Student Teaching in London

The Fifth Week

Thursday, Dec.3

Today was the last lesson of my unit. It was also my final full day with Class 2. And it was the last day I had prepared lesson plans for.

I took the register again. Then went with them and stayed at the Assembly in the morning. I brought a school tape recorder, and put it up in front and taped them singing at the Assembly: "Oh Come All Ye Faithful", "Calypso Carol".

I gave an R.E. lesson that afternoon, about David's becoming king. I just read from their Bible and had the children rewrite the story in their own words.

Juliette was a big problem during R.E. First I put her in the corner. She continued disturbing the class so much even there, she finally had to be sent out of the room by the co-op.

When the story was finished, I had them rewrite the story, in the form of a comic-strip-style.

For Maths, I continued with co-ordinates. I drew another shape on the board, and had the children continue their work on their own shapes, and there was a page in the Beta book for those who finished. The lesson did not go well at all. They were terribly noisy. The container of chalk I was using fell, and riotous laughter broke out. I was pretty upset by that point! But I do remember there were a couple kids, Georgina and David I think, who didn't laugh at all, but came up quietly and helped me pick up the chalk.

The unit lesson was on the formation of the British Isles, based on the program I had seen on the TV. I had the clay molded at the bottom of the aquarium, talked about it for a minute, and then demonstrated how the British Isles came about by pouring the right amount of water into the tank, until it took on the appearance of the islands. It went over very well; they were quite fascinated by it!

Lunch that day was mutton and rhubarb pie, which was very good.

I had a test for the unit for them to do, which they mostly did in the afternoon. I made up a large card, with the following questions written on it, and taped it to the blackboard:

  1. Name the continents, and write something about each one (a country on that continent or some fact about it).
  2. Draw a diagram of the 3 layers of the Earth and label them.
  3. Name 2 kinds of evidence for Continental Drift.
  4. Why is Mr Wegener important?
  5. Describe what a plate is.
  6. What do these words mean: Pangaea, Laurentia, Gondwanaland, Tethys Sea?
  7. What causes earthquakes?
  8. What is a volcano?
  9. List the 3 kinds of mountains, and write what causes each.
  10. Where did the water come from that separates the British Isles from the rest of Europe?
Still a bit angry from the chalk incident, I would not let them go to afternoon play until they were finished the test. (But in the end, I did decide to let the last ones go before they had completely finished everything.)

Here are some of the more interesting answers some of them gave on the test:

Michelle's description of North "Amarcer": "Mr. Keppart lives there." She spelled Antarctica "Andtarteker".

Jessica, Leyla, and Nicholas had perfect papers.

Nicholas said for North America: "Mr. Kephart lives there". He even spelled my name right!

Huseyin said "Sir lives in South America." Well, it was nice he thought of me, even if he did put me on the wrong continent!

Leyla had a unique description of Africa: "Sometimes there is famin their." For North America she put "Canada is in it", for South America: "Brazil is in it", for Europe: "We live in it."

David said a folded mountain "is made by 2 countrys craching."

Shuna made a color diagram of the Earth. For North America, she said "Miami is in North America."

John said Europe has "Gres". For the plates, he answered, "It is some think what flots." An earthquake occurs "When the plate rud to gever." And Wegener "stoped a aregmt" (argument).

Nicola said that a volcano is "Something that larve come out of." (Picture lines of insects climbing out of a mountain!) These are her descriptions for question 6: "Pagea is a iland laurentia is just a place and the tethys sea is just a sea." Her paper looked very neat; especially from the way, in listing and describing the continents, she wrote the name of each continent in pen, and the description in pencil.

Paloma said that Australia "Has qualer's". For Africa, she said "In som part they are very rich." She called fossils "Fuzzle's". Her answer to question 6: "they mean's well when the continent's were seperated well the pangaea was the first to brake and the Laurentia was the secoend." A volcano: "It's a mountin that blows up and lava goes every were."

Joanne also gave a color diagram of the Earth. She also mentioned that North America "Is where Mr Carpat comes from." A volcano is "A mountain that sometime has lather coming out."

Reading Leith's paper is like a guessing game, both from spelling and handwriting. Wegener is important "Beause he desaved plats." "Faut mountain is caused by a matiun." North America "is where som faymost stars are."

Dipash's paper was the worst to try to read. But, since he did copy most of his answers from Jamie's paper, that made it easier to figure out what his said.

After the test and R.E. and play, was rehearsal for the Samson play.

