Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to 1st Grade

I'm back in Monterrey now and have found myself with some time on my hands today and decided to spend a day trying to create a "learning tool box" for my 1st and 2nd graders. I have no flash cards for anything - I must have given them all away to other children's homes in donations this past August so I am going to make my own flash cards and draw my own pictures. I have plenty of books for my pre-school kids. We read books in spanish for hours, work on coloring, learning to count to 10 in english and spanish, and learn colors. But once they hit 1st grade, I have noticed that I back off and stay far away from the homework tables.

Well, first semester is over, we got their grades back and honestly almost half of the 20 little boys that I take care of weekly are failing or below grade level and most can barely read and write at all.

Up until now, I told myself that homework was someone else's problem because I just don't speak good enough spanish. This past September was the first time I felt confident enough to read out loud to my boys in spanish. Since then, we've developed in interest in reading, books, a respect for books, and the patience to listen to someone reading for almost a hour or more in one sitting. That's progress. I didn't chicken out then but I've spent some time now online looking at games to learn the alphabet and learn numbers and I'm overwhelmed. I studied science in college not elementary education. But like Paul said he was going to be all things to all men - I'm going to be mom and teacher. Perhaps my boredom and the quietness of wondering what battle is next for me is over... I think I've found a battle that seems bigger than me quicker than I thought I would (funny how that works)- I want my boys to learn to read and do basic math.
Pray for me to stick this out and stand in the gap for my boys.

If you have websites that offer free downloads in spanish that you recommend or have simple instructions for learning games to play with kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders who struggle with sitting still, apathy towards homework, most have learning disabilities... I'm open to suggestions - so send them my way. post a comment or email me at ceburns@ufl.edu

1 comment:

Sammy said...

ah you have no idea how much this makes my heart wish i was there RIGHT NOW!