Thursday, June 2, 2011

Back to the 6th grade!

Ebba and Elis are in elementary school at the Rodso School about a mile from the house. Last year I went with Ebba for a day in school and this year they invited me back! Jackie and I decided to get up and go with the kids to school.  We rode our bikes and got there about 15 minutes before the school bell. Since it's the end of the year they didn't have too much work left to do! I went with Ebba's class and Jackie went with Elis.  Ebba is in the 6th grade and Elis is in 3rd.  At the start of school everyone met in one classroom while the teacher read a story and we sang some songs in Swedish.

The Rodso School is a Swedish speaking school and possibly the smallest elementary school in Kokkola.  It consists of just three different classes and only forty children! The classes group together two grades, so Ebba's class had the 6th and 5th grade together.  The teacher will advise one grade their work and once they are started she gives the next group their work.  While I was there the 6th graders worked on math while the 5th graders had an English lesson. It was a recording of a foreigner who traveled to New York City and was shopping.  Ebba and I couldn't stop laughing at the accent they had on this New Yorker!! I thought we were going to get yelled at! And I am pretty sure that no one had any idea why were laughing so hard! The rest of the afternoon her class got to watch Despicable Me.

I decided to go with Elis and Jackie on a nature hike with his class. The kids were given little magnifying glasses and we went hiking in the woods.  The teachers were describing different types of flowers, leaves and bugs but we weren't quite sure of the English translation for most of them. After we went through the woods we went and checked out the river. It was pretty cold out and being by the river was so windy. I went back to the school and watched the rest of the movie with Ebba's class. While Ebba's class can understand and speak English pretty well most of the younger students have not yet learned it.  When they are in 3rd grade they start to learn Finnish and when they get to 4th grade they begin to learn English.  It's amazing how they are able to learn so many languages at such a young age.

The whole school has lunch together in a small cafeteria.  It's basically like a home cooked meal.  The cooks are really nice and make very good food! The students all eat quietly and when you are done, one or two students from each table will clean up everyone's dishes.

There are two breaks during school which most of the kids go outside and play soccer with each other.  Soccer is a big part of school here in Finland.  When you get to high school you can even take a soccer class and get to leave school to go practice.  In elementary school they have a school futball tournament which I will blog about later! Jackie and I played with them and we played girls against boys. Unfortunately we lost by 1 goal! Elis was now done for the day, but Ebba still had a Finnish lesson left.  Here the kids get out of school at different times every day! Sometimes as early as 12:30! It is said that Finland has one of the best school systems in the world. I would have loved to have some of the same opportunities they get in school when I was a kid!

Today we have a home game agaisnt Karhu.  The weather looks to be clearing up a bit! It is only our second home game, and first outside. I am excited to play and will check back with a game update soon!

Hejdå för nu!

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