Teacher Training 2015: Day Two in Changzhi
Rested and ready to go, this morning Tracey and Mary Beth from Training Team B met with the teachers from our Believe in Me orphanage school in Changzhi.
Nearly all of the children in this school have some kind of special need, and we discussed how to adapt learning activities for children with various skill levels in the same classroom.
We also talked about how to help develop fine motor skill development, and the teachers tried different tongs, tweezers, and adapted scissors they could use to make cutting and other fine motor activities more accessible to students with different physical needs.
An additional morning workshop focused on how to teach students about friendship skills including sharing and turn taking. The teachers and trainers laughed often as they played various turn-taking games together to test them out before working with the students in the afternoon. In addition to friendship skills, the teachers participated in a workshop on helping children identify emotions and keep calm.
Inspired by some beautiful photos from the Believe in Me School in Jinjiang last month of the students discovering their faces in mirrors, we brought acrylic mirrors to the teachers in Changzhi to help teach the children about how their faces and their classmates’ and teachers’ faces look when expressing different emotions. In the afternoon, the children made faces in the mirrors, drew pictures on the mirrors with dry erase markers, and discovered on their own the fun of reflecting sunlight onto ceilings, walls, and visiting training team members!
In the afternoon, the students also worked on literacy, sharing, and fine motor skills. The teachers read the classic book, Rainbow Fish, to them. Then, the children tried an activity the adults had planned together in the morning. They pretended to be fish and had “scales” of different colors clipped to their clothing with clothes pins. They used their communication and sharing skills to ask their teachers and classmates to share the special, shiny scales with them. The children did a fantastic job with this and exceeded the adults’ expectations in their cooperation and communication.
Between figuring out on their own how to reflect light with mirrors and doing such a fantastic job “being” fish and asking for and sharing their shiny scales, teachers and the training team witnessed firsthand how children with a range of skills and abilities will rise to the challenge when given the opportunity and tools to grow!