Week 5: Wednesday

I didn’t have any teaching planned for this day as it was the half day. I don’t usually do much on this day because school finishes so early. Most of my teaching takes place in the afternoon, therefore I don’t have the opportunity to do much. However, when I went into school I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the teacher wanted me to help out with a maths lesson. This lesson was in French; however, numbers are the same in every country, therefore, I had a good understanding of the topic. The children were working on decimals and the teacher had set up a task in the corridor that she wanted completed. I was in charge of this station and had to ensure that the children were successful. My purpose was not to tell them the answer but guide them in the right direction. I always find maths lessons so interesting to watch as it is one of the lessons that I can really follow and understand.

During this lesson one thing I noticed that differs to the way in which we teach maths in Scotland is their use of the decimal place. They use a comma instead of a point which I found strange. At the beginning of the lesson I had to ask the teacher if it was decimals they were learning because of the point being expressed as a comma. She confirmed that this was the way in which decimals are written in France. I found this very interesting as over the past five weeks I have noticed small but significant differences between the two curriculums. During the lesson I tried my best to pick up and understand the French terminology in relation to this topic, however, it was very hard to follow. I just had to use my knowledge in English to help the children complete their task.

The task involved a number line that the teacher had created in the corridor outside the classroom. It went from zero to five. The children were given cards with various decimal numbers on them and their goal was to stick them on the correct place in the number line. Most of the children found this very simple, however, the numbers that seemed to catch everyone out was numbers such as 2.06 and 4.05. The children weren’t registering that zero has to come before one, therefore, were placing the cards at 2.6 and 4.5. I tried my best to explain to the children why this was incorrect, so they could change their answers.

I also used my time today to record myself reading two books. Both of these books were on the topic of colours and I had used them to teach this area of English to the CP classes. My teacher suggested that it would be a nice idea for me to record myself reading the books so that they would be able to use this in the school in the future. She also suggested that it would be a good idea for her to record herself reading the books in French, so I can take the recording back to Scotland with me and use it when I am teaching French as a qualified teacher. I had the best time doing this as it is something special that I will be able to keep forever. It is things like this that are allowing me to make the most of my learning from life experience. Making resources for my future teaching whilst in France is something that not many people will be able to say they have done.

Having this experience and understanding the difficulty of teaching a foreign language to children is equipping me with skills that will be essential in the future. It has allowed me to become more passionate about learning languages and I would love to have the opportunity to improve my French and return one day. This experience has showed me the importance of language and how learning language from a young age benefits each child.

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