Wednesday, June 2, 2010

School Update

After Easter break, Miss Olive returned to our school and was placed in our class. It's been great to work with her. She runs on an even keel and is so helpful with the new student, Edimir, that we received at the same time. In fact, if she had not come, it would have been really difficult to manage the exisiting 11 students at various levels plus Edimir who is 13 but did not know the abc's, or how to count past 4. So it's been a blessing that she can focus on him and his needs since they are so much different than the levels of the rest of the class. Edimir was in school for a while 6 years ago, but for some reason was pulled out and has just been sitting at home or working on their farm land. He's learning quickly under Olive's guidance...writes all of the letters of the alphabet, and reads some dolch words so he is able to read his pre-primer leveled readers. He is counting to 20 and adding and subtracting. With guidance he can write his own patterned sentences following the model in his reader. That's a lot of learning for about 5 weeks!

The other interesting thing about God's timing with this, is Olive used to sign but because she was away for 4 years, she had forgotten a lot of it. Edimir did not know how to sign either. It was a great opportunity to teach Olive who then was able to teach Edimir. Olive picked up many more signs than she taught, but it is pretty awesome that God brought her just when we needed her and gave her the opportunity to teach someone who did not know signs rather than have her jump right in and try to understand the deaf children who sign fast and are not so patient.

I don't have a picture...but another blessing that amazes me is we now have a new Peace Corps volunteer. who is a speech therapist! How amazing is that? I am so thrilled. Four of our children talk even without hearing aids, but I've never really felt comfortable teaching them speech. Miss Colleen will teach them twice a week in 1:1 therapy sessions. Wonderful!!!! She uses the reading passage that they are supposed to read for the week (as well as other things). I can already see an improvement. Those four children are making connections between what they hear and what they read. Yes!!

This is a picture of Angelica. She is such a wonderful asset to our program. She's so patient with the youngest children. I'm hoping and praying that there is a way that she can be employed by the Anglican Diocese to work in our school. Mrs. Briceno says it can't be done unless she has a high school degree or teacher training. Hmmmm. That's not really possible because she can't read. Hmmmmm again. Yet, I think God will make something happen. Somehow. I'd love to see her employed legitimately.

Hooray for all the programs on the internet that help children with math. Our kids' current favorite is called Multiplication Grand Prix. It never gets's always a real race in real time. Children all over the world sign in and pick a race from a list on the sidebar. They race against anyone else who chose that heat. Each child has a different car which moves ahead if they get the multiplication fact question correct. Sometimes the competition is easy but most of the time the other players are FAST!

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