Monday, July 12, 2010

And Then There Were ...70 Something, Give Or Take

A short one, in light of recent posts.

Friday marked the last day for some of my students because those lucky buggers start school this coming Monday. I think it's a great credit to the Hawaii DOE and whoever had the brilliant idea of starting the school year in mid-July. I remember back in my day when public school started late August/early September, mid September if you were starting Kindergarten. I'm sad to see some of them go, but I leave them knowing that I've enriched their lives and showed them the wonder of science. Or at least entertained them for a few hours a week. Good enough.

Let's talk about Friday. Friday was a rather easy day because a large chunk of the day was scheduled for this guy from the zoo who came to talk to the kids about animals. His name was Uncle Jason, and he commanded the kids attention rather masterfully. I was honestly impressed. But I think it was in large part because he sounded like Andy Samberg on Parks and Recreation. I think it's because Uncle Jason is used to teaching a large group of kids outdoors at the zoo above the din of animal noises, and hasn't discovered his inside teaching voice. Regardless, it was my first hour of this job where I could just sit and watch someone else be in charge. It was a nice change of pace.

Due to the interruption of the zoo presentation, I only taught the three oldest groups that day. I've all but given up on the Mythbusters idea with all the groups except E, who seem to be the only ones able to grasp what a myth is. Which is fine, because it means less things I have to buy, and less of my paycheck I need to spend.

Having given up on the mythbusters idea with D and C groups, I scrambled for a replacement lesson. So I settled on giving them the myth that "You can't fold a paper in half 8 times".

Let the games begin.

I must say I am amazed by the ineptitude of some of these children. I thought this would be too simple, that they would realize that you can't do it with a normal 8.5x11 paper. But an inordinate amount of time was spent teaching them what "fold in half" means.

When I first gave them the assignment, I had no less than half the class come up to me with a paper they had folded into 8 sections (not folded in half 8 times). The other half would come up to me with a paper they had folded 8 times, but they had rolled a half inch lip up. Not half. Not even close. I'm not quite sure what this experiment had to do with science, but it kept them busy. If I had to justify it, I would say that it taught them the rigor of scientific testing, of precise definitions, and fine motor skills, all of which they could stand to learn.

There are two more days of this program left, plus some kind of carnival day I've been left out of the loop on. I have a hazy idea of what I'm doing on each of those days, though at this point I'm just trying to get to the finish.

This does mean, however, that come Wednesday night, I'll be jobless, aimless, and listless. I need something to do. I need projects to invest myself in, to obsess over, and to blog about. I have a few I've been planning since the beginning of the summer. But I'd sincerely appreciate some suggestions for projects to do with the remainder of my summer (a little over a month). Doesn't have to be science related, but it can be. Seriously people, when I get bored, horrible, horrible things happen, like this diddy.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm...Andy Tien said last week he already received his prize from ThinkGeek, but I've been checking my mailbox daily and still haven't gotten anything. I wonder if they're just taking a long time to ship to California or whether they couldn't find my mailbox? I had much difficulty finding my apartment and didn't locate where my mailbox was located until nearly two weeks in.

    I think you should learn to juggle (if you don't already know how), and if you already do, try to work your way up to doing a three-ball shower and a three-ball Mills Mess.