Sunday, 20 March 2016

Joint teacher training in Lithuania

We had our 1st joint teacher training programme in Skuodas, Lithuania from 14th to 18th April. Every partner was represented by three teachers so the host Lithuanian team had 15 guest teachers! It was a great week full of activities and great opportunities for professional development.

During the meeting we could get better acquainted with our partner school Skuodo Pr. Žadeikio gimnazija. We received lots of information about its operation and could get a glimpse of its regular activites and programmes. 

During the training event we could work together with our partner teachers in the course of profession workshops. Firstly, we successfully implemented a joint teaching programme, which was a great experience and also proved to be highly informative and useful for our professional development. It was implemented the following way: the six countries were paired up prior to the meeting (Croatia-Hungary, Italy-Spain and Lithuania-Turkey). Each pair needed to prepare a 45-minute long lesson for Lithuanian students using the same text that we had chosen beforehand. The text that we worked on was Aesop’s fable: ’Androcles and the lion’. Each country made a lesson plan and created materials for the lessons and we observed each other. It was extremely interesting to see our colleagues „in action” and see how all partners exploited the same text. we could learn a lot from each other and share good practices and teching methods. We are going to compile all the lesson plans and activities in a booklet. In addition, it was very interesting to see Lithuanian students in their own learning environment and it was great to work with them as they were very well-disciplined and cooperative during the lessons.

Besides the joinet teaching sessions, we created an activity bank for our common reader chosen by the participating students ’The Canterville Ghost’ by Oscar Wilde. The teachers worked in four groups and created activities and lesson plans for pre-reading, while-reading, post-reading and drama. It was very useful and effective as we could share our ideas with each other and create something together.
We also had a session where we showed different digital tools to each other with a view to using them in our project activities. Some of the tools we got acquainted with are Padlet, a Timeline maker, Onenote,, Easel-y , Ed-canvas, myhistro, and edpuzzle.

 We also had an opportunity to observe lessons. We could see an English, a Russian and an IT lesson, all of which were really interesting. 

On the other hand, we could see Lithuanian students not only in lessons but also during other activities as well. We took part in a ’cultural conference’ where we were given a deep insight into Litnuanian geography, traditions and customs, and we also had a chance to taste some traditional Lithuanian food and drink as well beautifully displayed by students. We were also shown and taught some games and songs and we also shared some games of ours too. It was a great conference!

Also, we had the honour of seeing the school’s drama group’s premiere on Friday. They performed a play titled ’Survival’ which is based on Golding’s „Lord of the Flies”. The performance was excellent! The acting was great, all the students are really talented and have a good sense of stage. The interesting thing about the play was that all the performers were girls in contrast to the original story, which is about a group of boys. Afterwards we had a discussion with the performers and the leader of the drama group about their preparations for the play.

Last but not least, we took part in a ’Brain battle’, which is a quiz game. We played in groups of mixed nationality and the questions were all in connection with the participating countries. It was great fun!
 Naturally, besides hard work we took part in some trips and visits.
On Monday we paid a visit to Skuodas Municipality and met the mayor of the town. We received lots of interesting information about the history of the region and could have an informal discussion with him about our countries and schools.

We also went to the local library, where we found out some information about the history of the library and the different types of projects that the library has taken part in. We also visited the local museum where we saw – besides others- beautiful carvings and paintings, the stone museum in Musedis and the Amber musem in Palanga. We went to the beach of the Baltic sea as well. 
The Baltic sea

The Amber museum

The stone museum

The local library

We had a trip to Klaipeda, where after a very interesting and informative sightseeing tour we went to the puppet theatre where we took part in a workshop about how to make simple puppets and good many great ideas on how to use them. It was a wonderful experience!

We also had many opportunities to taste Lithuanian cuisine, and we all agreed that Lithuanian food is very tasty. We tried cepelinas, which is a potato dumpling stuffed with meat, potato pancakes, cold beetroot soup and many other mouth-watering dishes. 

Cold beetroot soup

All in all, we had a wonderful time and made the most of time we spent with as the guests of our Lithuanian partners. We had also managed to discuss several issues related to project management and implementation and made preparations for the forthcoming student exchange which will take place in Hungary April 11th-15th.

We are all looking forward to meeting there!

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