Today myself and Stephen had an opportunity to get stuck in to teaching and learning at Chisawani. Stephen taught Science and English in Standard 8 and I taught English and Maths in Standard 6.
The learners were were so enthusiastic in both classes and listened attentively to every word! Lessons in Standards 5 to 8 are taught in English, rather than the learners native Chichewa. The children quickly tuned into our Scottish accents and responded eagerly to our Questions, the class teachers were also on hand to translate into Chichewa when necessary and give a helping hand.
Today we introduced using thumbs up/down to show understanding, think-pair-share and self/peer assessment. The learners also enjoyed the opportunity to work co-operatively and share their ideas with the class. Our class teachers were happy to assist and liked the idea of sharing Learning Intentions and Success Criteria on the board for learners and using this as an anchor for self assessment.
After our lessons (and marking of many, many exercise books!) we worked with the Standard 8 class to clear a cupboard used to store library books. We were pleasantly surprised at the number and range of books we found inside the dusty boxes. The learners sorted the books into English and Chichewa and the helped to clear out and clean the cupboard. Our next step will be to sort the books into fiction and non-fiction and suitable age ranges.
We hope to source some portable storage to allow the books to be divided up for class libraries, allowing easy access for all learners. We are looking forward to getting stuck in on Monday with the next stage our library task and meet with staff to set up a library committee.
We are so grateful for the flexibility of our colleagues at Chisawani and their enthusiasm in getting the library up and running!