Sunday, April 28, 2013

Switching Schools

As May approaches, our project nears its end.  When deciding which lucky three kindergartners to work with this time, we heard that it was one of the student's last day because he would be spending the rest of the school year it Vietnam.  So of course we chose to work with him.  As I was helping him write his page, I talked with him about his upcoming trip.  Turns out, he's already been there!  While he will be missing a lot of school, to travel to another country is most definitely a great learning experience.  Learning a second language, especially at his young age, will only enhance his education.

There was another student who was in her final days at Demille.  She was the sweet girl we had worked with a few weeks ago who had placed stickers on the hands of Lindsay and I before we left.  When I was in first grade, I changed school towards the end of April too.  Switching schools is though, but I find that the transition is easier for a kindergartener or a first grader than a middle school or high school student.  Kids at that young, innocent age tend to be more open to making new friends.  In elementary school, your best friend could be Danielle one week and Heather the next.  In high school, students form groups, social cliques, some that are very cold to new members.  I'm glad my family moved when they did, instead of waiting until now.

Also working with us this past Friday, was a girl who had a wild imagination, who fittingly wrote about a zoo, a zoo where the animals break loose when the guard falls asleep.  Although she was limited in what she could write by the format Lindsay and I had set up, she let her ideas free on her picture.

It saddens me that our days at Demille are numbered; this was no doubt one of the best projects I've ever done.  Each week Lindsay and I go, we are presented with a new set of personalities, learning abilities, and friends.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Star Wars

Thanks to our school's Baron Games assembly, all of our classes were shortened, giving us less time at Demille.  To accommodate this change, we selected some faster workers for this past Friday.  Coincidently we had chosen three of the biggest talkers as well. 

In stark contrast to the shy group we had a few weeks ago, this Friday's students were able to bounce their ideas of one another.  Instead of Lindsay and I feeding the kids ideas, the children gave each other suggestions.  This made the jobs of Lindsay and I easier and more entertaining too.

One of the kindergartners has an obsession with Star Wars.  He told me the names of all the battle ships and shared with me a multitude of movie facts.  Everything he wrote and drew was influenced by Star Wars, which worked out because the place he chose to write about was Universal Studios.

The girl in the group picked the Discovery Science Center as the place to lead the cat.  I was impressed with her picture which included chemical filled beakers.

It's interesting to think of what these different kids will be like when they go on to middle school and eventually high school.  Who will they be?  What will they do?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Back in the Swing of Things

Last Friday Lindsay and I picked up where we left off, visiting Demille Elementary for the first time in a couple of weeks.  Even though it has been over a month since we introduced the project to the class, one of the kids we worked with was a able to recite perfectly who the characters were and what the plot of the story was.
Since the kindergartners had just come back from Spring Break, it was easier for them to pick a place they wanted the cat to visit- places they had just been to themselves.  One of the girls had spent one of her vacation days at Adventure City and was therefore able to draw a very detailed picture. 

This also happened to be the same girl who rushes up to give Lindsay and I a hug every time we visit. It was a bit of a challenge to get her to focus on her illustration because all she seemed to want to do was chat with us older girls.  We later learned that she and the other girl we worked with on Friday are cousins.  I would have never guessed because the other one was on the quiet side of the spectrum.
The boy who wrote his page with us choose his setting to be New York and drew an impressive picture of the Statue of Liberty.  Each kid adds his or her own unique style to their page; some using every color of the rainbow, others using details I would have never even thought of.  I can't wait to see all their ideas bound together in the same book!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Progress Report

One of the only, if not the only, positive thing about Spring Break 2013 coming to a close is that Demille's Spring Break is also ending.  In our project so far, Lindsay and I have made 4 visits to the elementary school and have worked with 7 students who have completed their page in the class book.  With 15 kindergartners left and 2 months until DIY project presentations begin, our English assignment becomes a game of numbers.

We have exactly 8 Fridays left.  (Where did the school year go??)  Minus 1 Friday thanks to the 8:00AM AP English Test on May 10th.  One of the Fridays in May we may have trouble with transportation, so minus another Friday.  6 Fridays multiplied by 3 kids per week; we have one week to spare.

If need be, presenting the book to the kindergarten class will be done the first week in June since this does not need to be accomplished before our project presentation.  But it would be nice if we could have pictures of the class reading their very own book to show during our class presentation.

In order to fit in time to laminate and bind the book, we'll most likely start and finish this task the weekend after the kids finish writing.

As long as Lindsay or I aren't sick on a Friday, our project will be finished as scheduled.