Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Typical Day at Santa Isabel

I have been trying to find a way to compare American and Spanish schools for my blog.  They are so different but it is hard to explain the differences! So I am going to show you what a typical day at Santa Isabel is like.  I took pictures of almost everything we did at school one day.  I will take you through and explain what happens in a typical day at this wonderful school!

9:00 am: Teachers and students line up outside on the playground by grade level.  When the teacher is ready, she will take the students up to the classroom.  Almost everyday we start with a different class.  Sometimes we have the boys' class (3C) and somtimes it is the girls class (3A). I am with a 3rd grade teacher at Santa Isabel.  On this day, we had girls first.  My teacher, Miss Laura, has the girls (3A) for her homeroom.  She is their main teacher.  The girls stay in one room all day and the teachers switch rooms.
9:15am: After taking the girls up to the classroom and getting settled, we start the day with a morning prayer.  Since this is a Catholic school, they pray about 3 times a day in class.  After the prayer, the girls started their English Final Exam.  This was the first day of exams.  The exams last about two weeks and there is a test in every core subject, English, Science, Spanish, Catalan and Math.  The school is trilingual so most of their classes are languages.  They learn reading and grammar through these languages.  So the girls began their test and took about an hour and a half.
The girls taking their English test.
10:30 am: Miss Laura and I go up to the teacher's room to start grading tests.  We have a break from class until 12:00.  This is something that is very different from the States! Teachers hardly ever get breaks in Kentucky.  It's nice to have a little while to clear your head and get some work done.  After grading a few tests, Miss Laura tells me that I should go get a coffee and meet her back at school on the playground at 11:30. I walked to a local cafe and got a Coca Cola Light and a croissant.  I have gotten so used to having this little morning snack that I don't know what I'll do when I go back home! Haha!

11:30 am: The 3rd and 4th grades have playground time until noon.  Miss Laura had to supervise the playground so I came to help her out and talk to some of the girls.  It's fun to see the girls playing with each other, jumping rope and just talking.  They usually have something funny to tell me or want to play with my hair.  I enjoy spending time with them outside the classroom. The boys are also on the playground at this time but they are usually playing soccer.  If one of them sees me they will usually run up and say "Miss Amanda! Miss Amanda!" and give me a hug.  I'm happy that I've been able to connect with the boys as well as the girls!  

Some of the girls jumping rope during playground time.

A few of my sweet girls.

12:00 pm: Time to go inside from the playground!  This time we have the boys' class. They are a lot of fun but very loud and crazy! They also had an English test at this time so we began that after another prayer.  The boys were a little bit louder than the girls while taking their test.  I sat and helped one student with his test during this time.  He was really struggling with the test so Miss Laura asked me to help him.  Once, I began helping him he did very well! It was just hard for him to read the test by himself.  The boys were supposed to have Science after English but because their test was taking so long we let them finish it during Science time.  

The boys during their test. 
1:30 pm: Lunch time! We have and hour and 15 minutes for lunch.  This is also very different from American schools.  We usually only get about 20 minutes in America! For lunch on this day, I went out with a few girls. There is a restaurant close to the school called the Chocolate Box that we all like to go to!  It has so many different kinds of pastries and desserts.  It was yummy.

2:45 pm:  The students line up again at the playground for afternoon classes. A lot of students go home for lunch so it is easiest for everyone to meet in a central location.  At this time, we had girls again so we went back up to the girls' classroom for Art.  The girls have been working on the color wheel and Miss Laura instructed them to color a picture using only cool colors.  The picture was a snow scene and the girls did really well with this.  They color so neatly!

Coloring with cool colors.

Having a little fun in Art! :)

3:30 pm: Art with the boys! The boys are working on perspective and Miss Laura taught them how to draw a road picture so it looks like things are far away and some things are close up. This was the first time they had done this so I was very impressed with their drawings! They worked hard for most of the class but towards the end they got a little silly.  Miss Laura said it is hard for them to concentrate after lunch.

A student working on his perspective drawing.

Being a little silly!

This happens more often than you can imagine! ;)

So proud! :)

4:15 pm: The students have to go to their weekly religion class in small groups.  I'm not sure how it works exactly but I think it is kind of like confirmation.  More on that later.  It is called Lecto on the schedule and during this time Miss Laura and I go sit with the girls who don't have religion while they read or draw.  Today we told stories.  The girls had so much fun making up stories about different things like a grandma going to a Justin Bieber concert! Haha! They know how to have fun :)

4:45 pm: We walk down to the playground with the girls.  It is time to go home.  The parents are waiting next to the playground for their children.  Most families walk to school and parents come to pick them up after so they don't have to walk alone.  Another great day at Santa Isabel is over!

A student's schedule for the week.  

A clip chart! We have these in America so I was excited to see one here! I think the biggest difference between Spanish schools and American schools is classroom management.  American schools set out all the rules for students before hand and tell them exactly what is expected.  From what I have seen, the students here are given the freedom to be kids and the teachers handle whatever situation that arises as it arises.  I think there are pros and cons to both methods.  It also depends on how much patience you have and how you like your classroom to be run.  Everybody has different methods and I think it's best to find the one that works for you!

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