Wasserkreislauf: Acting the Water Cycle

Today in Klasse 2, we read a book about the Wasserkreislauf, and then we acted it out.

We had 5 answers to our question:

Wo geht der Regen hin?

Dampf = Evaporation

Wolke

Regen

Erde

Wasser (rivers, lakes, ocean)

 

We are also learning a German children’s song about the Rain: Es Regnet.  Click here to follow the link to the video so you can sing along with us:   Es Regnet

This post was written by Frau Holmes & 2O

 

 

 

 

 

Es ist Herbst!

es ist herbst!.pngThe seasons have changed, and we have been discussing the names of them:

Sommer

Herbst

Winter

Frühling

We’ve also discussed how the seasons in Australia and Germany are opposite.

Have you seen the Autumn tree that Year 2 decorated in the library?

Ostereierbaum!

Easter Egg Tree

DSC_9498_edited

In Germany many people decorate a tree outside, or a branch inside with Easter eggs.

It is to celebrate the change from Winter, when everything is bare and grey, to Spring when everything is green, and the flowers bloom.

 

Lots of shops are selling the eggs for hanging on your tree.  They can be made from plastic, glass, ceramic, or china.  You can also make them yourself by blowing the egg out of the shell and painting them, but these are fragile.

DSC_9520

I have seen some in gardens when I have walked around the villages.

Enjoy the photos.DSC_9809

Oster in Deutschland: Bunte Eier!

Colourful Eggs!

Every shop I go to has colourful Easter Eggs, like this.

DSC_9634

 

These were in the bakery, ready to buy!

You can buy them already coloured like these.


Or you can buy the dye kits to do it yourself at home.

I even saw a little holder for your egg that allows you to paint it easily (I’ll try to get one later!).

 

 

Sometimes shopkeepers give you an egg from their basket.  A lady in a bookshop gave me one today!

 

It was a great snack!

 

Have you ever dyed eggs with your family at Easter?

Herzlich Wilkommen zum 2018

First of all I’d like to wish you…

Ein frohes, neues Jahr!

I have spent the summer holidays studying an inspiring course run by the Goethe Institut.  It’s one of their DLL (Deutsch Lehrer Lernen) courses (an internationally recognised certificate in teaching German).  They’ve been focusing a lot on supporting Teachers of young children, which is the area I am passionate about.  This course is DaF für Kinder DLL 8.  It is about teaching German as a Foreign Language to young children.

I have been so inspired by the course.  And so humbled that many of the participants (it’s an online course, with students from all over the world) are pursuing it so that they can help refugees that are finding new homes in Germany and Austria.  How fabulous is that!

I have been so inspired to re-think and re-design a lot of our German learning activities. I can’t wait to get into the year, and see how this learning impacts my teaching throughout the year!

In my readings today, I have found my motto for the year – this is going to be my guiding star for 2018.

Bewegung ist das Tor zum Lernen (1)

The quote is from my readings, in the DLL textbook, Chapter 4, which talks about a Primary School concept, der bewegten Schule (lit. the moving school).  The quote in English says “Movement is the gate to learning” and I can’t wait to implement it more in my lessons!

Bis später!

Winterfest – Schneeflocken

Year 1 have made beautiful Schneeflocken to sell at the Winterfest.

All of Year 1 have had fun making them with lots of love.

They have been learning how to tell you their name in German.

They will answer the question “Wie heisst du?” with “Ich heisse …” at the Craft Stall to buy their Schneeflocke.

We can’t wait until Friday evening when the Winter Festival is on!

Come along for lots of yummy food, fun things to do and things to buy!

 

This post is written by 1B

 

 

 

Alles Gute zum Schulanfang!

Herzlich Wilkommen!

Some new Kindergarten classes started their German learning journey this term!  In celebration, I have given them all a small Schultüte, (school bag) which is something children in Germany receive on their first day of school!

Starting school in Germany is a significant milestone, just as it is here, but it’s possibly even more important.  The family will celebrate together, and the new student will receive a Schultüte packed with treats and things they need, including a backpack.

If you’d like to read more about it, we read together from herealles gute zum schulanfang.jpg.

I hope you check back in regularly to see what we are learning!

 

Why Learn Languages?

why learn a language-

I am absolutely passionate about the benefits that learning a Language can bring to anyone of any age.

To have the opportunity to teach our students two languages from such a young age is a tremendous privilege.  For them and for me!

I often get asked why it’s such a good idea….  I mean, in this age of Google Translate, and the whole world speaking English (or so we’d like to think, particularly in isolated Australia) surely we don’t need this any more.

Yes, Google Translate is a fabulous resource.  I love it and use it myself for all sorts of things. But….

