My little partner, Eric, and I played ping pong and air hockey in the Dive.
My Little Partner, Eric, and I went bowling at KingPins and then played racquetball at Lund Center.
Today was my final visit to Mrs. Sizer's Kindergarden class. It was a fun semester! Attached is my final reflection:
-How has this experience enabled you to observe your own culture(s)
with new eyes?
If anything, this experience has taught me more about how important a culture of support is in an educational context. The St. Peter school district is fantastically supported and it shows in the faculty and facilities. My own home district has had financial turmoil and poor support for the majority of my primary education. Additionally, my mother is a teacher in my home district so I had the opportunity to view that lack of support from a variety of perspectives.
I volunteered in a Kindergarten class for the duration of the semester and the impacts of education are far more visible at such a formative age. Taylor and I both volunteered for Mrs. Sizer’s class and we were both amazed at the progress the kids made in such a short period of time. Kids went from not being able to count to ten to now counting forward and backward to 100. Positive formative experiences with education from an early age can set students up for lives of learning and the support of education can be a catalyst for this. Overall, I think that this semester has made me feel even stronger about the importance of supporting education.
-Did you have a particular experience that led you to think critically
about your own culture(s)?
I administered counting, spelling, and reading exercises to students over the course of the semester and viewing their improvements in such a tangible way outlined the impact that education holds. Additionally, speaking with Taylor about the relationships we developed with the students and the growth of the class as a whole over the semester was awesome. We were both really impressed with Mrs. Sizer’s students! Language buddies was an awesome program to be a part of and although I had limited Spanish exposure it made me reflect on cultural values of my own.
For this visit to Mrs. Sizer's kindergarten class, I administered a reading test to students. They read a short booklet to me about fall animals and activities.
Today I helped administer a coloring and reading exercise to kindergarten students in Mrs. Sizer's class.
How have your expectations regarding your service-learning component changed since you began the semester?
I have been involved with service-learning prior to this semester so I feel as though I had well-formulated expectations. The only thing that could have been unforeseen was the minimal Spanish I have applied to the classroom due to the kid's age. However, I have helped children from minority groups.
Reflect upon the notion of reciprocity within Language/study Buddies. Do you feel you are giving more than you are receiving in return? Are you receiving more than what you are giving? Elaborate in detail.
I feel as though I am giving more than I am receiving. I do not necessarily view this as a bad thing in this specific scenario because I came into this experience expecting to serve. Although I feel that I have been giving more than I had been receiving, I still feel that I have gained some things from this experience thus far. I enjoy working with the children, my patience has definitely been tested at times but I have always had fun when helping.
1- If applicable, Relate and/or contrast your own language learning process (with the acquisition of Spanish, for example) to that of the students you are working with this semester (children youth or adults).
I work with kindergarten students and the majority of the duties I have when helping out include administering elementary counting and spelling tests. As I facilitate these exercises, I connect them to my own elementary (but developing) Spanish skills when doing coursework in and out of the classroom. For the students I work with, they do better when someone more knowledgeable helps them and I feel the same way when I work with my Spanish. It helps to have someone who is both knowledgable and proficient in the subject that you are struggling with.
2- If you are assisting with English speakers, elaborate on working with the community and contrast with your own schooling experience.
It has been a long time since I have been in kindergarten, but I do not remember as many individual activities like the ones that I have been involved with. I think that it is a great way to keep a note of the students who are struggling or excelling and adjusting their education accordingly. The schools I went to in elementary only had one primary teacher and maybe one helper, whereas the St. Peter classroom I have attended has always had two teachers, sometimes a helper, and usually a Language Buddy for part of every day. I think that these are awesome resources that the kids are exposed to and I wish that I would have received as much individual attention in my elementary school education that these kids do.
Today in Mrs. Sizer's Kindergarden class, I helped administer a counting exercise. We played "war" to practice the values of numbers and which are greater or less than the others. I had a lot of fun playing and interacting with the kids.
I met with my little, Eric, for the first time of the year. He had been involved with football and was unable to meet until this week. It was nice to see him after a few months. We went to Lund and played football and caught up.
Last Friday I helped Mrs. Sizer's kindergarten class by administering a number and letter test to students.