Castilleja - Week 3

A Busy Week Three!
By Angie W.

Bridge students feeding cows on a field trip to TomKat Ranch,  a learning laboratory for sustainable animal agriculture.

Bridge students feeding cows on a field trip to TomKat Ranch,  a learning laboratory for sustainable animal agriculture.

By the third week of Bridge at Casti, the girls (incoming fifth graders) have gotten to know each other really well and the days are flying! We cannot believe that Bridge is halfway over, and we do not want it to end! 

In math class, the girls were introduced to fractions. Adding and subtracting fractions proved to be challenging for some of the girls, but using grit and determination along with a bit of motivation from the TAs, they confidently mastered how to do these problems. They already feel much more prepared and motivated for their upcoming year of math at school!  

In science class, the girls started learning about computer science. Many of the girls did not know anything about Binary or the idea of human vs. computer previously, so their contagious curiosity filled the classroom. They asked lots of questions and found it very interesting. 

In English, the girls continued reading and analyzing The Birchbark House. They followed Omakaya’s journey and continued to learn more about the Objibwe cultural practices.

In electives, the girls painted birch bark trees, rehearsed their dances to “Happy” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, practiced yoga, made movies, and played sports! I am always impressed with the girls’ courage to take risks and try new things. While not every girl was a dancer, or a soccer player, or an artist, they were so open-minded, and these activities encouraged them to step out of their comfort zone. I have noticed the quieter girls opening up and taking on leadership roles while the girls as class learned what it is like to work as a cohesive unit. 

In the middle of the week, Mrs. McKee, one of Castilleja’s well-loved history teachers, taught the girls the “Jambo Bwana” song. Mrs. McKee always played this song for Castilleja students before they learned about anything related to Africa, but on Wednesday morning, the girls learned the Jambo song from Mrs. McKee herself! The song means “Hello Mister” in Swahili and consists of seven of the most common phrases and greetings in the language. The girls really enjoyed singing this catchy song and were eager to learn more about another culture! 

On Friday, the girls went on a field trip to Pescadero Beach and TomKat Ranch. The girls really enjoyed wading in the waters at the beach and seeing all the animals at the ranch! The girls reflected that the field trip was a great way to end a busy week filled with hard work. 

One of my favorite parts of Bridge is having the opportunity to witness and encourage the hard work, positivity, and curiosity the girls bring to the program every day without fail. Over the last few weeks, I have noticed the growth of the girls’ indomitable spirit and their determined attitude to take on every challenge that comes their way. As a TA, being able to manifest the idea that learning for the sake of learning is both a fun and rewarding experience is very exciting for me.  

I cannot wait for the shared laughs and memories that lie ahead in the last two weeks of Bridge!