Jenny and some of the TAs are teaching the dance from the 'Move Your Body, Beyoncé Workout' during enrichment classes. The students are having a great time getting energized and dancing. I have only been present for two of the classes so far and I have to say that it is so much fun to watch! I love to dance with them! Everyone gets into it. The TAs love it, the kids get to move and get their energy out and watch their mentors and friends have fun with them. I was able to record the practice during class and their last run through. They improved dramatically throughout the period! At first they were shy but by the end of the period they were doing the 'dougie' (which is one of the dance moves) like pros.
June 2011 Archives
The doors have opened and the students are eager. The teachers and the teacher aides are excited. Welcome to Peninsula Bridge at Crystal Springs! Here at Crystal Springs, students have the experience of expanding their math and English knowledge as well as exploring other classes such as science, French, and Card games. Students get the chance to expand their learning and have fun at the same time in an old but beautiful mansion.
As a teacher's aide for the seventh grade English class, I get to see what book they are reading. This year they are working on a novel called So B. It, by Susan Weeks. The story is about a young girl named Heidi who lives with her retarded mother and agoraphobic neighbor, Bernadette. However, Heidi does not know much about her life: her father, her last name, or even her mother's name. Thus a quest arises for Heidi to find out more about her past, as well as the history of her mother. This book demonstrates how even though people have differences; it does not make them completely different from another person.
We immediately dove into enrichment modules such
as Health and Wellness and Gardening. The hands on activities really let the
girls explore their creativity and allow them to get to know each other even more.
As the week continued, the girls were also able to enjoy other activities such
as Drama, Art, and Science. Creating heart maps in art, learning about plants
and nature in science, and participating in fun games and activities in drama
not only brought the girls closer together, but also the TA's. During break and
game, time the girls enjoyed playing games they had learned in drama- especially
Jell-O and Charades.
Every kid here looks up to every one of his or her TAs. Whether we're playing a silly game at 8:00 am to wake us up, discussing the philosophical weight of a novel, illustrating our own short-story creations, or running around capturing flags under the hot afternoon sun- they look at us with open eyes and open hearts. I expected this to some degree--that's what I thought was so special about the TA position. However, I don't think I could say that I expected to be looking up to these kids in the same way they look up to us. They participate in every activity with a genuine excitement that inspires me to stretch to new levels of enthusiasm I never thought possible.
After one week I am exhausted. The energy never seems to run out at bridge, especially during the first week! The fifth graders have been amazing both in and out of the classroom. This Friday we had our annual fifth grade scavenger hunt where small groups led by a TA ran all over the campus to take pictures of various objects. Omar said, "It was the best day ever!" Meanwhile, the seventh graders had the author of their summer reading books, Gary Soto, come talk to them about their book. It was an exciting day all around the Sacred Heart site!
This week was an incredible start to the bridge program and the best in my five years. The kids are excited to learn and even more excited to play. The first week is always chaotic but filled with excitement and wonder. I feel like we have already been together for five weeks but it has only been five days and I already know every fifth grader's name! This is huge for me because I am horrible at remembering names!
The sage and loving aura created by the staff has led the kids to see through the tough heat and greet new experiences with open minds. This was the case in the 5th period elective Team Building & Retreat. A new student joined the group by the name of Duy. Initially he dismissed the pleas of the Teacher Assistants to participate. Students, having already had a chance to warm up to each other, transmitted their confidence to Duy. It wasn't long before he joined a group and began conversing with his classmates.