Who are your learners?
I was with 13 kindergarten students with a substitute teacher in French immersion class. I came into the class a little late because the principal was showing me around the school. When I came in, the students were cleaning the centres. Most of them were picking blocks, but some students were still playing. I asked them where those blocks go, and they showed me where. After, they started cleaning instead of playing. After cleaning, they had a snack time. Some students were struggling opening the containers and bags of snacks. I have not been with kindergarden age of group for a couple years, so I was forgetting that kindergarten children are still working on fine motor skills.
After snack, their teacher read a book in French. Students seemed to understand most of the content in French which I was surprised. Probably their parents speak to them in French at home as well. I have never learnt French before, so I feel I need to start taking lessons.
After reading, they worked on spelling their names with letter stickers. some letters such as “a”, “e”, and “i” were missing in the letter sticker box, so students and I had to create those letters with other letters; putting two letters together, ripping some letters to make a different letter. It was really fun and students were engaged with the activity.
When they were getting ready to go home, this girl, “O”, came to me saying “that boy over there hurt my finger with his nail.” So, I went to talk to him if he did something to “O”. He said he didn’t ,so I guided him to go close to “O” and I asked her again in front of him what he did to her. She went silent and I understood that she was lying.
I spent only a few hours with the students, but I feel I got to know them a little bit. Some boys seemed to struggle sitting for awhile and I had to give them a choice to move to the corner so they can move without distracting other students. Some students seem they need more time finishing one task and some can’t stop talking! I can’t wait to go back to the class next week to spend more time with them. I also would like to understand why “O” needed to lie. There must be a reason.
What does the learning environment like?
The learning environment was very warm. It seemed all students in the school know about each other pretty well, and all the teachers were very friendly to every student. The school has a breakfast sysytem for students especially for First Nation children from reserve area.
In the classroom I was in, there were centres such as reading, doll, blocks cars and kitchen centres for students to play. There is also a themed center which was Halloween. The room was nicely big for 13 students and most of the tools such as pens and crayons are in reachable space for students to use.