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My first book class!

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  • Patrice Baldwin
    Hi friends: I finally met my new students. I have 25 boys and girls. The first day was a set up for a disaster. There were NO supplies of any kind, even though
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 17, 2004
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      Hi friends:

      I finally met my new students. I have 25 boys and girls. The first
      day was a set up for a disaster. There were NO supplies of any kind,
      even though the "suits" came and went over my list carefully, asking
      questions about each strange implement (like a bone folder). So I
      smilingly asked the helper to go find paper and glue and rulers etc.
      He came back some time later with a few rulers and about 10 pieces of
      typing paper. *sigh*

      So everyone rallied and we used anything we could find to practice
      folding paper correctly. Then I had them use any straight edge and
      cut a straight strip after strip. The combination of these two things
      lit a fire under them, and they folded and cut a wonderful variety of
      shapes and origami type things. They're all art students, after all,
      and they were playing!

      Then we gathered together one clean piece of paper each, and I showed
      them how to fold and cut to make a little "book" out of just one
      piece. They made variations in that all by themselves, too. Now I'm
      getting an idea of which one is bound to be "different", which one is
      really fast, which one needs help. They're all so cute.

      Today, the second day, we had a few more tools and paper. They'd all
      gone to a paper store and brought what they could. So I started them
      on a single section book with a hard cover. It's hard to get to each
      of them in order to stop one from doing the wrong thing before I can
      tell them how. I can't just announce to the class what to do, as I
      can't speak Chinese, and most of them don't understand English very
      well. I have a darling girl, Betty is her English name, (it used to
      be Bubbles, but someone explained to her what that type of name
      implied, so she changed it) who translates everything I say, but in
      the hubub of a class, it's hard to get the message out. So I go
      around and see if everyone is keeping up. When we got to the hard
      covers, we had to put the large pieces of book board (the only thing
      we now have a lot of) on the floor to cut covers. We had three huge
      pieces of board all over the floor with 4 or 5 students trying to cut
      their boards... like bees around 3 hives.

      By hook or by crook, they all finished their books and were really
      proud of themselves. I impressed upon the "monitor" that if we'd had
      proper paper, we wouldn't have wrinkles and if everyone had had their
      own jar of glue, it would have been much easier and efficient. I
      think he got the message. All in all, it was great fun, and I'm
      looking forward to Thursday to see how many more supplies will
      appear. Hope someone brings large paper, as I'm planning to do
      accordions. Oh well, we'll just glue one to another endlessly if not.

      That's all for now, I have a day off tomorrow. I think I'll go to the
      market. That'll be an adventure!

      Later,

      Patrice
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