Friday, August 28, 2009

Coretta as a Fourth Grader

Coretta is adjusting well to fourth grade and really seems to like her teacher Ms. Mathena. She received her first homework as a fourth grader yesterday where they had to look up the definition and synonym for specific words and draw an illustration. This is part of their Unit of Inquiry this year which is also part of the International Baccalaureate Program.

She brought home a very small yellow booklet that is called their homework diary. It is here where they record their assignments and must have it signed by both teacher and parent. It is similar to the planners that children carry in the States. The difference between the planner idea with my fourth grader and the eighth grade students I used to teach, is that my daughter thinks it will be useful.

She has approximately nineteen students in her class from all over the world such as Hungary, the United States, Great Britain, and Australia just to name a few. In fact, she started to giggle the first day when her teacher Ms. Mathena was explaining the rules of the classroom (with a southern drawl I might add) and pantomiming it as she went. It turns out, the reason for the pantomime is because one student speaks zero English in the class. The other students then felt bad.

As for activities, Coretta will have a very full schedule this fall. They are taking an over night school trip for 5 days in September where they will get a chance to meet all of the other sections of fourth grade as well. I think they went to Geneva (the French part of Switzerland) last year and we are still waiting to hear where the destination will be this year.

She also has piano with Ms. Pauli on Mondays at the school in the neighborhood and is doing quite well I might add. She will also be learning a new instrument at school this year. She has chosen the guitar and will have weekly lessons at school.

She will also be participating in a group after school on Thursdays called Girl Power which is a fun, social group for girls ages 8-10 years (grades 3-5) whose purpose is to develop high self esteem, confidence and self expression through creative activities. Through art, acting, discussion, writing, and dance, girls have an opportunity learn about themselves and become more self aware. The group acts as a support network for girls to share similar experiences. Girl Power explores themes such as body image, media messages, friendships, positive thinking, peer pressure, healthy eating, exercise, school stress, boys, puberty and other issues facing girls today. Each group consists of anywhere from 6-10 participants. Girls sit on the floor in a circle and each group begins with a “check in” for girls to talk about anything that they want. The activity of the day then follows. All groups are conducted in English. Coretta is very excited about this and her friend Melanie is also in this.

On Tuesdays during the fall, Coretta will be either enrolled in her first choice: uni-hockey, second choice: pottery, or third choice: dance. Since they are unable to always give students their first choice, they are asked to pick three and rate them. We should know soon.

As of yesterday, she will also be busy on Sunday nights as a part of The English Theatre in Zug where they perform plays in English. They were looking for 8 to 10 year olds to be part of the chorus, and Coretta was selected. The play is "Aladdin and his Magic Lamp" which is a traditional British Panto that will be performed on November 27th, 28th, and December 5th at 8:00 pm. Here is a little background on this play from Wikipedia: British Panto of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. The following link also has information about the International Theatre Group in Zug which Coretta will be a part of: English Theatre Group.

She will be busy, but I am happy that she will be able to foster some of her interests in creativity, sport, dance, singing, and music.

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