Did you ever say "Thank goodness we have a long weekend this weekend!"? I know I have said this many times, but this week, I'm thanking God for a full 5-day teaching week. Yes, you read me correctly, I'm saying thanks for a full five day week. Now why would I do that? Don't get me wrong. I enjoy holidays, and Cambodian Public Holidays, scattered through the year, truly do preserve my sanity, but full 5-day weeks are good too! There are a couple of reasons, but the main one is routine! Holidays disrupt the routine of a school week. They can also mean the children miss out on "specials", like art, library or computers. Sometimes they just mean there are not enough hours in the week to get the curriculum covered.
This week we had a full complement of teaching days. The children got all their specials, including PE and swimming (so I got my three 35-40 minute preparation periods). We had time for small group reading lessons for everyone. We got lots of work done on our Social Studies projects. We had fun in mathematics, making 3-D shapes and learning more about them, as well as thinking about how they occur in the real world. We also explored a heap of picture books! Last Friday I was thrilled to receive a shipment of new books from Scholastic Bookclubs. I'd had fun doing the order, mainly because of some vouchers I'd ordered earlier in the school year, and which I was now able to take advantage of, and so getting books I couldn't have afforded otherwise. Quite a number of the books in that shipment were picture books. You might be surprised that I'm buying picture books for 3rd graders, but you would also be surprised at the reading level of some picture books. This week we shared some as read alouds, and the children read and thought about some independently. Over the next week or so, my children will write and illustrate their own picture books. It will be interesting to see how their writing has progressed, and how much more we need to do. It was interesting to discover via Facebook that my very first class, now 7th graders, are also working on writing picture books at the moment.
I also spent quite a bit of time this week contemplating the situation in Japan, where friends are missionaries. Life is not easy in Japan at the best of times, but at the moment it is increasingly difficult. I praise God as I read my friend's blog entries, sharing how they are coping and what they are doing. This has also led to an opportunity for my children to think about the situation in the coming week. One of my friend's children has written a story about his experiences, and has very kindly allowed me to share it with my class. I'm looking forward to doing this on Monday. It will be interesting to see how 8-9 year olds in Cambodia respond to the experience of an 8 year old in Japan. Praying for Japan is very high on the agenda at the moment.
The coming week is another full week, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm even looking forward to our staff meeting on Thursday afternoon. Another five days of fun and learning coming up in Grade 3K!