Half Done!

It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve been in Barcelona! The teacher that I’m with at the school is so nice and interested in ideas that I have. Today I helped her create a chart to keep track of how much the students are speaking English. I’m in English speaking classes but since they integrate other subjects with the English the students try to slip in as much Spanish as they can. For instance, I’m in an all English Science Class. I’m in an all English Art Class. We also have English enrichment class where the students create skits themselves by writing the lines and then acting it out. They also do debate in English Enrichment. The students are very happy at the school. It’s a laid back environment where the students are allowed to socialize with each other and learn at the same time. Talking and running in the hall way is not a big deal. The students seem to accept that they are there to learn and care about their grades. Before the 6th grade science test I asked who had studied and everyone raised their hand and they were serious! I’m not sure I would have gotten the same response back in the States.
There are many interesting differences between Barcelona schools and Kentucky schools. The students here get an hour and fifteen minutes just to eat lunch and they are allowed to go home if they want during that time. Many of the students live in walking distance and their mom or dad or housekeeper meets them to walk them home. If the students are old enough though they can go home by themselves or out to a restaurant. Their recess is not included during this time so they get another 30 minute period for play and snack during their designated time. The students here also get more P.E. time. They get an hour of swimming and an hour of exercise/sports every week. Most of the schools in Barcelona don’t have pools but Santa Isabel is special in that way.
They learn 3 languages at school. At SI School they learn Spanish, English, and Catalan. Every school in Barcelona teaches 3 languages but the languages differ. It’s always Spanish and English but the third could be French, German, etc. The 2nd graders are already fluent enough in English to carry on conversations with me.
The teachers have a separate dining area where they are served lunch. It’s nice not to have to cut school children at lunch time or worse yet, get in line behind them. The teachers don’t have to stay for lunch though. They are free to go home or out to a restaurant for at least an hour and fifteen minutes or sometimes more.
The classrooms do not have computers and there is no Wi Fi in the building. There is one computer room and a few rooms with a SMART board. It’s hard for the American teachers to get used to this.
Enough about school!
Last weekend I went to the Camp Nou Stadium to see the Barcelona Soccer Team. Camp Nou is the biggest stadium in Europe. They won 4 to 0 so there were no riots 🙂 When the game let out the streets were flooded with people and automobile traffic had to stop. People took over the streets for blocks!
I went to the Picasso Museum. I found out that he didn’t just paint abstract but he did realistic paintings and even made pottery. Seeing paintings through his whole painting career gave me a more complete picture of who Picasso was as an artist.
I went to the Port to see the Mediterranean Sea. There are many tourists in this area and a lot to do. A Christopher Columbus statue stands tall pointing to the United States.
See you in 2 weeks U.S.A.
Bye for now.
Shannon Swift

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