Monday, February 12, 2007

Hairy Scary Spider

Date: 10 February 2007
Class: 9/11
Volunteers: 5/5

This was the first kidsREAD classroom session for me this year as I had other commitments on the previous two Saturdays and it was delightful to see the class again!

The class has suffered some slight attrition since our pre-test and now we have eleven children in the class. Six of my last year's batch (J, Z, C, S, LM, YZ) from Primary 1 and now with me while I have five new children (JT, R, A, MS, HL) making a total of eleven.

As some of the children were new and in Primary 1, I decided to use one of Judy Ling's big books titled, "Hairy Scary Spider" for the class. The story reading segment in part 1 is usually how I warm up the class to the reading activities for the 1-hour session. The room's ventilation was not very good although there was air conditioning and I found myself perspiring profusely while reading to the children. One of the girls, Z was curious as to why I was sweating and I jokingly told her that it was "hard work" teaching them...*hahah*... :-)

The turnout for volunteers was fantastic as I had (D, K, YJ, A) to help me for the class when I broke the class up into smaller groups for the small group reading session. There will be some difference in reading proficiencies in this class as the primary 2 children are already one year ahead of the primary 1s. In addition, some of my primary 2 children were quite advanced readers who could be challenged with more interesting reading assignments.

After the group reading, I did a simple word game where there were rows and columns of letters all jumbled up in a six by six table and the class competed in two groups to see who could guess the most number of words either horizontally, vertically or diagonally in the table.

I see the plan forward is to develop group reading activities that involve all the children and then to have smaller group reading by abilities to help coach the children who need more help.

To cap off the session, the children were given some souvenir bags sponsored by MHA/CNB with the anti-drug message. They were given each 1 knapsack, 1 water bottle, card-case and file case plus a $5 Popular Voucher as well as some brochures on "Saying No to Drugs." I thought the message was more suitable for older children but the souvenirs were useful. A pity volunteers did not get anything. I guess that is the price of volunteering... Knowing that you have made a difference is reward enough.

Our kidsREAD session will take a break during the Lunar New Year Holidays and resume on 24 February Saturday.

Here's wishing all my fellow volunteers and CDAC HQ staff,