First Day of Skole

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Today was our first day of skole at Kornmod Realskole!  WOW!  Talk about a difference in schooling!  Melissa, Catherine, and I are with different 6th grade classes for this week.  We were with Jane and her 6B students learning English.  English starts in 1st grade here in Denmark with German starting in 5th.  Words cannot describe walking into a room and knowing the 12 year olds speak THREE languages already.

Our day kicked off with a beautiful sunrise over the river/lake. (The river here in Silkeborg pools into a lake in town then feeds back out to the river, we’ve heard this from multiple locals).

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This picture really doesn’t even do it justice, but I didn’t have my shoes on yet to get around the houses!

Once we made it to school, Jane took us up to meet the students!  She told us they were excited to meet “real Americans” to practice their English!  We were quickly informed that the students will be cooking us brunch next Monday to continue to learn English words.  The students aren’t expected to just memorize words in English, Kornmod provides them a context in which to learn the words.  LOVE it!  The cooperative learning environment is palpable at Kornmod.  Everyone has been extremely friendly towards us, the students ready to show us around town and the school! 3 girls even walked us home!

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Another side of the school above!

Melissa, Catherine, and I had prepared power points about ourselves for the students to see English and photos from home.  This brought us to the funniest part of the day.  I began talking about my kindergartners at home and how tomorrow they will solely be working with the theme of groundhogs for Groundhog Day.  It was then when Jane said, “What’s a groundhog?”  I began looking around at the blank faces of students.  Catherine, Melissa, and I just looked at each other till we tried to begin explaining what a groundhog is and our tradition of Punxsutawney Phil.  The Danish students boiled it down to “a weird tradition that doesn’t actual control the seasons, but everyone learns about it.”

Pretty much.

I got a tour of the whole school from 2 of the girls in our class.  I was able to ask them to translate all the signs of the school so that I could start piecing together what words look like in Danish.  They took me to see the Level 0 and Level 1 classes.  The cool thing about schools in Denmark is that all teachers get a break at 10:00.  The kids are left in the classrooms to snack or go outside and play.  I didn’t see a single teacher in any of the lower level classes.  The level of trust would NEVER be seen in the States!  Plus, the kids go to recess even if it’s raining!  Play For The Win!!

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We then went to the Silkeborg Public Library as a class so that every student could check out a book in English.  If you know anything about me, you know that a library is my FAVORITE place on Earth!  It’s like they knew I was coming!

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Big thanks to Catherine for snapping this picture of me with some of the girls talking about Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella! (which I just finished on the plane ride over here!)

The library in Silkeborg is so wonderful and totally accessible to kids!  Each student has their own card and knows how to check out books.  The children’s area is so interactive!

The open spaces and display of books is something that every US library should have.

We go see a history class tomorrow!

Until next post,

Emily

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