Today, my first grade class got to Skype Canada. One of my best friends, Amy Scuka, teaches grade 5 in Moose Jaw. We have been planning to do this since I arrived and we were finally able to make it work! It was so exciting!
The kids were able to take turns saying hello and introducing themselves in English. I swear it was the quietest my class had ever been while they waited for their turns. The grade five class greeted each of the children. After, Miss Scuka’s class took turns asking questions. Eventually our internet cut out, but with only 4 minutes left in class anyway. Miss Scuka’s class had some more questions that they never got to ask, so I thought I would answer them here, so I could easily show them pictures as well!
Here they are:
1. What city are you guys in?
We are in a small town called Pueblo Nuevo. It is very hot, dry, and dusty here! We are about an hour from the Pacific ocean. It looks like this:
2. Does your school have a playground?
Our school DOES have playground! The kids love to play on it.
3. What is their first language?
Their first language is Spanish, mostly. Some of the children that have lived in the mountains can also speak a language called Quechua.
4. Do you have recess?
We do have recess! The kids have a break around noon for an hour and then go back to class for an hour. It is a little strange!
5. What do they do in their free time for fun? Games?
The kids love to play soccer! The girls like to play volleyball! In school, when we have free time, they love to do play dough, and everyone here loves to sing songs and dance!
6. How long is the school day?
The school day begins at 8:00 am and we finish class at 2:00 pm for the day – So a little earlier than you!
7. Do you have phys ed?
We do have Phys Ed! Most of the classes have Phys Ed on Wednesdays. We don’t have a gym but they do their games or sports outside.
8. How many teachers are there?
There are two teachers in 3 year olds, in pre-kindergarten and in kindergarten, and then every other grade just has one teacher. Then, I am the English teacher and the students come to my class for one period a day for English. Plus there are a few helpers in the classrooms, so there is about 15 of us.
9. How many other classrooms are in your school? What grades?
There is a 3 year old class, a pre-kindergarten class, a kindergarten class, and then grades 1-4. Our school is new and each year they add a grade, so next year we will have grade five, too!
10. Does everyone in your city go to school? Are there other schools?
Most kids do go to school! They even like to send their kids to school at 3 years old – they are SO little! There are a few schools in our town. Some are private and some are public. The public schools here are not like in Canada. Many of them are not very good schools, so many students, even poor students, go to private schools so they can get a good education. In the mountains, it is harder for kids to go to school because there aren’t very many. Sometimes kids come down from the mountains and work as housekeepers for people just so they can go to school.
11. How many students are in your class? How many boys and girls?
I teach 5 different classes of English, and I have about 20-25 students in each class! So altogether I teach about 112 kids. The classes are pretty even with boys and girls, except grade 2 – they have 17 boys and 5 girls!!
12. How well do they speak English?
Different kids can speak different amounts of English. I speak lots of English to them, and they usually understand what I say. They know things like, “Sit down, stand up, be quiet, good job, line up, come here” and other things like that. But they also know lots of other words. For example, we have just been studying animals, so they know many animal names in English. They also know their colours, numbers, and ABCs. So they know lots of words, but I think many of them would have a hard time having a conversation with you because they don’t always know how to make sentences with all of their words.
13. What is the name of your school?
The name of our school is Strong Tower.
14. Do they live in dorms?
They don’t live in dorms, but the school grounds has high walls around it, and we also have a Children’s Home here for kids without a home. So some of the kids that live in the Children’s Home come to school right here! So that is like living right on campus!
15. Why do you wear uniforms?
All of the schools here wear uniforms. I don’t really know why. It is something in Peruvian culture that is very common!
Thanks again grade five for Skyping us! We were so happy to meet you!