Friday, February 20, 2009

Teaching, farm, fun games

This week our lesson had to focus on how we used water everyday, but in an abstract way. So not just looking at drinking water or using for cleaning. My team decided to make a game for our students to play. The game was called the Flow, and it had different types of water uses incorporated into it. The uses ranged from the everyday, like showering, brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, to more complex ideas, like the amount of water that is used to make the food you eat, the clothing you wear, and different things you can buy. I was totally sure on how the students would like it, but they all really liked it. I was told in my last class that it was wicked awesome. It also got them thinking about how water is used, and how it's being polluted in different ways. I got a lot of good questions, especially when I would tell them that you use 22 gallons of water for every 5 minutes you take a shower. Some of the classes couldn't decide whether you were winning the game if you had the most water or the least. I told them that everybody won with this game, and that nobody lost. Of course, they still gave each other crap if they chose an option that used a lot of water. They also really enjoyed getting to measure the water into their jars as they went around the board. We were also told today that we were the best SCA group that Mrs. Signor had had in her class. They said that the entire time we were in the class we had the attention of all the students, and there were a lot less behavior problems when we were there than at other times. That makes me feel really good, because I feel like our lessons aren't even top notch, and that there's a lot more that we can be doing with the students.

Last weekend, I went to the Nelson farm with a large group of people from Bear Brook. It was really fun, because we're trying to set up a relationship with this farm where we donate our time to helping them with everything they need help with, and they supply us with some fresh vegetables when they can. We already got some cress from the farm from last weekend, which we used to cook with all this week. The owner of the farm, Shawn, needed the bed of cress pulled up, and told us that we could keep any of it that we wanted, and we took two giant bags full home with us. It was really awesome! I can't wait to go back again, but I'm not sure when that'll be. I'm thinking of going back Saturday, but I had a really tough week, and we start Wilderness First Responder Monday morning, and we don't get another break for 2 weeks when we get a 3 day weekend. It's going to be intense, but I'm so excited about it.

Yesterday, nobody went into schools even though the schools were open because we had a Bear Brook State Park snow day. The night before, one of the vans got stuck on a hill in the park, and so no vehicles could get out until the van was moved. After picking up the people from the van, they determined that it was going to be pretty tough to get the van moved, so that night they called a snow day for the next day. That was really nice because it gave my team more time to work on our game/lesson, as well as giving everybody a chance to sleep in and relax in the middle of the week. We had a giant snowball fight in the morning where I got pummeled with snow/ice balls. It was lots of fun, but I'm definitely completely bruised from all of the snowballs hitting me at crazy speeds.

Currently, I'm killing time in the Manchester Public Library between school and teen night tonight, which doesn't start until 6:30. My team and I are going to go get some food before teen night, since we won't be getting home until 11/11:30 tonight. It's going to be a crazy long day. Luckily there was a 90 minute delay today, so we didn't leave camp until 7:30 and not at 6:15, like we originally planned. Although, this did mean that we had shorter classes today at school, but we got to have a hot breakfast and didn't have to rush to get out the door like we would have needed to.

I have posted new pictures to facebook.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

First Week Teaching

I have just survived my first week teaching 8th grade science. It wasn't too bad. The students seemed to really like the game that we played and everybody seemed to be able to relate to at least one fact about each of us that we talked about. In fact, there's one student in my class who recently moved to NH from Charleston, which is really crazy. So that everybody knows, I figure that I'll go ahead and post my schedule for the weeks that I'm teaching:
Mon - in camp all day basically, doing camp stuff like cleaning and meetings
Tues - full day of planning, basically a free day
Wed - Salvation Army 3-7 (tutoring and Kids Cafe)
Thurs - Teach 7:45-12:50, then Kids Cafe at Salvation Army every other week from 3-7
Fri - Teach 8:30-2:00, then Teen Night at Salvation Army every other week from 6:30-10:30
The times when I'm in town, but not teaching or working at Salvation Army, I'll have phone reception and will more than likely have my phone on.

This past week, my group went to Teen Night on Friday instead of Kids Cafe on Thurs. It was really fun, because some of my students were there, and I schooled all of them in Guitar Hero (a video game for those of you who don't know). They're all really excited that I won't be coming back for another 2 weeks, because they claim they're going to practice and then beat me when I come back. But we'll just have to see how it goes.

This weekend has been absolutely gorgeous! I went on a hike yesterday with Stephanie and Youn. It was so pretty! We climbed trees, and fell into snow that went up to our hips. But we didn't see any wildlife, though there were a fair number of tracks, especially deer tracks. I can't wait until it's warm enough that I get to see wildlife. One of the guys saw a moose recently while he was driving through the park, and I really want to see one too. In fact, when Youn and I were driving back from doing our laundry yesterday, we drove really slow and looked around for a moose the entire time. But to no avail.

I'm really psyched about my second week of teaching, because we're going to be doing a lot of small group discussions, and we get a short day on Friday, since it's an early release day. Which is really going to help my teaching team out, because we're cooking for the entire camp Friday night, which is also our Friday the 13th party. We're trying to think of different things to cook, but haven't really come up with anything yet, and we need to get cracking on it. Speaking of food, I've been cooking some really good food recently that I thought I'd share. Sweet potato burritos are really good. The way that we cooked them, was to cut up sweet potatoes, peppers, and onions, then cook all of them together in a skillet (of course cook the potatoes first since they take longer). Then put all of them together in a burrito with some cheese, tomatoes, and whatever else you may want on there. I also made this really awesome dish called something like Papas Mohatas. That is just layering Cornbread, then black beans, mashed potatoes, and topping it with shredded cheese. It's really good.

I hope that everybody is having a good time in their various places, beause I know that I am and want everybody to have a good time when I am too.