Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekend Excursion

Friday after school, I went with my host family to their house in the mountains. The drive was beautiful but the roads made me a little car sick with all the twists and turns. There was no wifi at their mountain house so excuse the long post, it contains everything I did this weekend.

By the time we got there, we had just enough time to unpack, play a quick board game, and eat dinner before bed time. Also, we saw this super cool fox that came straight to the back door while we were playing board games.

Saturday I got to sleep in (hallelujah!) and then we went hiking in a mountain range just north of the cabin (in southern France). It was quite a walk but it was well worth it when we reached the lake and had our picnic lunch.

And if this beautiful hike wasn't enough, the next day, we went on a nature walk and went horseback riding.

It was a great weekend and I'm really glad I chose to spend it with my host family trading songs, playing board games, taking walks, eating delicious food, and playing in the sun. On to the week ahead!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

P-3 and Catedral de Barcelona

I finally got to meet all my P-3 Students today and I can't believe how much English they understand! I taught them a song to help them learn the days of the week in English, which I think my cooperating teacher really liked. I ate lunch at the school today and it was much more decadent than I expected: meatballs, bread, fruit, calamari, and another Spanish dish (don't remember the name). Of course, lunch is the third meal of the day in Spain so I don't know how they eat so much after two breakfasts. Afterwards, we went to buy metro tickets and stopped to get some macarones dessert. I had never had macarones before so this was a real treat.

After school, I went with friends to see the Catedral de Barcelona. It was beautiful and we had a great time exploring the area around it. Also, we were quite proud that we were able to navigate the metro on our own! I think we're starting to finally get a feel for the city. Here's some pictures from our explorations today:

In reference to the wall sculpture in the last picture, rumor has it that if you rub the turtle back, it will bring you good luck, so we all rubbed it just in case. Another incredible day in Barcelona, tomorrow after school, I will be going with my host family to their mountain house. I may or may not have wifi, but I'm sure I'll have a great time!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

First Day of School

Jet lag... Definitely. All the traveling yesterday got to me but I was determined to have a good day. I got up and walked with my host brother and sister to school, which only took about 15 minutes. The school is bigger than any school I've ever seen and houses all grades from P-1 (1 year olds) up to 12th grade. It's also trilingual meaning they teach in Spanish, Catalan, and, English and most students understand quite a bit of each language.

I'm with the P-2 (2 year old) group on Wednesdays (today) but every other day I'm with P-3. I was honestly surprised to learn that kids start school that young in Spain but my teacher said this isn't always the case. We got to do a lot of singing and movement classes. Mostly we try to expose the kids to different languages and to help them build psychomotor skills such as running, jumping, balancing, crawling, etc... 

Today was a very unusual day in the school because it is a Catalonian holiday. Sant Jordi, or Saint George, is a big holiday here where the kids dress up as either a knight (Saint George), a princess, or a dragon and traditionally, the girls give boys books and the boys give girls a rose. The kids had so much fun and it was awesome to get to participate in such a unique cultural tradition. 

Around 11:30, I got a 3 hour break in my schedule for lunch (the kids get 2 hours and many go home for lunch) so I went to explore Barcelona with some other student teachers on the trip.

After school, I went to La Ramblas to see all the Sant Jordi festivities with my host mom and brother and sister. My host dad stayed home with the two younger kids who wouldn't enjoy all the crowds.  

I got roses and books from my host dad and brother and I had so much fun with my family touring the city. 

What an incredible first day :)