January 2013
on Vicky Dyer (Cambodia), 28/Jan/2013 08:20, 34 days ago
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Christmas in Sisophon was fun, even though I worked every day. 2013 started with Karaoke party, a trip to the Country Love Garden and another party. Christmas trees lighting the main highway made the town more festive than last year.Sereisophon English School Christmas PartyCheers!The first week of January was busy with the second workshop for those teachers involved in the pilot introduction of English at Grade 4. Fifty teachers and nine District Education Officers attended. Progress is varied so far but there have been problems with bureaucracy which are, hopefully, now being resolved. Next month some trainees will be teaching English for the first time on Teaching Practice.Down, up, round bBack WritingNext activity was staff training on teaching Multi Grade classes. None of our Practice Schools have mixed grades but our observation of newly qualified teachers highlighted that many go on to teach such classes and are not well prepared for the challenges. I took 3 trainers to observe a lesson by an experienced teacher.Here, Grade 5 are working independently whilst Grade 6 are taught.Now, Grade 5 are taught whilst Grade 6 complete a task in groupsTrainers were impressed by what they observed. The teacher had a hard job teaching two lessons simultaneously. Back at college I led a technical meeting with staff about the challenges and how they can be addressed. It transpired that none of our trainers have any experience with Multi Grade so more observations are planned and also the production of a teaching video for use with trainees.Public holiday and I went with friends to a nearby reservoir. A beautiful place with tragic history as it was dug manually by local people under  Khmer Rouge.More photos can be seen at the following linkAng Trapeang ThmorI also enjoyed a lovely Saturday at the college where I was invited to judge the khmer curry dish in a cookery competition between the 4 second year classes.More photos atCookery CompetitionAfter a welcome break, I was occupied with creating resources for a Maths workshop aimed at encouraging Grade 1 teachers in our Practice schools to use more participatory methods and teaching aids. I first demonstrated the use of resources such as number lines, dice and dominoes. Teachers were then given the materials to make their own. They loved it.Making diceClocks and countingWith no child care, young children often attend with their parents. This little girl enjoyed helping.So, after a hectic month and with all my reports up-to-date, I am in Phnom Penh with a good friend who has come for a holiday. The city is preparing for the cremation of the king's father.