I believe nothing can compare to the magical delight of communicating with someone in their own language.  Of being in another place, and being able to understand and find your way around, and buy what you want.  To converse with complete strangers, and be understood.

I love seeing the delight on my students’ faces when they understand a video or song that is completely in German.

But those are my experiences, and it’s a bit like preaching to the choir, isn’t it?  So let’s look at some good solid research on why it’s great to learn another language.

If a child asks me why they should learn another language, I often give them quite a simplistic answer:  “It makes you smarter!”

Nothing in life is really that straightforward, but it’s a simple way to communicate the power of learning a language to children.

If you don’t feel like reading through my summary of the research I’ve read, feel free to jump straight to the bottom.  There’s some great links there – to a short video on the benefits of learning languages, and an infographic that summarises it too.  Take a look at them both and see what takes you by surprise!

If you’d like to hear my experiences and ideas, please read on!

Languages open doors – to other places, other ways of living, that not everyone is like me, and yet they are just like me in the things that matter.

I think learning a Language enlarges the soul.

Languages enhance your understanding of your own language.  You speak your own language well (usually) because you have absorbed it, without realising it.  Learning a second language allows you to step outside of your own, and understand the ways in which Languages are systems, with rules, with grammar.  Learning a second language lets you compare them, and manipulate them, instead of your first language being your own, unexamined ‘normal’.

My background is in Psychology, and my particular interest is in Neuropsychology.  How our incredible brains work, and change over time.  And the things we can do to make them continue to grow and be healthy.  Learning Languages builds pathways in your brain.  You develop metacognitive skills, better analysis skills, patterns, deductions, and if you are committed and work on memorising your learning, that too can benefit you. (And as an aside, far from being pointless and mundane, rote learning large slabs of text actually improves your brain’s reasoning abilities – you can carry out extensive thought processes, that allow you to reason through to the end of what you are pondering.)  Learning another language can help you right throughout your life…  It has even been proven to protect against the onset & impact of dementia.

And don’t worry, you don’t have to achieve true bilingualism to have benefited from the learning of language, there’s evidence to show that students’ results improve in other areas just from participating in some language learning.

this infographic came from this blog here:

http://www.bhlingual.com/how-the-brain-benefits-from-being-bilingual-infographic-blog

it’s got so much fabulous information if you want to investigate further.

Here’s a fabulous Ted video about the benefits of bilingualism…

https://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-speaking-multiple-languages-benefits-the-brain-mia-nacamulli

All of these ideas are from reading that I’ve done in the past few years in order to contribute my experience to a book written about Languages Teachers experiences and perspectives.  The references are below.

Want to know more?  John le Carre recently wrote this beautifully written article about his journey with languages, German in particular.

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/jul/02/why-we-should-learn-german-john-le-carre

and a colleague of mine wrote this..

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-we-should-learn-german-my-response-vicki-drozdowski

and while I’m promoting German, let’s look at the financial benefits of speaking it…

https://www.adzuna.co.uk/blog/2016/09/26/which-languages-do-the-highest-paid-jobs-ask-for/

What benefits have you discovered from learning another language?

 

References

Absalom, M. (2014). What works: What we knew, what we know, what we think we know and what we need to do – Keynote Address. AIS 2014 Languages Conference: Languages Education – Vital and Viable. Sydney: https://aisnswlanguages.wikispaces.com/AIS+Languages+Conference+2014+-+Languages+Education+-+Vital+and+Viable. Retrieved from https://prezi.com/hvjhkbnlixkv/what-we-knew/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

ACARA. (2011). The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/Languages_-_Shape_of_the_Australian_Curriculum_new.pdf

Bialystok, E. (2009). Bilingualism: The Good, The Bad, and the Indifferent. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 12(1), 3-11.

Fernandez. (2007). Promoting the Benefits of Language Learning: Report to the Department of Education & Training. Melbourne: Research Unit for Mulitlingualism and Cross Cultural Communication at University of Melbourne.

Kroll. (2011). Juggling Languages can build better brains. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved from http://news.psu.edu/story160653/2011/02/18/juggling-languages-can-build-better-brains)

Lo Bianco, J. &. (2009). Second Languages & Australian Schooling. Melbourne: ACER.

Merritt, A. (2013). Why learn a foreign language: Benefits of bilingualism. http://www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10126883/Why-learn-a-foreign-language-Benefits-of-bilingualism.html

 

 

Image

Es ist Winter!

Es ist Winter!

 

It’s not long until our WinterFest!  I hope you can join us for some European Wintry Fun! Keep an eye out for information in the Newsletter!

Have you seen the German Tree in the Library?

It looks like a true Winterbaum!  It is covered in glitzende Schneeflocken that Year 2 made for me.

 

Winter = Winter

Baum = tree

Glitzende = glittering

Schneeflocke = snowflake