My Experience in Organizing a Prolonged Day at Primary School

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Author: Gohar Baljyan

Teaching is effective when it doesn’t stop, when it arises from learners by giving answers to their possible questions and meeting their curiosity requirements, when teaching is performed without any affectation or compulsion. During the first term of 2015-2016 school-year I worked with the second grade learners of our Basic School.

The learners were not given any home assignments according to the prior agreement with the primary school teachers Tatev Melkonyan and Seda Khachatryan. Instead of it I created my own package of activities by following the teachers’ weekly lesson plans and project activities. At the beginning of the school year I published the prolonged day working plan as a curriculum of further education with closely connected components supplementing each other. As I am a teacher of Armenian I highlight the development of learners’ speech. We make video films or recordings so that we can watch ourselves and listen to speech to be able to discuss our achievements and drawbacks. In the result of that we get additional media materials about our activities. 

Here is a film We are Making a Lamb. In this film you can see the learners making lambs and learning some technological skills (cutting off a circle, sticking cotton to paper with glue …), and then each learner presents what he/she has made. In this way the learners’ language awareness and oral speech is promoted in parallel with technological activities. Another video material shows that the learners have been assigned to draw whatever they like, and then they begin explaining what they have drawn.

  School yard activities and out-door trainings are also an important component for organizing a prolonged day service at primary schools. Here is an example: the learners are speaking about the first snowfall. This kind of lessons develop the learners’ imagination because very often they are asked questions requiring imagination as there are no ready-made answers to these questions.

 

We also give a great significance to watching cartoons together. When choosing cartoons several circumstances are taken into account: the chosen cartoon should be of high quality, educational and with something to say. Most of the cartoons are in Russian, and sometimes they are incomprehensive for some children. While watching these cartoons we discovered some children’s high level of the Russian language competency, and an interesting idea of translating these cartoons into Armenian came to us.               

As I am a teacher of Armenian Language and Literature I wanted very much to implement an interesting activity using our mother tongue. That activity became our digital “Radio We”.  This is how we prepare for our radio broadcasts: 4 learners are engaged in each radio broadcast. They decide what the topic of their radio broadcast will be. They are given 2-3 days to collect information. Then we sit and listen to this information and make a decision about the order by which the pieces of information will be broadcast. After that we record the radio announcer’s voice. We listen to our radio broadcasts during our prolonged day trainings. We discuss them, mention what was a success, and was a failure. We also allocate time to reading. Reading helps the learners to gain knowledge and develop their speech.

Different lessons or trainings of further education are also organized during the prolonged day. In this audio material the learners are speaking about different trainings and lessons (piano lessons, dancing lessons, chess playing, karate,) of further education which they take during the prolonged day.

I have a “Prolonged Day” category in my blog where I publish all the materials made by my learners.

There is also another reason for highlighting the work with the second graders during the prolonged day: it gives an opportunity to compare as I am also teaching Armenian to the 4th and 5th grade learners. Interesting conclusions are mellowing in the result of these comparisons which I am going to present after having worked for a year.  

 

 

 

 

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