First Three Classes Recap!

Posted: August 22, 2010 in Class Recaps

Hi everybody – sorry it’s been a while since our last post, the last few days have been pretty hectic. A lot has happened since we updated the blog last! We’ve had three classes since then – the first one was on the 15th of August, followed by two classes this weekend on the 21st and 22nd. They were all super exciting and we got quite a bit done during all three classes. Here’s a quick summary of the activities that we did during the classes:

Sunday, 15th August

4 kids turned up, and we had quite a showing of volunteers, which really helped boost the enthusiasm level for the rest of us. This was the first class so we focused on icebreaker games, to try and get the children to participate and become more confident at speaking in English. We played a Tennis Ball Game to try and evaluate the kids’ current English speaking level – this involved standing around in a circle and throwing the ball to each other. When a person got the ball, they had to say something in a full sentence. We started with “My name is…” and “I am … years old”, and went on to “My favourite color is…” and “My favourite actor is…”.

We then took turns reciting numbers – all of them seemed to know how to count until large numbers, so we stopped this activity fairly soon. After this, we played Simon Says which involved all of us taking turns to be ‘Simon’ and doing or saying things which the rest of the group had to follow.

Following this, we had a Break-Out Session during which we gave the kids notebooks and told them to write or draw (if they weren’t able to write) what they did in class that day. Since the teacher-to-student ratio was really high, we were able to give each child individual attention for about 15 minutes. After this, for about 10 minutes, we let them write or draw things on the blackboard, an activity which they really enjoyed since they got the chance to use chalk and have some free creative time. We also gave the kids some juice and snacks during the class, to make them feel that they were in a safe environment.

All in all, this was a pretty good start to the Initiative, and during the class, we actually had maids lining up outside to enroll their kids! This was definitely an encouraging sign.

Saturday, 21st August

On Saturday 9 kids showed up, which was a big improvement from the first class. We started off with the Tennis Ball game again, to get the students and teachers to familiarize themselves with each other. We also sang ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ to help the children interact more, have fun, and learn about the parts of the body. After that, we read a short story book – ‘Can’t you sleep Little Bear?’ – to expose them to more English. We also made sure to emphasize commonly-used words.

Sunday, 22nd August

We had a really successful class on Sunday, with 11 kids showing up, and 4 volunteer teachers. Since there were many new faces, we decided to start the class off by playing the Tennis Ball Game again. This time, we added new sentences at a slower pace, and took enough time to ensure that every child new how to say simple sentences to introduce themselves and state their ages.

We then noticed that many children did not know how to count past 10. We then had the children all sit in rows and taught them how to read and write numbers from 1 to 20, by asking them to come up to the blackboard one-by-one and write a number. This also helped them become more comfortable and confident in the class.

After this, we wrote the sentences “My name is ___” and “I am ___ years old” on the board, and asked the kids to take turns and fill in the blanks. Lots of them had difficulties, and it was decided that we would explore the idea of breaking the class up into smaller groups, based on English Language Level.

It was also decided to have the next volunteer meeting on Monday, 23rd August from 7 to 8 PM. All volunteers, new and old, are welcome! We need your help, and your feedback.

If you have any suggestions or ideas for an activity that you think we could conduct during the classes, please leave a comment here or email!

  1. Padma says:

    Am really encouraged by the response from the children. Keep up the good work. I hear that both the Saturday and Sunday class were executed very well. Since the class strength has picked up I was thinking that we should plan a little ahead on themes. There needs to be repetitions but not to the point of making it boring and predictable.
    Further, I plan on taking one student for one-on-one English tuition since he stammers and is way behind. I thought that I will begin with the phonetics. I have spoken to his mother about it.

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