April 25, 2008

Green Central 4-21-08

Today wasanother beautiful day. we worked on homework in the cafeteria, because there was a special visitor coming. worked on some math again, but with another group of kids this time. they wer apparently 4th graders, but I didn't recognise any of them. there must be lots of 4th graders! anyway, homework went slow, because the boy I was helping didn't have the best english, and he seemed to think he had to do a particular problem in his workbook that required dividion, but claimed he didn't know how to divide. I had to back track to multiplication and explain its relation to division, and draw out all the ways a division problem can be represented. finally he caught on. I think he wanted me to just tell him the answer. don't we all want that! We then went up to the classroom where we met a woman from the raptor center, and a great horned owl named lois. she had a lot of interresting information on owls, and I was amazed how quietly the kids sat and listened for the relatively long presentation. It was my job to make sure they stayed quiet, and didn't get to close to the owl and startle it, as it could potentially harm them. the kids were really engaged, asking questions, and passing around samples of feathers and claws. Choice time was outside again, but this time the boys introduced us to a new form of soccer that they calle knock out. basically everyone was trying to get the ball for themselves and score a goal. if you made it in, you left the field, the last one still on the field at the end lost. boys love competition, i guess that's why they are so into sports, and why ACES focuses on this free time to interact and learn positive lessons from sportsmanship, fair play, and accomplishing set goals. lets just call it fun!

Green Central 4-14-08

Today I worked with the Exercise and Nutrition group. I met some new kids, and had to become familiar with them and their behavior issues. it didn't take long to figure out who really wanted help with their homework. we worked on some math problems in their workbooks, and I did my best to explain common denomenators. once homework was done, we started working on the nutrition exercise for the day, a worksheet about minerals. the students had to use highliters to mark the key words in the descriptions that explained in what foods each nutrient was found. this required some guidance, but mainly keeping them on task. some finished quickly while others took longer, and were less interested in getting everything right. one of the boys was clearly smart, because he would offer answers rather than try to get me to tell him what it was, but when his buddies would start to distract him, he would goof off. I tried to make it clear that they had to work first, and play later. i think some of these kids just need a positive role model or a little encouragement, and they are going to succeed. ohters seem like they could be harder to get through to. I guess all we can do is keep trying. The beautiful weather today meant that we went outside for choice time. the main activity was soccer. it amazes me how good some of these kids are at soccer, especially compared with how bad some of us volunteers are. it was obvious they had a lot of energy to burn! It was another fun day, and I feel the kids I met have great potential, they just may not see it yet.

Green Central 3-10-08

I was with the fourth graders again today! we worked on homework to begin, and there was some dificulty with staying focused, but I was able to help one of the kids with his writing assignment. There was a visitor today, I'm not sure if he was a parent or a volunteer, but he was hispanic. this really seemed to be meaningful to the hispanic children, and they worked a lot with him on their "Fish Tales" which is what we were learning about. they were really well behaved when he was around. they probably knew that he could understand whatever they might say, and they also likely just appreciated him coming to help out. they could identify with one another better. I worked with one of the boys who had already written his story, but needed help revising it. I involved him in the correction of his spelling errors, and explained how he could improve some of his sentences by adjusting certain arrangements of words, etc. Finally it came time for the kids to share their fish tales. some of them were very clever, and everyone contributed. the team lead explained to the kids the structure of a story through the elements of plot, while students held up signs labeled with each component. it was a fun exercise, but by this point the kids were getting rather antsy. i acctually left early that day, so I wasn't around for choice time, but I had fun hearing the stories the students had written.