Education major, Melanie Catteau, spends summer in China

by   |  07.19.11  |  Honors Student Achievements

Day 3 in Beijing

After we finished testing, we went out to lunch without Ms. Talley and Dr. Stewart. We felt so accomplished after we got exactly what we attempted to order. We then went back to the school and got our classroom assignments! Although Prentice and I are not team teaching, we both have a classroom of 6-8 graders. I have the intermediate students and he has the advanced. Our classes are going to be project-based and writing intensive. So far, I have 4 students, one of which I tested. We spent the afternoon setting up our classrooms. I got my whole bulletin board up (our “Poet Tree,” haha, get it?) and the furniture arranged.

July 2, 2011

Purple Bamboo Garden and Summer Palace

Today we visited a botanical garden called either the Purple or Black Bamboo Garden. It was absolutely beautiful. It was so green and full of people. There were people playing badmitten, cards, doing Tai Chi, singing, and playing music.

July 6, 2011

Yesterday was the second day of school! Amazingly, it went even better than the first. I was nervous about yesterday. It was the first day of real teaching. I was scared I’d have to keep Shine in for recess for talking and I was scared I wouldn’t be able to get Tom to talk. However, yesterday went really well. It was the first day to follow the hopefully permanent schedule and I even got some actual teaching in. The boys do really well with the schedule written up on the board and they make sure we stay on track.

Yesterday, we were able to make a Frayer model and a Venn diagram as a class. Hopefully they’ll be able to do it more independently next time since they’ve seen it modeled once. We talked a lot about the definition of the holiday to help them pick a holiday to research (I knew it was going to be hard if they decided to start researching April Fool’s Day) and then used the Venn diagram to compare and contrast Reaping Day (a holiday from The Hunger Games) and Christmas (a holiday we are all familiar with).

We also did an art project yesterday! I took the picture on the first day of school (they just loved that) and printed it out for them to put on a piece of black cardstock. I told them they had to have three pictures/object cut-outs that tell me something about themselves. Of course, some of the boys drew things like a robotic arm attached to their body to show me they like robots but I had one kid, Jung Ho, draw a picture of a boy kicking a soccer ball into a goal. AMAZING. This kid is an artist.

My favorite part of the day is reading The Hunger Games. I’ve just been reading a chapter to them every day and I love the discussion that comes after it. It’s so encouraging to hear their insightful questions after watching them fidget for twenty minutes out of the corner of my eye. I can see that they’re really comprehending and enjoying the book! I try to stretch the book into as much of my day as I can. They do homework about the book, they respond to the book, they use a holiday out of the book in the Venn diagram. I love reading their thoughts about the book and seeing that they are remembering things we didn’t discuss as a class.

July 9, 2011

Today was amazing. We got to sleep in a little bit (I never thought I’d be excited about sleeping until 7:30) and get Starbucks before getting on the bus to go to the Great Wall. The Great Wall was incredible. It was miraculously clear day in Beijing and the Great Wall was beautiful. We got to hike up to the highest possible point (Allen, our tour guide, told us we hiked 4 kilometers) and then walk down and take toboggans (so fun!) to get to the bus. It was a difficult climb in the 95o weather. No one died, we only got a little sunburned, and only 1 girl threw up. Success.