We have now been here in Ecuador for approximately a week. This first week has been an amazing experience! We were in Guayaquil, Hacienda Uzupuh (which is beautiful!), and Cuenca which is where we are living. Cuenca is a beautiful city to be in. One of the most striking observations that I have been able to make so far is how clean it is in the city. I have traveled to many other cities before and it is amazing to me how a city this size can be so clean. I love it! We met our host families our first day here and they are great! They are super friendly and helpful. I have heard many great things about the other families as well. Although all the walking is something to get used to, I think it will be fine and it makes up for all the carbs we seem to get here!
CEDEI School is also an awesome place. I have been working with language and literature for 6th through 9th grades. Thus far I have only been observing since they are currently ending their last block. However, I already think that this was a great placement for me and it will be very fun to work with these kids.
This past weekend Maria and I went on a little weekend trip to the Playas, near Guayaquil. This is a little touristy beach town. We enjoyed some relaxation time in the sun and just sitting by the edge of the water. The large number of families spending the day at the beach really made for some excellent people watching. On Sunday morning Maria and I went on a little boat tour in the near city of Puerto del Morro. This tour took us through the Mangrove forest in the area. The tour was lovely and the scenery was breathtaking. However, the best part was near the end of the tour where we were able to see some dolphins! This was lovely and pretty amazing. They would come near the boat and do little jumps and they just seemed to want to play. Overall, our weekend was outstanding and we were able to really enjoy it and make the most of our trip here. I am looking forward to what else Ecuador has in store for me!
What a great time it is when I receive the message from CEDEI that the students teachers have arrived safely in Guayaquil and are participating in the orientation days. This week they will be meeting their host families and visit CEDEI School for the very first time.
Looking forward to learning more about their stay and teaching. Below you can access information about the school on the https://www.facebook.com/pages/CEDEI-School/302520179765496
According to an email from Meliza, everyone arrived safely. This weekend, the group enjoys an orientation to life in Ecuador.
The student teachers are at the school and work daily with their co-teaching team.
Completing a full week of student teaching and planning for student teaching in Ecuador require a lot of organization. Students are packing school materials and their own belongings. Packing lightly and layered clothing are frequently discussed themes. Thanks for sharing travel lists. Thanks Lori for skyping. Meeting “over cyberspace” was helpful. Looking forward to seeing you in person soon!
Students are getting ready to travel to Guayaquil and then Cuenca. I am guessing that packing suitcases, checking the packing list, and saying good-bye for two months are raising their excitement and anticipation. Thanks Mary for having a great dinner and thanks to everyone for a very informative meeting and for filling quite a bit of your space with school materials!
Please, share how preparations are going in the tab (category) “Getting Ready”
It is a little late but I thought I would share what our Halloween Fun Friday consisted of!
Since the Primero (Kindergarten) Classroom spent so much time learning about pumpkins, songs, and colors during the month of October, Megan my cooperating teacher thought it would be fun to have the children decorate pumpkin sugar cookies! In preparation for our fun Friday, the prescholars (preschoolers) decorated little pumpkins and a Happy Halloween sign. They then put colored noodles on a string (great fine motor activity) and then put their pumpkins on the string! The end product- a colorful necklace!
The Primero classroom made pumpkin headbands! They used black paper and Halloween rub-ons (also great fine motor activity) They then created a Jack O’ Lantern to go in the middle of their head band! The kids worked very hard while creating their headbands (better then I had anticipated)!
We then joined together the two classroom and handed out sugar cookies to the children! We gave them Orange frosting to decorate their pumpkin and then we had black frosting so they could create a face! It was a lot of fun and the children seemed to really enjoy their Fun Friday (their was lots of laughs and giggles and children that were working hard)!
As some of you may know that I normally do not believe in teaching themes with the children but things change when you have different types of children and are in a different country! The thought process behind teaching in themes to the children at this age is that we are working on building vocabulary. We do not necessarily plan everything around the them but things can be easily Incorporated such as learning about pumpkins! The children were learning colors, sizes, shapes, textures, numerals, and so much more!
Also once a week I lead a conversation group with three children from third grade! The idea for the conversation group is to provide children with more opportunities to be exposed to English! Last week I had my first group and to start things off we played Candy Land! The children had to say the colors and the number of spaces they were moving in English! I have to remind them to try to speak in English so we say things such as “My Turn and Your Turn” the children were super excited to play! After the game I had the children draw a picture of their family and then we labeled the family members in English and in Spanish! I have really enjoyed the two conversation groups that I have had so far!
More to come soon!
So here are just some observations of what i have noticed about the schooling here verses in America.
At CEDEI, when there is an upcoming event, dance and music usually trump the core education classes. This was something to get used to as we are time crunched during the day at home to ensure the correct amount of minutes are being met! The lack of resources makes it very difficult to make projects and activities happen but creativity is definitely polled out of all of us and more naturalistic activities such as the outdoors and movement are done. Most of the younger students do not know little to no english here but the older students know more english. Teaching the younger students takes a lot of patience, picture cues, and repeating but I feel they eventually get the message, which let me tell you, is very exciting!!! The school buses here are tiny, look like a yellow van and crunch many kids into it. We take the bus home with the kids every other week and letting students out from the back of the bus is a chore!! They have to climb over the seats and plop on people, crazy! But when we do ride the bus, it is fun to get to know the students and learn about them and their culture. There is a pretty good population of students that go to CEDEI that are from America, most from Florida. They have either come here for their parents jobs, the economy up in America has not been the best, or as the students would say “I dont know we just came here to learn spanish.”
Many of the food places here are very cheap. To get a large lunch special is usually about 3 dollars! We love our ice cream place that is only 95 cents a scoop … way way way delicious! And the bread place next door for 17 cent fresh sweet, cinnimon, wheat, etc rolls. Oh and of course the Pan de Uka .. sorry if that is spelled wrong… it is a bread with a cheese thing inside, but way delicious! I have tried some interesting fruits… granadilla is weird looking but very yummy!
Hope this helps get a little feel of the school and some food!
Attentively listening to Bill’s advice.
Student teachers attentively listening to Bill's advice