|One of the bright faces of Chawama|
Wednesday I modeled lessons for the grades 5, 6, 7, and the 8/9 teachers of Chawama. I began with the grade fives using my lesson on story elements. The class of 30 squeezed into a small, dark room, four to a desk, yet eager to learn. The students struggled a bit to understand the concepts of character, setting, problem and solution. Eventually they were ready to hear the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. The teacher thought he might like to try using "turn and talk" as a teaching strategy.
|Grade 7 teacher takes his work seriously. I love the lab coat!|
|These students are trying to define condensation|
For the grade six and seven classes I used the main idea and detail lesson about the water cycle. Both grades did fairly well even though the grade sixes have not studied the water cycle and the grade sevens have.
The grade six class is taught by Febby Banda who for many years taught the grade sevens and every year 100% of her students passed the grade seven test. Her students are used to being asked to turn and talk, enter into discussion, and think about the content. We were joined by the pastor of Chawama, Rev. Daniel Tembo. I invited him to watch the lesson, since I have heard him preach on several occasions and I thought it only fair for him to watch me.He enjoyed the lesson very much and the children liked him joining the class.
For the grade 8/9 lesson I taught something from the Zambian science book about why the sky is blue in the daytime and red at sunset. I adjusted the lesson so it was more interactive than the book. I made my own diagram so it would be easier to understand than the diagram in the book. The teachers seemed to appreciate my presentation and based on the reflection discussion later - they grasped many methodology concepts.
|My diagram - I now know why the sky is blue|
The highlight of my day was the reflection time afterwards with the teachers. These young teachers made some very thoughtful remarks. I spent about 45 minutes with them to ensure enough time for their reflection. When I asked what they noticed - especially regarding student engagement one teacher said, “You made the children participate, not just one but in whole, all the pupils.” Also,“You let them reflect on what you taught.” My favorite description was, “Giving a space for thought.” Wow! Some rich thoughts that make me anticipate the lessons I will observe in a couple weeks.
Other perks of the day... The ladies representing all the various denominations of the churches in the area came to Chawama to have a meeting and of course sing. Each denomination has a certain color of uniform. The CCAP is white with a black skirt. I will try to download some of the singing when I have faster internet. For now, you'll have to imagine.