EducationPrimary

German in Primary with Ms. Suvi

Hallo!

As the new German teacher, I would like to let you know what might have changed from the previous years and what has stayed the same.

In Year 2, we have already started to learn some basic greetings and numbers from 1-10. Next up will be the colors. We are not using any book currently because I am trying to keep it more playful by having songs, games and some occasional worksheets from Twinkl. The main focus will be on speaking, listening and reading in the beginning. There is no expected working pace at this early stage. We will try and complete 2-4 themes within a unit but we will also take our time and mainly have fun while learning.

Year 3 is currently following a program from the Goethe Institut called German with Felix und Franzi. The working pace in this class for the year is to go through 2 chapters within a unit. Once a week we have a lesson where new vocabulary and grammar are presented and practiced in the, so to say, normal classroom style. In the other lesson of the week we go to the computer room where students can progress in their individual pace in an online learning tool called the Memrise. More information about German with Felix und Franzi and Memrise can be found on the website of the Goethe Institut: https://www.goethe.de/ins/gb/en/spr/unt/kum/dfk/dff.html

With Years 4-6 we are using the same Planetino book series which they have had in the past too. In these three year groups we already completed a questionnaire in order to find out what kind of learner everyone is: visual, auditory or kinesthetic. Although learning the German language and culture is in the main center of the lessons I also find it highly important that children would find the most suitable learning style for themselves. By knowing what type of a learner you are makes learning in general quicker and easier across the board in all subjects. Therefore, there will be 6 different types of small tests during the academic year for children in order to explore all the different learning styles and hopefully allowing them to recognize which style is the best for them.

Homework

In Primary, I would like to try and give as little homework to the students as possible unless the majority of parents in a certain year group wish otherwise. However, in Years 4-6 I will assign homework if the working pace in the classroom is not at the expected level. I do understand that some children might need more time to finish a task, which is fine. Nevertheless, I have counted the amount of lessons for the whole year and the goal is to go through all the 6 big themes in each Planetino book within this academic year. Each theme consists of 4 chapters (Lektion) and in order to complete them all we should try and finish 4 chapters during one unit. In other words, we have 6 weeks for each bigger theme.

Rewarding system related to house points

I have introduced this system already to some classes but not yet to all of them. I will try to let every year group know about it until the end of this week. I would like to motivate the children to stay focused and to work hard during the lessons, which is why they can earn a special prize when receiving enough of house points from me. The second reason for this rewarding system to exist is the fact that everyone might not able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge as well in a, possibly stressful, test situation as they might be in a normal classroom situation.

For now, I am offering one the following options for a child to choose when 19 house points have been recorded for them in my teacher’s book:

1) library time reading level appropriate German stories for one full lesson when others are working normally (45 min.)

2) watching a level appropriate German children’s movie or a series (45min.)

3) learning German in playful online activities (45min.)

4) one grade higher in the official report than what they scored in a test

Finally, I would like to wish to all my students “Viel Erfolg und Spaß beim Deutschlernen!”

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