Yesterday we had an opportunity to visit a public school in La Cinenega. I was very eager to get into the classrooms and observe. I got to observe a preschool classroom and also a third grade classroom. The preschool classroom was pretty typical of something you would see in the United States. They started off with a circle time where they sang songs, did attendance, and talked about what they did on the weekends. I noticed that even though the children were in the preschool classroom, they looked to be much older than four or five. I later asked someone about the public eduction here in the Dominican Republic and they told me that children don't usually start school until they are six. Even though they are six, they still start their education in the preschool classroom. I thought this was unique and different. Children can start school at all different ages and still start in the same class. This also means that the children are older in every single grade than they would typically be in the US. I found this very interesting. When I observed in the third grade class, the students looked much older than your typical third grade class in the US. The students were learning an English lesson. They were learning how to differentiate questions from statements. I was very impressed with how well the students understood the lesson and also how well they were able to print on the chalkboard in English! I really enjoyed observing in the public school but I feel like there was many noise distractions. The school was all open (windows) and the students were easily distracted (and so was I).
Tonight, we went to dinner at a place called Blue Moon. It was a restaurants with fusion foods from both Indian and Caribbean cultures. It was actually really good! We sat on the floor with pillows and ate with our hands on the floor! It was a great experience and I'm glad that we all got to do it together! My favorite part of the dinner was the appetizer. It was almost like deep fried corn kernels but in a patty form. It was delicious! The atmosphere was also amazing and it felt like all of us were able to bond and come together over this dinner.