Week 5:
Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

International Fellow in Elementary Education

Holy Family Junior School | Ennis, Ireland

November 24, 2018

Week four came to an end and my family went back home to America. Beginning week five, I am thankful to have fellow Cornellian, Emelie Ahrendsen here to visit. Emelie and I have been living together for a year and a half and originally met during Cornell’s 2015 New Student Orientation our freshman year.

Emelie Ahrendsen and I at the Cliffs of Mohr

During week five, Emelie and I went to The Cliffs of Mohr which are absolutely breathtaking. We walked along the “Atlantic Way” trail for about two miles taking in the Cliffs views. Due to the clear, sunny weather, we could see everything! On the one side we had the Atlantic ocean crashing into the cliff walls, and the other side green grass fields, filled with fluffy white sheep and a few black sheep. The trail was a small walkway only allowing one person at a time and was just feet away from the edge.

Cliffs of Mohr Photo

This week at Holy Family, I taught lessons in first class for “Literacy Lift-Off” (L.L.O) and pulled groups for extra help. During Literacy Lift-Off, students in First Class (which can be compared to first grade) were composing sentences based off a book that they were reading, and writing them in their journals. The students then illustrated their sentences, creating mini-masterpieces every day.

When I pulled students for extra work, we did various lessons that fit the student’s individual needs. For example, with one student we practiced writing his sight words in a tray of sand which allowed him to be more engaged with the lesson. Sight words are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode. Another group of students I pulled consisted of three First Class students. These students have been working on an Alphabet book, which is always available to them so that when they get stuck on spelling a word they can refer back to it. They added letters O, P, and Q in their Alphabet book this week. For each letter, students illustrate a picture of a word beginning with the corresponding letter as well as make a list of words that begin with that letter. The same group of three also worked on composing a sentence each day and finished their time with me by reading a book.

With this past Thursday being Thanksgiving in America, my homestay host, Bríd made us a lovely meal, with all the best of Thanksgiving. Turkey, carrots, brussel sprouts, peas, and potatoes all made the meal come together which I was very grateful for.

Thanksgiving Dinner

At Holy Family, we have been preparing for the Christmas Concert which is coming up in a few weeks. Thanksgiving is not traditionally celebrated here in Ireland, which makes holidays go from Halloween straight to Christmas.

Friday, Emelie and I flew to Amsterdam, where we will be staying at the Llyod Hotel. We will be visiting the Anne Frank Huis, The Van Gogh Museum, and taking a canal tour. We are blessed to be staying at The Llyod Hotel, which is within walking distance of everything we want to see.

Lloyd Hotel

Check back and stay tuned for week six updates from our short Thanksgiving weekend in the Netherlands!

Tegan Shelton '19

Tegan is an elementary education major from Spring Grove, Illinois.