Wednesday, May 25th
After some lovely pancakes, it was a bumpy ride out to Los Planes for Team Ladybug, and we waved goodbye to Team Monster.
Team Ladybug, Hannah, Greg and I, approached the school to several shy, yet interested students emerging from the front gates. We asked a few students their names, and we received some barely whispered names alongside giant smiles and wide eyes.
We went into Lilian’s classroom, which was beautifully decorated with many hand-made posters: butterfly shaped job charts, topographical maps of Honduras, the parts of plants and mushrooms, and a sign about being proud of education. She welcomed us in to lead our lesson to the primary students.
Taking a deep breath, we started to read our story, The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle. Slowly but surely, the students joined in the reading and hand motions and our student volunteer got the hang of the clock eventually. We read to the Kindergarten class also. One thing was affirmative: almost everyone loved to make the ladybug flying motion and to play “Pase la Pelota!”
We also got to observe a little bit of Lilian’s teaching. She taught the younger students how to put syllables together for words using small interactive syllable cards.
“It’s a problem because they’re very shy, and don’t like to talk very much in front of the class. They might whisper to one another, but are timid speaking in front of groups.”
“Also, they have to write all of their subjects in one small notebook, using one small pencil,” she continued. “I would love it if they each had a notebook for subject.” We helped students write their vowel lesson down, but my student was more interested in exploring my digital watch. As soon as I would start writing with a student, six more students would crowd around watching carefully.
Snacktime came, and a community member brought hot, sweet, milk with a soft cornmeal mix in it. They insisted on having us share the snack, and we shared a cup. Yum!
Afterwards, Hannah bust out the clock, and got the crowd a little more comfortable responding. We enjoyed another hora de recreo (recess hour), playing Frisbee, Simon Says, London Bridges Falling Down, and the crowning glory: the Hokey Pokey. We felt a rush of emotion going from timid silence to dancing the Hokey Pokey!
When we waved goodbye from the truck, the students burst through the gates and came running full steam after the truck, and our hearts almost collectively exploded with the cuteness of the scene!! Adorable.
Team Monster also had a successful day in La Reinada, reading Where the Wild Things Are, and working with the Kinder. The students were excited to answer and, despite an ant-covered playground, had an incredible day! Lots of hugs ensued at their departure.
Then the afternoon workshop arrived! Our goal, to create the traveling library was met with flying colors. Literally. After hearing a little bit about standardized testing and the education system in Honduras from Maura and Luz, the organization of the books began! We sorted books into boxes, inventoried, color-coded, and decided on a rotation system. Easier said than done! After months of work and planning, it was really cool to see the system in action. I can’t wait to find out next year how it’s working out.
As we left the workshop, a dark cloud followed us out, but no rain yet! We’ll see tomorrow.