And we're off!

Hi! My name is Riley Ellis, and I am the TEFL Peace Corps Volunteer from La Guaria. My co-teacher, Isenia, 20 incoming 7th graders, and I are very excited to share with you all our experiences during the coming weeks of our JumpStart camp. I’d like to say, so far so good!

Today marked the start of our JumpStart camp in La Guaria, and everything went as, if not more, smoothly than I could have hoped. At 8:00am sharp 20 bright and smiling faces entered into the English classroom.

We began as all typical classes begin; with introductions and greetings. To help break the ice and get to know each other’s names we moved outside to “los pollitos” and formed a big circle in order to play a game I like to call “Strike a Pose, Name Game”. The idea of the game is for one student to say his/her name and make a pose. The next person in the circle has to then repeat all previous students’ names and poses followed by his/her own name and pose. It was a lot of fun, and you know what?! It works!! By the end of the game we all could (mas o menos) remember each others names. We’ll see if we still remember tomorrow!

After the game we moved on to take care of some more technical things like one-on-one interviews to gauge each students’ English level and personal surveys. Following a short snack break, Isenia led the group through a short motivation exercise where the students tossed a ball around asking each other “What’s your name” “My name is ______”. It’s always really exciting to see how fast students learn and how willing they are to speak English!
Throughout the lesson we built upon this starting point, teaching “How are you?”, and different responses, and other greetings like “good morning” “hey” “good night” etc.
By the end of day 1 students were able to arrange basic conversations and put them in chronological order, and then present their dialogues to the class. We finished the day by practicing our newly learned greetings, accompanied with some sort of physical salutation...there may or may not have been some high fives, handshakes, and fist pumps involved!!!


I will keep you posted on our progress throughout this week and for the weeks to come. I am more than pleased with today and cannot wait to see what fun tomorrow brings!