1/23/14

Halfway through Jumpstart La Rambla!

It's hard to believe Jumpstart started 2 weeks ago and we're already halfway done. For the most part, camp goes by fast but it can be exhausting. But now that we're at the halfway point, I'm hoping to completely savor the time because it's been so enjoyable.
Jumpstart La Rambla has a total of 14 students, 3 from the Barrio El Carmen in La Rambla and 11 from La Chaves. The students from La Chaves are students of my co-teacher Froilan. La Chaves is about a 25 minute drive from La Rambla and Froilan picks the children up every morning. The motivation and dedication coming from the students and Froilan alike is astounding. Froilan leaves his house in Cariari at 5:45 each morning, drives an hour and a half to La Chaves then backtracks to La Rambla to be at camp by 8AM. He repeats the path every day after camp. Froilan's motivation lies in his passion to teach the students the most possible, by taking them to camp and by improving his own English as he practices speaking with me during the breaks.
The 3 students from El Carmen have only ever had 1 year of English classes, in 5th grade. Regardless of this disadvantage from the rest of the class, they are thriving and learning at the same pace. All of the students understand everything I say to them with little repetition and at the fast pace I'm told I speak with. I feel extremely lucky to have this group of kids to work with.
Little by little all the students have gotten more and more comfortable in the classroom and being with each other and with me. Their goofy personalities manage to shine through into the lessons even if they can't express themselves fully as they have to speak English at all times. There is always laughter in the classroom, there is support from one student to another and respect for the teachers. Every time I ask for volunteers, every students ends up making their way to the front.

A little about each student:
Alfred - Alfred is my go-to guy if somebody misses a day and needs to be caught up. He gets mixed up sometimes but always knows how to correct his mistakes and is super helpful to anyone sitting around him.
Ariana - An outgoing girl with a shy personality when it comes to speaking English. Usually second-guessing herself but also usually correct in her English knowledge.
Betzabeth - Betza is the most shy and sometimes takes a little longer to process the information presented but she stays motivated and always powers through.
Cristian - I was told by Froilan that Cristian has behavior issues in other classes and I would have never guessed by how he acts in English class. He enjoys learning English so much he becomes a serious, focused student.
Cristoper - He struggles a little but on the very first day of class he came in and said to us "I want to improve my pronunciation" and that's the motivation it takes to really learn.
Donald - Lacks confidence (probably from his lack of experience with English) and sometimes gives up when something seems too hard but when he is given 1-on-1 attention, he really flourishes.
Drexel - Drexel is a mixture of Yerbis's knowledge and Donald's slightly problematic behavior. But Drexel is intelligent and always one of the first ones done with assignments.
Emilena - A typical girl who loves Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and English class. 
Jordi - Jordi can be a serious kid which means he takes the class seriously. If he sees he is struggling, he tries and tries until he achieves what he wants.
Maykel - The class clown! Maykel has gotten so comfortable he makes strange noises throughout the lessons but all for a good laugh. Even with his goofball behavior, is never too distracted and learns everything along with everyone else.
Sheirys - Sheirys has the softest voice of the class but everything she says is exactly right. She is very smart!
Steven M - A goofy kid that enjoys the class. Gets a little mixed up but always recovers. 
Steven L - He is probably the perfect mixture of silly and smart. Gives everyone a laugh and manages to answer all the questions first and with ease.
Yerbis - My most surprising student, Yerbis is one of 3 that have only had 1 year of English. He surprises me everyday by learning everything super fast and even somehow remember information from his brief time with English.

Pictures!
the sign outside the classroom

a classroom awaiting it's students

first day ice-breaker: the human knot. they all grab random hands and have to unknot themselves into a circle. I wanted them to really get to know each other :)
playing a version of Duck Duck Goose

Steve M. introducing himself (name, occupation and where he lives)

playing BOOM, a game used to review vocabulary

learning so much!

outside playing "Everyone Who" - one person in the middle makes a statement "everyone who… lives in ___ / is __ years old / etc" and those the statement apply to have to get up and find a new seat

Naty teaching numbers

the Spanish hat in action! nobody in the class is allowed to speak Spanish unless wearing the hat

Froilan going over physical characteristics

Ariana and Steve M (with Emilena and Maykel not completely pictures) playing Guess Who

Cristian, Drexel, Betza and Yerbis playing Guess Who

Sheirys, Steven L, Jordi and Alfred playing Guess Who

learning and learning

the ladies of Jumpstart La Rambla!

posing for the camera! Steven L, Jordi, Alfred, Maykel, Cristian, Betza and Donald

video
a clip of "Everyone Who" - Alfred in the middle says "Everyone who is 13 years old", those who are 13 get up and find new seats