After training on Tuesday we went out to our first teaching session today at the Carondelet St. Louis Public Library branch. We decided on Tuesday we were going to do the String telephone activity from the Design It! curriculum. Some of the teens hadn't done the activity with a group before, but they were able to adapt to the situation. We had approximately 13 youth and 3 adults in the program. We challenged them with building a string telephone using the different materials. They claimed they had done it before in a library class and it didn't work. The YES teens did a great job interacting with the youth and asking them how they could better their telephones this time. One of the participants, a young man not much younger than the YES teens said that the best part of the program was that "the people were nice and interacted more with people. I like it because that works better in learning." To my knowledge all of the pairs' telephones worked. There was even a group that decided to see how many telephones they could get working at one time. I think the largest count was 8 people on the line. We also had them try to use their phones around corners. One of the pairs came up with the idea to use a cardboard piece as a buffer, because "the cardboard won't absorb as much of the sound vibrations as the wall". As the program winded down the teens decided to play the game telephone, because it dealt with sound and they also incorporated a new game,Zobmondo!, that we played Tuesday at Orientation. The group even did a multicultural round of Telephone!
Ames teen teachers have been doing a great job in my humble opinion. They've taken the schedule changes and other inconsistencies to their routines with real adult composure and I'm very proud of the work they're doing at all levels. I've seen Brandon's group in action and they can teach the whole thing alone as far as I'm concerned. I know Joe's group has been developing real relationships with their classes. Meesa's group has taken on the extra challenge of teaching additional sessions and my group consistently impresses me with their genuine concern for the students and their compentency with the material.
Hello from Ames! After a week of training, we finally got into the classrooms to teach this week. Our teens are doing great! My group had really successful lessons yesterday. They worked with Kindergartners and PreK classrooms, introducing them to the concepts of ecosystems via stories and creative play. The students had the opportunity to make their own ecosystems. The students's choices ranged from "Backyards" to "Oceans" and "Forests". For the next lesson we're going to work on breaking down the concept of ecosystems into "places plants and animals live together" because the teens recognized that at this age the students didn't really understand what they were making. But they sure had a great time creating their own masterpieces! We're looking forward to beginning the Ecocolumn curriculum with Second and Third graders today. Stay tuned for more when we get access for our teens to blog.
March's meeting was held Saturday the 31st in a full house at the Taylor building! We investigated sound using string telephones, water, and light. Participants were able to discuss as a group their findings and questions with Bill Rogers, Peter Dow, and David Hartney the Firsthand Learning,Inc. team from New York! We're looking forward to our April meeting on Saturday the 21st! It will be held at Art Hill in Forest Park from 12:30-3:00. We'll be holding our Young Investigators Conference where the St. Louis Chinese Language School pairs will be showcasing their kite building investigations and Discovering Options pairs will demonstrate some of their favorite investigations. See you there!
Feb group meeting went very well last Wednesday. We had 8 total in attendance. We created a "Collection" of investigations, for later blogging in our online journals on firsthandlearning.com revolving around Bic pens. Teams created their own writing instruments, an equal arm balance, a hydrometer, and investigated cohesiveness of liquids using pens and their ink. We also had two investigations recreating Miss Rebecca's session using fruits. March's meeting will be on a Saturday, as we are rotating weekday and weekend times. The next meeting is March 31st 1-3!