Visit from Germany

The whole week was very special and not only because of the fishing excursion and the professions day where pupils had the chance to visit people at their working place and get to know their daily routine.

I also got a visitor from Germany, Philine, a very good friend of mine who accompanied me the whole week during my days. That means that she also visited the lessons, got to know the pupils and helped me with teaching English.

Like every monday, we already got up early to prepare a new English story which we wanted to go through with the children in this week. Finally, after some searching, we found “The lucky seed” by Kim Ashmore. It was perfect to read it out loudly, make them read, translate together and learn some new, important words. Aditionally, we thought of a litte reading comprehension.

Before we started with the lessons, we went out with the children to get some fresh air, play “cops and robbers” and afterwards begin the work with new energy.

First, it was time for maths. We sat down in a circle, listened carefully while Daniels explained the number line on a basis of a handmade example. When all understood, each pupil got the chance to use the number line as help for simple calculations.

Additionally, we presented the new English story, Philine read it out loudly, we learned new words and finally did the reading comprehension – everyone did it very well.

At Tuesday Philine also went with us to our exciting ice fishing excursion to Vaidava.

Another day, all boys were joining the professions day and we got the chance to spend some time alone with the girls. After a very exhausting morning with intensive football training, it was time for some relaxing. In the brake it was knocking at my door and when we opened the girls asked excited for a baking lesson.

So we came down, everything was already prepared, the kitchen was decorated beautifully and we started to bake pankūkas, drink hot tee with honey or children coffee (with a lot of sugar and milk) and, of course, talked in English.

In the end, shortly, before Philine left, she got the chance to say goodbye and thank for the beautiful week. Therefore, we created some group games in English. Everyone participated, even the teacher Daniels. The first task was to arrange things without talking. We had to set up ourselfes in the right order regarding different themes like size, age, date of birth, number of siblings, eye color and so on. With facial expressions and gesturing it worked very well and we mastered every task.

The second game trained the children’s braines. We imagined going on vacation to a country everyone decided for theirself. With the sentence “I pack my bags and take with me” everyone mentioned something they wanted to take with them. Furthermore they had to say every English object which was named before.

When it was time for lunch, Philine said goodbye one last time, the children asked her to visit us again in summer which of course she could not turn down and she left at the next early morning.

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let’s go ice fishing

When Daniels told me about going on an excursion this week, I was very excited. But the only thing we knew about it was that it has something to do with fishing and the fact that outside there have been minus degrees since weeks and 20cm ice on the lakes – for me a very strange mixture.

Finally the day came, some teachers, the school children, me and my German friend Philine packed all things, got into the busses and drove to a lake, Vaidavas ezers in Gaujas Nacionālais parks.

After we arrived, we could already see the aim of our excursion. On the lake there sat some men, in front of them they had made a little whole in the ice where they hold the string of a fishing rod inside – ice fishing.

Immediately, the first pupils went together with the teacher Andis to the ice to drill their first holes inside. For every hole they had one fishing rod. Everyone could try it out and experience the daily routine of the ice fishers.

Meanwhile, Daniels made a campfire so the children could warm up a bit, drink a hot tea from self melted snow-water and eat warm sausages with bread.

Additionally, I went to an excursion together with some girls and philine to watch birds. We crossed the ice and arrived at the opposite side of the lake.

There, we tried to be quiet, listen to the chirping of the birds and looked through our binoculars to identify the birds.

When we came back to our fishing place, the others already caught some fish. The children always moved the string up and down which reached through the hole the water under the ice. With this they draw attention to the bait and the fish bit.

Jēkabs specialised in the deeper water and caught bigger fish with a longer string and an other technique.

In the end, we decided to set the caught fish free in the river Gauja where they could live on.

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Excursion to Smiltene

Last week the children of the school and the oldest children in kindergarten went together with some teachers on an excursion to Smiltene. In three cars divided the teachers Madara, Laima, Daniels, Diana, the pupils and volunteer Pauline and I drove to a dairy farm in Smiltene.

A dairy farm is a place where cows are kept. There they are milked and the farmer produces milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products.

The children were very excited as we arrived at the farm. The owners of the farm welcomed us and asked the children to look around and count how many buildings were on their property. Together with the dog of the farmers the children ran through the snow and then the farmers told them to come together and they told them a few things about the work on a dairy farm.

Finally, we could go into the warmth of the farmers house, were sometimes guests also spent the night like in a hotel. The farmers people showed the children all kinds of interesting tools they use to produce cheese or butter. Then everyone could take a little glass full of milk and had to shake it for so long that the milk would become butter. Everbody was allowed to take his own piece of butter home!

The children heard about how many cows live on a dairy farm, what kinds of works are to do and what products come from dairy farms. Also the children helped to make the dough for pancakes!

To end the day we all made delicious pancakes and after that the children and also some teachers went out in the snow and played on the playground. A little bit tired we returned to the school just in time for lunch.

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Otrais klases vakars

On monday, the 29th of January, Laura and I already started with the preparations for the second class evening in the morning. The theme of the evening was “profesijas”, so we created profession-cards and thought of games to play with the children.

Shortly before the event started, the teacher Daniels ordered pizza and I bought yogurt, juice and fruits – everything was ready to begin the evening.

When the eight big hot pizzas arrived,  the event was opened. Everyone could eat as much as he wanted.

Afterwards, one little boy told me proud that he ate five slices of pizza, drank 5 glasses of yogurt and additionally ate fruits – of course he felt a bit sick.

In addition, we all came together to sing, dance and pray for the evening befor we splitted the two classes.

Laura and I joined the older children at their classroom where we had time to present our “profession-game” or “profession-TABU”. The class was devided into two groups which had to compete against each other.

One child got the English profession name with an accompanying picture and had to find other words or do pantomimes to explain the term to his groupmates. For each guessed word they got a point. After the sessions we repeatet the English words together.

Finally, it was time for sports. We met the younger children at the big sports hall and prepared everything to play “Kickball”. Two groups had the chance to show their talent in throwing, catching and running while Daniels and I moderated.

After the revanche, both teams had won once. The children went home satisfied, with a full stomach and newly acquired knowledge.


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