We have officially completed our first week of teaching! Last week, before getting into the classrooms we were able to continue to learn about and experience more of the local culture within Webequie. Last Friday, we were able to attend a school picnic and get to know the kids and teachers better before our first day in the classes. Throughout the week, we played LOTS of fun games of tag and floor hockey with the students and we were even lucky enough to have Bob take us to see a few of the local bears! We got to try fresh local fish (pickerel) for the first time, along with being given the opportunity to participate in a sweat lodge! A sweat lodge is a sacred cultural purification and sharing ceremony that is practiced here in Webequie. It was a very enriching experience and we are still so very thankful that we were given the opportunity to experience and learn about this beautiful practice.
A scene of some of the action at the school picnic on Friday!
It was a busy week in the classrooms filled with lessons about healthy eating, physical activity, healthy sleep habits, hygiene and the risks associated with smoking. We taught in all of the elementary school classes from K4 (Jr Kindergarten) to the grade 7/8s along with teaching a very interesting lesson about stress and stress management to the grade 11 class. It was wonderful to be so warmly welcomed into the classrooms by all of the students and teachers. We were able to see almost all of the elementary grades everyday which allowed us to teach detailed lessons about various physical health topics.
The school was closed on Monday and Thursday so we had a short but busy week! We began our first day of teaching on Tuesday in the Grade 11 health class to explain the importance of stress management and how to cope with the stresses that come in our everyday lives. The class was very receptive to our lesson and we were able to focus on an open discussion of the most useful ways of managing stress for each individual and we were able to develop personal stress management action plans. We then moved eagerly into the elementary school to teach about the importance of eating a variety of foods from the FNMI Food Guide, the benefits of eating a balanced breakfast and what happens when we drink sugary drinks. We finished off our lessons with an interactive activity where the students could think about what they usually eat daily and what changes they could make to make their meals healthier! All this talk of food is making us hungry!!
On Wednesday, we taught the same healthy eating lessons to the classes we weren’t able to see on Tuesday, but moved on to healthy active living and healthy sleep habits with the rest. We went over the different types of exercise, how much exercise we should be getting each day, along with how much sleep we should also get and how to set a routine to sleep better. We lead some classroom stretching to wake up a sleepy grade 6 class, played a “fitness beans” game with the little guys and lead an animal themed yoga session that ended in lots of giggles. The older grades (5-7/8) created personal sleep routines which we know will help them improve the quality of their sleep so that they can learn more effectively. After school we ran a fun game of baseball with some of the older grades and played tag/grounders on the play structure with the little guys. It was a fun and active way to end our day of teaching about physical activity!
Georgia leading a fun session of animal yoga with the K4s (Jr. Kindergarten)!
We had the day off on Thursday so we enjoyed the beautiful weather and got a taste of what summer will be like in Webequie! We were also able to do a lot of lesson planning and brainstormed exciting ideas for afterschool/weekend activities!
Today we had a jam packed day of teaching healthy hygiene habits up to the grade 6s and a lesson about the risks associated with smoking to the 7/8s. The students really enjoyed the hygiene worksheets we gave out to them and the grade 7/8s created some detailed anti-smoking posters that their teacher put up in the classroom. We ended the day helping the grade 4s and 2s with their weekly reading buddies activity … super adorable! It was a nice break having the kids read to us as opposed to us teaching them!
It was a great few days in the classroom! The students were always very excited to see us and we’ve already gotten to know the classes fairly well. The students seemed to pick up the material very well and were very enthusiastic when doing our interactive activities! We are looking forward to the next 3.5 weeks in the classroom! It’s already flying by!
We will be hosting our first community event in the gym of the school tomorrow and we can’t wait! We’re screening the all-ages movie “Inside Out”, which is a fantastic cartoon about mental health, emotions, and how to deal with change. This will be a great learning experience for the kids and it will also help introduce topics that we will be covering in our lessons related to mental health next week.
Jacobe waiting patiently on our front step! … If it’s not the kids waiting for us outside, it’s our furry friends!
Until next time!
Apple (Georgia) and Salad (Lily) – Our new, new nicknames!… More to come, we are sure!