cool at school.

13 Dec

Although Spain lags behind the United States in, well, basically everything except drinking ages and dinner time, the structure of its elementary schools is pretty impressive. Here are some things I´m into:

smartboards. Back in my day, if the teacher wanted to write something on the board, he or she used an overhead projector or a white, dry-erase board built into the wall. In Spain, the common ¨white board¨ is actually called a ¨smartboard.¨ It is a touch-screen white board and projector built into one, allowing students to be more involved, as well as for more elaborate visual displays and film clips to be used since the screen is the size of the wall. This is a random photo I got off google images, but it might help you visualize it, haha:

jolly phonics. My two classes of first graders are learning the English alphabet through a program called Jolly Phonics. It´s cool because each sound is associated with a head motion or arm movement to help them remember the certain sound. Then, they can sound out words easily. Each sound always comes with a little jingle. The kids love it (especially one named Alejandro) so much that it is inevitable that each week I have a new song stuck in my head. Most frequently it´s the one for the letter ¨T¨ that goes ¨When I watch a tennis game, T-T-T-T-T-T, my head goes back and forth.¨ As the kids sing this, they make the ¨T¨ sound over and over and move their head back and forth. Nerdy but cool, right?

the bilingual program, en general. I still remember signing up for after-school Spanish class in first grade. The only thing I remember learning was the colors and some parts of the body, but I think that might be enough evidence to suggest that learning languages at a young age just makes sense. In bilingual schools in Madrid, children are taught English, science, art, and physical education in English, while religion, Spanish language, and math are taught in Spanish.

The nerdiness oozing out of this post is enough to suggest that I just might be miss being in school…rough.

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