Monday, December 11, 2017

December 4th - 8th

Last week, we began like any other: With Mentor/Mentee Monday. I cautiously asked the mentors if they were interested in teaching a lesson about emotions, knowing that many middle school students are terrified of public speaking. Surprisingly, a large number of scholars volunteered for the job! I absolutely love how enthusiastic they are to share their talents with their peers. During our YESS lesson on Wednesday and Thursday, they did an outstanding job of presenting the lesson with grace and confidence! I'll continue to allow students to take the helm throughout the second semester, as it's an excellent way for them to practice communication skills and leadership.

The greatest kids are Scott Carpenter kids!
On Tuesday, we tutored. We've set a goal to reduce our missing assignments to as few as possible (some kids are rather far behind and it would be unfair to ask them to get down to zero). In that light, they worked very hard and I'm glad when we log into Empower and I hear statements like, "Miss! I had 12 missing assignments and now I only have 9!" To make Tuesday even better, our newest YESS Program Manager, Alejandro Jiminez, came for a visit. He will be leading the new program at Westminster High School and the kids loved having him as a guest.

Our YESS lesson this week was called Emotions (Day 2) and it centered on a website, which is endorsed by the Dalai Lama. You can check it out here, if you wish. It's really great, but a little tough for this age group. Due to that fact, I created a handy user guide for the students and had my "mini teachers" lead their peers through the activities. I was worried that some students would be disengaged because the content was tough, but they stuck with it and worked with the partners to complete the assignment.

This team was the first one to get to five!
We played a team-building game called "Hex Nut Challenge" on Friday. The students were given a set of hex nuts and some sticks. Their goal was to stack the hex nuts in whatever fashion I told them to. This was extremely difficult and the tallest stack of the day was 9. To wind down, I asked the students to create a picture with their hex nuts that would make someone smile. My favorite one of the day was a picture of my daughter. Have a great week, everyone!

So engaged. I love these kids!

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