Today was our first day teaching at the Julius E. Sprauve School. We got up at 7:30 for showers and breakfast, then took our first group drive down the winding road of terror, making it successfully to the school (the fact that Mrs. Wood is an impeccable driver helped a lot). Our first class was the 8th graders. After a quick game, in which the kids had to describe pictures to each other and draw them without looking, everyone took a time out to listen to Sam explain the Scratch program. There were seven of us, and seven kids in our class, so we each took a kid (Emma got the only girl in the class) and started scripting. My student, Jahnni, managed to design and make it through three different mazes using his new coding skills! After class, the kids had recess, so we had a break. We all walked down to get smoothies. I had mango-strawberry and it was delicious. While we were there, the owner of the smoothie shop gave us a life lesson that might have been better than the smoothie. Our second class of the day was the 4th graders. This was their first time getting the XO laptops. When we started passing them out, one boy asked if he could keep it. When we said they could, all of their faces lit up and they were so excited. There’s one boy, Domingo, in my group of 4th graders who speaks Spanish (and very little English), so teaching him these next two weeks will be a challenge not only for my teaching skills but also for my language skills. Our last group of the day was the 7th graders, and we ran through the same schedule as we did with the 8th graders. This time, I had a girl named Ge’Leah, who liked Scratch so much that she asked how to download it onto her computer at home. The maze she designed was really cool, so we made sure to save it to finish next time. After a quick trip to the supermarket (because FOOD), we braved the winding road of terror again, stopping to get some great pictures at one of the lookout points, and came back to camp for some swimming (and eating). Despite the bugs and creepy sand crabs, it was a really rewarding day working with the kids and Mrs. Charles, their technology teacher.
Today I woke up at 7:30 am. I got ready and ate breakfast at 8:30. We all ate scrambled eggs, sausage or bacon, and toast. We drank some pineapple orange juice, which was amazing. We left our campground at 9:15 and headed over to the school. We taught at J.E.S.S. school and we taught the 8th graders first. There were only 7 kids in the class. It was perfect because our group is 7 people as well. We started with a game. They paired up and had to describe to their partner what the picture on the board was. The partner, not looking at the picture, would draw the picture on the board. For the next activity, we each paired up with a student. I paired up with the only girl in the room. Her name was Keanu (pronounced Kiana). We worked on Scratch and they made mazes. We were trying to show them how to ‘talk’ to a computer because you have to be very detailed when scripting things. After their class we had time to do whatever we wanted so we walked down to the smoothie shop. I got a mango strawberry smoothie, which was also amazing. The fourth grade class was next and we had to go to their classroom to teach them. We started off with the same game and then gave them their computers. They were so excited to get them and they were just so cute. Their class was only 40 minutes so we didn’t do much with them. They were allowed to explore on their new computers which took up the rest of the time. By now, it was 1:00 and the next class was the 7th graders. We had the same teaching plan for them as we did for the 8th graders. We were paired up with kids again, but some people had two kids. School ended at 3 and after that we went to the store to get snacks and more bug spray. Unfortunately, the store was out of coils, which you can light and it will burn for a long amount of hours to keep the bugs away. Right when we got home, I threw on my bathing suit and ran to the beach. It was so refreshing and we swam for about an hour. We went to dinner and pretty much everyone got either a cheeseburger or hamburger. They were very good. Right after I ate, I ran back to our house because the bugs were horrible. At 8, Ryan, Sarah, and I all watched a movie then went to bed. It was a long, eventful day and hopefully tomorrow will be as good as it was today.
Today was our first day at Julius E. Sprauve School (JESS). We arrived at the school and unloaded all of our supplies. Ms. Charles is hosting us in her technology classroom, and she is a wonderfully gracious host. Our first class was small group of eighth grade students. Christine began by introducing what computer science is and discussing the huge opportunity for jobs in the computer science industry. To start the class, Linda led the students through a game to introduce the idea of language and communication to the students. The students were in pairs, and one of the pairs faced away from a picture on the main screen while their partner faced the screen. This partner then explained what the image was and their partner had to draw it. Many of the students found this difficult to do, and some were lost for words. They just couldn’t think of how to describe the image to their partner. Our girls are doing the same thing as they learn how to communicate instructions to their small groups of students. They are constantly changing their vocabulary and adjusting their instructions to what the students are connecting with. It’s really something to see them so agile on their feet.
At our smoothie stop, the owner Thomas gave us a life lesson: show mercy. He shared a great short story about showing mercy even when that person doesn’t seem to deserve it. You never know what the other person is going through; they just might need you to be there for them.
We had a fourth grade and a seventh grade class to finish off our teaching day. The fourth grade class will definitely keep all of us on our toes; they are quite the rambunctious group! We gave them their XO laptops today, and the kids were thrilled about them. There were shouts and cries of excitement that they could take them home and keep them. That experience was definitely impactful on our girls; seeing the kids so excited about these little computers opened the girls’ eyes to what they may take for granted every day that these kids don’t have. The seventh grade class was a small group again, and we had a few girls who immediately showed a lot of interest in computer science. We’re excited to watch them grow!
Teaching today certainly wore the girls out, but not enough to keep them off the beach. A short swim and dinner, then back to cabins for games and snacks. We’re looking forward for what tomorrow brings!