Later that evening, I went to Mark & Spencer's and got a big box of Turkish Delight candy.

I also went to the usual place across the street to get another roll of film developed, and bought another roll of film there.

Friday, December 4

Today we had a day off.

I wanted to get to see the Catholic School Father Dodd had told me about. I called the Sister there as he had said to do, but she said she was too busy now to have a visitor come. She suggested coming after Christmas, but of course that would be impossible.

I had just as much luck with the Traveller's Checks. I went to the bank, but was told I couldn't cash them unless I had a bank account there.

Back at Kent House, I asked the lady who runs it if she could help me. She said it would have been fine to pay my bill with them, but that had already been paid. She said cashing them for me would cause problems with taxes, but she said she would do it for me if there were no other way and it was an emergency.

Later that day, I went to the Cecil Sharp House, and bought a small record there for £1.75, "Orange and Blue", performed by the Orange and Blue Band, with "Yorkshire Square Eight" and "Butterfly Hornpipe" on one side, and "Bonny Breast Knot" and "Hull's Victory" on the other.

That evening, I went to the Safeway Supermarket. There I got some Cheshire Cheese (very good), something called Grannie's Fruit Cake, some marmalade, and vegetable quiche, the kind you don't have to cook.

That night I went to Woolworth, and got some sherry candy.

Saturday, December 5

This morning I got up early, early enough to watch "Wide Awake Club". They had some children on the show doing clogging; that was the first time I had ever seen English clogging (very different from what Americans call clogging).

I finally managed to cash the Traveller's Checks. I did it at an exchange place at Leicester Square, by not telling them that they weren't in my name! But it had a terrible exchange rate. The exchange rate was now 1.8995! With the 8% commission, I was now getting less than 2-1. For $80 in Travellers' Checks, I got £38.75. It's like invisible inflation: things cost more and more, even though the prices do not change - as the exchange rate keeps getting worse.

Then I watched some of the TV-AM show that was going on near there, at a trailer.

I bought some books around some of the bookstores that day. I made my major purchase of the old book "Little Folk 1888" for £14. I also bought a Kate Greenaway book for £2 at the store that advertises "nothing over £2." And I got a couple of books for 10p each: one was an old Reader's Digest, and the other was a children's book with poems in Greek.

I went to Mass at Westminster Cathedral that day, which was nice. There I bought a doily thing for my great-grandmother for 85p, and a 25p postcard.

That night was the night I went dancing at the Cecil Sharp House. It cost £3, quite a lot. I was there from 7:30 until 11:00. At first, I had a very hard time finding anybody to dance with, most people had come as couples. Finally, though, more people started coming by themselves.

It was a very good band that played. They had an electric piano, electric guitar, drums, and accordion. But it was really amazing how they could make those instruments sound like actual traditional English folk dance instruments! It sounded great. They also did some nontraditional things, like a jitterbug.

I took some pictures there that night. When I took one of them, an big, Irish-looking woman came over and was talking about how the pictures might turn out (she took some too). She was from Liverpool, I think she said. She was there by herself too, and that finally gave me somebody I could do several of the dances with!

They did about half English and half Irish dances; the Irish dances were very simple, such as "Drops of Brandy".

One of the dances was "Yorkshire Square Eight". The funny thing about that was that in the square I was in, I was the only one who already knew how to do the dance!

They jump up and down all the time while they're dancing, and I was very tired by the time I left. I had been a little worried about trying to get back by myself so late at night. But as it turned out, I didn't have a bit of trouble.

When I finally got back, I tried to call home, but couldn't. So I went to bed.

Sunday, December 6

This was a sight-seeing day.

I started out going to the 11:00 Latin Mass at Corpus Christi, followed by lunch at McDonald's, as usual.

Then I went to Hampstead. I was looking for the Kate Greenaway Cottage which is supposed to be there. I never did find it.

It was an interesting place, though. There's a large, old graveyard there. There was a bunch of people I saw around there, with kids scared of the graveyard.

My next objective was more successful. That was my trip to the British Museum.

I was there until it closed, which wasn't long enough for me. It is very big, and a very fascinating place. I especially liked the exhibits showing all aspects of life in Ancient Greece. The Assyrian room and the Rosetta Stone were also quite interesting.

It was dark when I got back. I went across the street to the usual place and bought some more bread and margarine and cookies, and more of that Tizer soda that I like.

At about 9:00 that night, I got a call from home.

The Sixth Week

Back up to the beginning