As an adult, I sometimes forget how I learned the basic skills. I take it for granted that I had great teachers that taught me how to read (really read, not just recognize letters and sounds), understand the constructs of a letter, and find words in a dictionary. Do you remember how you learned to find a word in a dictionary? Alphabetic order is an important skill to know, even in our digital era. And if you were like me, when you were a kid it was fun to browse through a dictionary and learn new words and definitions.
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In the video clip above, Tracy, and English teacher, introduces our 2nd grade French students to the dictionary, and how to place words in alphabetic order. What makes me smile when I see this video is that the children are engaged and enthusiastic about this lesson. You hear "ohhhh…." and "ahhhh…." as the children understand and solidify the concept that she is teaching. You also see how Tracy is providing positive correction to the students when they provide an incorrect answer. Social skills is a soft skill that is hard to articulate, but in this clip, Tracy is subtly teaching them social skills by making them wait their turn and keep their answers to themselves while other children find the answer.
Yes, this is a simple clip, but to me, it shows me how a simple dictionary exercise can be engaging for the students and I'm sure much more exciting than if I tried to teach my own daughter.
One of the main reasons I love my job is because I am able to see the rich education that our children are receiving. I decided to do a new series of blogs posts in order to share with you what I see on a daily basis: I’m fortunate enough to be able to go into the classrooms and see what our students are learning and how engaged they are with their teachers. The focus of my series is to give you insight into the everyday moments at INTL*. At first glance, it may seem so simple… an art project, a book report, a math lesson… but within these simple, everyday moments, you’ll get a glimpse as to what makes INTL so special and why our students are happy and enjoy learning at INTL.
*In 2020, the International School of the Peninsula (ISTP) formally changed its name to Silicon Valley International School (INTL) to better reflect its bilingual programs, location, and international values.