Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Colegio en Toma

Photo from Roy Pequeno.

In most high schools the most important thing that a student councils usually accomplish in a year is putting on a dance. This year, in Chile the students have bigger dreams.

About a week ago, a lot of students decided to exercise thier rights and go on strike for a better education. Several students are leading a huge national movement in the hopes to get improve the educational system in Chile.

From what I understand (and I dont claim to understand a lot) are fighting for five items. Of the five I only know three:
1. PSU - similar to the SAT - The students are asking that those in a lower socio-economical level should be able to get a discount or take the test for free. 2. ESCOLARES: The students are fighting for free transportation on subway and buses.
3. LOCE - a law that has been in place for a while. Students want the government to make revisions to the law.

Students decided that they would go take over thier schools. Students have been living in their shcools and decorated them in interesting ways. One signal that a school is "en toma" is usually having desk and chairs blocking the entrances to the school (pictured above).

In the end, this movement has been making national news and the students are the most powerful people in Chile. Talk about an effective student council!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Taking a Bite out of English

Photo from Roy Pequeno.
At Saint George's College, I teach three 5th grade English Clubs(Storytelling, Exploring Nature, and Living Well). These are basically required English electives that allow the students to experiment with the language in a fun manner. Thursday mornings I teach the Living Well Club, which basically shows students how to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

After talking about the Food Pyramid Concept, my students looked hungry. I mean - I tortured them by talking about food and not providing healthy snacks. Vanessa (the teacher who plans the Living Well lessons and I just follow them in my class) decided that we should cook in class.

So one Thurday I had the students work in groups and pick a healthy sandwich. In thier small groups they had to write all the ingredients and steps needed to prepare their sandwich in English.

The following Thursday my students got to "cook" sandwiches in class. Each brought his/he own ingredients and went to town. Some of my students made very delcious and healthy sandwiches ad others well . . . didn't.

The end result was my classroom being a mess, most of my students dirty, and me beat. Cooking is tiring . . . imagine doing it was 18 fifth graders.

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