Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Luxembourgish Schoolwork (Pre-K, Fall/Winter)

This morning, the four of us trudged to school in the March snow (which can quit anytime, please) a bit early to attend James' second parent-teacher conference of the year.  Daphne hung out in James' class until the morning bell rang in her building next door.  

This time, I remembered to take some pictures of his schoolwork!
these girls pulled James over to play with them
spot for his supplies and work
James is in a class encompassing what the US would call preschool, pre-k, and kindergarden.  In Luxembourg, this is all called Cycle 1.  Typically, the preschoolers (précoce - optional year for 3-4 year olds) would be in a separate class, but this year there weren't enough kids for a full précoce.  So James is 5 and right in the middle age-wise.  I think there are around 15 or so students and 2-3 teachers depending on the day. 

His teachers say he's progressing very well in speaking Luxembourgish (using complete sentences, etc).     They are pleased with his work (slow but careful and detailed--no surprises there) and his behavior (calm and quiet--again, no surprises).

Here are the general subject areas in the curriculum:
to sum up the French - social skills, logic/math, language, discovery/science, motor skills, and creative expression/art
Each child has a binder with work samples for each subject.  You can see the date stamps on many of the pages, which helps track their progress.  Sometimes they stamp it with the corresponding subject area clip-art from above as well.  I flipped through James' book and took tons of photos after the conference (with permission).

name-writing in the first few weeks
possibly a general assessment sort of task from early in the year
If you ask James what he's learning about in school, he'll typically give a one word answer - "apples" or "snowmen," or the like.  He almost never brings work home (although they tell us we can come look at his work in class at anytime), so it's amusing to ask him what he's learning about and to hear his answer of "apples," or "still apples" for several weeks in a row.  I find myself thinking, "Ok, seriously now, what else is left to learn about apples after three weeks of nothing but apples!?  Molecular structure?!" But, when you look through the work, it becomes clear that they complete a variety activities around a theme (i.e. apples) according to the overall subject goals. (Remember the apple song?)  Really, it's similar to the early years of school in the US, and probably many other countries.  
smallest to largest
fine motor skills
They are beginning to learn to write letters and numbers..
I think 3 or 4 is as high as they've gone so far for detailed number writing practice
some color by number
moving on to winter and Christmas
remember Klees'chen?
interesting little winter logic puzzle 
draw the correct number of winter objects
drawing and writing
When we first looked at James' school work in the fall, we were shocked to observe his coloring skills.  He never colors like this at home (he almost never colors at all).
remember lichtmëssdag?
Me: "What are you learning about in school, James?"  
James: "Clowns"
Me: "Oh.  Ok then."
sequencing - clown style
"Still clowns"
I quite like the Luxembourgish names for shapes.  From what I can tell, they're very similar to German, but often with a Luxembourgish twist on spelling and/or pronunciation.
slightly different than German
same as German
Me: "What are you learning about?"
James: "Still trash"
Feels like were on about week 4 of "trash."
I'm glad someone in the family knows how this all works
Below is a workbook that is part of a series for writing practice.  I remember Daphne working on one of these for the few weeks she was in Luxembourgish kindergarten last year.

This first workbook is all pre-writing practice
Ah, yes, slanted rain.  Highly relatable concept here. 

James is finished with this book and is ready to move to d'Molheft 2.  Apparently, book 2 is for next year so he was done a little early!

Anyway, not all that different from US pre-primary, eh?

Incidentally, the government recently published a guide to the Luxembourgish public school system in English.  I'll link to it here.