workshops, water and whole numbers
on Sabrina and Geoff Slide in Kamwenge (Uganda), 10/Jul/2010 12:00, 34 days ago
'Draw 4 things on your slate''Stick' energiser'Counting' energiserWorking on numeracy with David and some older pupilsLast week we held our third Health Promoting School training session, so we have now trained the head teacher and the health teacher in all the 61 schools we work with in Kamwenge District. We made a big effort this time to do lots of energisers between sessions, as it gives the teachers ideas to make their own lessons more interesting for pupils. Most lessons we see tend to be mainly‘chalk and talk’ with pupils sitting quietly at their desks and receiving the teachers’ ‘wisdom’. A quick trawl of the internet provided some exciting ideas such as:-· Writing your name in the air with your finger, elbow, shoulder, nose and belly button!· In deference to the world cup, passing an imaginary football equivalent to the answer to simple maths questions – 9 minus 9 always fools them!· Raising and lowering a long stick together – see picture.The next job is to visit the 20 schools that attended last week and follow up with them. Have they written an action plan? Are there any areas they need further input on? Have they used the first aid kit we gave them and is it accessible to all teachers? Has the tippy tap been put up and is it filled with water every day?Not an easy task at the moment as we are in a drought– there has been no rain for over a month, bore holes are drying up and the new water pumping system cannot extract from the local river as the water level is too low. It even made the national news in Uganda. With no pumped water having been available for 2 weeks, we used the rain water tanks until that dried up. We were then given water from the local swamp, but it was too dirty for us, so we had to get a motor bike taxi rider (known as a boda) to get us jerry cans at 2000 ugandan shillings each. Only 70 pence but an awful lot for here. They were obtained from a gravity flow system, whichis still working, about 10 Km outside town. We have stored several jerry cans and hope that supplies will trickle – literally! – through until the rains come.In a mad moment Geoff volunteered to write a numeracy workshop for infant teachers and struggled to get on with it, infant maths not being his strongest point! On the basis that a deadline concentrates the mind wonderfully, he organised a trial training session for 2 weeks time and has found it helped greatly. He is getting internet information on number lines, maths’ stories, songs and rhymes, and problem solving, as well as trying to remember all the maths workshops he attended in Essex – thanks to Diana Rouse, maths subject leader at Stock Primary School for her training!He has been discussing it with local teachers like David from Railway School, as you can see in the picture. David is a very reflective teacher and, following a visit to Ireland in 2008, tries out lots of ideas in his classroom as well as singing with Geoff in the cathedral choir!!