Monday February 11, 2008
Today was the first day volunteering. After getting an introductory tour, Josh gave an inspirational speech encouraging us to enjoy ourselves. This helped with everything that followed.
While the students worked on homework, I noticed that the main problem finishing independent schoolwork was confidence. Students could find answers if you reassured them. Their uncertainty caused them to want to be told the correct answer, or to create distractions. The distractions were almost always artificial displays of self-confidence.
When the students were finished with their homework we played are you smarter than a sixth grader. Immediately the kids wanted it to be a competition between Dan and I to find the smartest volunteer. Soon we had two large teams, the boys and the girls, competing against each other. When the boys and I lost we had to dance to Shikera. The girls pointed, laughed, and finally booed.
Before free time the class worked on panting a logo. The artistic students enjoyed the freedom of the assignment, however, other students did not even try. When Josh showed up he explained that he wanted them to learn about designing a logo. Instantly this sparked understanding, it seamed that some students natural gathered the idea that the assignment incorporated design principles, whereas it helped others to be told directly.
Finally during choice time we made pop-up valentines. There was some difficulty teaching a large group of kids. I think it could help to walk through the steps before starting, because some students needed to grasp the big picture behind each step. Also this would allow students to work at different paces.