It's Sunday night, and almost time to hit the sack, but before I do, I thought I'd reflect a little on the week to come.
With just three weeks left in the school year, there's a temptation to start winding down, but that really doesn't help the children and in a way it's actually hard work for the teacher too. When the children are engaged in learning they are happy. If they have too much "fun" time, then it becomes boring.
So how do I finish the year. The last week will be crazy, and the second last week only slightly less crazy. The second last Friday we have our end of year concert, so there will be lots of time practicing for that. The last week we are going to have a sports day, and I'm also planning a mini field trip to the local bookshop. I like to send my students off for the holidays armed with a new book to read, and this year I thought it might be fun to let them choose their own books (within reason and subject to my approval).
So what are we going to do this week? First of all we are doing some school-wide testing of Reading ability, so that will take a small part of each day. Then the children are working on Biography posters about inventors, so that will keep them busy too. Then we still have some math lessons to finish off, so we can do some final assessment. We'll also start reading some novels together as a fun way to finish of the year.
Then I'm still trying to get those inventions happening. A few children have some creative ideas, but the majority want to invent a card game or a paper car or airplane. I tried another activity on Thursday to get their creative juices flowing, but it really didn't work. I've shown them lots of examples of inventions, they've researched and reported on an inventions, we looked at an inventor's life and they are now researching and preparing biographical posters on an inventor of their choice. For some reason they just cannot seem to think outside what they know. I think this is partly cultural. From what I've seen, Cambodians find it very hard to think outside what they actually know and can see happening around them. I'm making generalisations here, so feel free to comment on this. I wonder if this lack of "creativity" is partially a result of not wanting to lose face by having something fail? If anyone reading this has some ideas of how to get the creative juices flowing I'd really love to hear from you, because I'm stumped, and I'd really love my kids to get a taste of "inventing".
Maybe I should just put together some boxes of unusual combinations of materials and ask them to invent something useful using whatever is in their box. Get them working in groups of 3 or 4 to do this. What do you think readers? I'd love some input here.