School and Snow

The "Big House" for the upper students
So it's mid week of my very first week teaching in Sweden. It's been a change from the every day student teaching routine in Bowling Green, KY. 

Just to give some background to the school since I haven't before - Folkungaskolan started in 1915. It houses the compulsory school with grades 4 through 9 and the upper secondary school (basically like high school). It is different from your normal school because it is a music school. Students are tested in the 3rd grade with their music skills and the top students who score on the test are admitted to Folkungaskolan. They take music theory classes and choir along with the normal curriculum of Swedish, math, natural science, social studies, and English. I love that every classroom I walk into has a piano in it - plus the basic fact that it is a music school, and I went to Manual/the Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville is really nice. 
My second supervisor teacher, Björn, is a great teacher just like my other supervisor, Karin. He is very helpful, and we are planning a unit to compare the social and culture of the United States to Sweden. On Tuesday, I am having the students brainstorm what they are interested in comparing between the US and Sweden such as school, food, the environment etc. I'm basically going straight into teaching from the get go, so it's very fast paced to plan everything.

The "Lower House" for the 4th-6th graders
I've also been asked by other teachers from the upper grades if they could "borrow" me, and come to their class to teach a little bit. I'm pretty much very willing to do whatever they'd like me to do!

Today, I taught my first lesson to my fifth graders. They are readying the story "Jambo the Gorilla" which is based on a real life story. With it, we are focusing on animals so I made up a guessing game to work on their conversation in English where the students have to describe an animal that I have chosen and it's the other students job  to guess it correctly. Students had a fun time with it, and it turned into them getting really excited to compete with each other, but also a good experience for practicing their English. We are going to work on it more on Friday, and work more with the text as well.

Right when I got out of school today, it was snowing so hard! The snow flakes were large and fluffy - nothing like we have seen in Kentucky for the winter.  I've posted pictures with this blog post so you can see!

Tonight, the fifth and sixth grade teachers, Karin, Björn, Jessica, and Simon had a parent - teacher meeting to discuss the semester - how it was going, what the students were learning, and any questions/concerns the parents had currently. It was quite interesting to see the interactions between teachers and parents, and I was there to introduce myself and talk a little bit about what I was doing for the 45 parents sitting in the room! They seemed quite happy to have me there for a month to help their children especially because the students have an national English exam coming up in a couple of weeks. To the teachers, the parents brought up a lot of concerns with a certain music teacher, giving of homework (or lack there of), and the cell phone policy. Needless to say, the meeting started at 6:30, but did not end until 9:15! It did have a fika break during it though to help get through it :)

Currently planning a trip to Stockholm for Saturday! We are excited to get to go travel other places in Sweden!  

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