The preschoolers have been learning about the difference between living things and nonliving things. One example of a living thing, which we have been studying a lot about, is a plant. Every time I review with the children they say, "Sige ug balik" (It's a repeat). By the end of the unit the preschoolers were able to identify a plant, tree, shrub, vegetable, and grass. They also learned the parts of the plant (stem, flower, fruit, and roots) and where plants live (in desserts, farms, forests, and gardens).
One of my favorite parts of the unit was taking the preschoolers outside for a mini field trip. Our school is surrounded by many different kinds of plants. On our "living things walk" we saw many banana trees, mango trees, and even an avocado tree. The preschoolers loved searching for living things and telling us what they found.
What a joy it was teaching the preschoolers about plants. We had a fun time learning together!
Having conversations with my students helps them learn to interact with their peers and teachers. It has a great impact on their learning and ability to listen as well.
I started this year with just three kids in my classroom. Three kids who love conversation and enjoy sharing their thoughts. One afternoon, during Civics class, one of my students shared with me about one of the CSC aunties (child care workers).
Student 1: Teacher, our auntie just had a baby! (saying it excitedly)
Me: Wow, that's great! Do you know if the baby is a boy or a girl?
Student 1: I don't know.
Student 2: Teacher, I know where the baby comes out.
Student 2: Here! (referring to his bottom)
Student 1: No Teacher! I heard that a baby comes out from your belly button.
Student 3: Teacher, I know where babies come out of, here in our back.
Student 1: (reacting with a shocked face) No, the baby can't come out of there!
Student 1: Because our back has a lot of bones. The baby will get hurt!
I love teaching at Cebu Children of Hope School for many reasons. One of them is the creative minds these little children have. You never know what ideas they will share.
Child welfare types refer to children who become very close while in care at a place like CSC as "institutional siblings." They are not siblings by blood but by affinity. Many of our children experience that kind of relationship while living at CSC. For the younger ones, they don't understand the difference. Such was the case with little Jacob. He had four very good buddies in the Eicher Home nursery. They spent lots of time together eating and playing. They looked out for each other, fought like true siblings and were known to tattle on each other on occasion.
Recently, Jacob was adopted by a great family from Europe. Shortly before Jacob's family came to get him, two of his pals got sick and had to be in isolation. Their ailment was very contagious. We worried that Jake, too, would get sick when he was supposed to travel but, thankfully, that didn't happen. But we felt bad that Jake wouldn't be able to say goodbye to his buddies. So Marlys came up with a plan. The infirmary caregivers brought the sick children outside to the bridge and Jake was able to look up, see them and say goodbye. The overhead kids shouted "bye-bye" and it was very touching. Certainly they didn't understand that he was going far away and they might never see him again. But they knew something big was up.
There is lots of love at CSC. Jacob experienced that from house parents, child care workers, staff and the other children. Now he will be feeling the love of a family. And a new sibling that will he his forever.
The official school year has begun at CSC! Teacher Lyrah, one of our dedicated and gifted teachers, shared about a science lesson she taught the other day:
Everyone was ready and calm as I stepped into the classroom. The students seemed very excited for the afternoon's discussion entitled "The Scientist and the Science tools."
I asked my students about the science tools and the brainstorming happened like this:
TEACHER: Can you still remember some of the science tools that you learned about last year in your class?
STUDENTS: Yes, Teacher Lyrah!
TEACHER: Tell me about one of those science tools.
STUDENT 1: Teacher, a hand lens.
STUDENT 2: How about a balance?
STUDENT 3: A measuring cup.
STUDENT 4: Thermometer!
TEACHER: WOW! You are really thinking about these tools. What are some others?
I called on one student who hadn't answered yet.
TEACHER: Okay, what is it?
He was very hesitant about his tool and just smiled again.
STUDENT 5: Teacher, how about a telecopter?
He was laughing so hard because he mentioned the tool in a different way. Everyone in the class was puzzled about his answer.
STUDENT 1: What do you mean a telecopter?
Student 5 laughed so hard and kept on saying the word telecopter.
STUDENT 5: (laughing) Teacher, what I mean is a telescope not a telecopter!
TEACHER: A telecopter? That word is a combination of a telescope and a helicopter. Isn't it?
He laughed and said: " Yes, teacher because we use a telescope to see the stars and other flying objects like helicopters."
Then I remembered the time last year when I showed them a telescope and we talked about how it worked.
Everyone in the classroom was amazed with his great new word invention!
Philippine American Friendship Day was celebrated at CSC with hot dogs, games, a parade and lots of fun.