I have officially started as a first grade after-school instructor, which is proving to be quite a good time. We orchestrate snack, homework (lots of spelling!), and free time. And on Fridays (since there’s no homework on Fridays in first grade) my co-teacher and I plan fun class projects. So far we’ve made paper flowers, animal stick puppets, and most recently leaf rubbings after going on a nature walk in front of the school. This Friday we are planning to take another nature walk, have the kids collect natural things they find – more leaves, some twigs, or flower petals – and make a class collage. (I’m hoping there will be some color in the leaves by then!)
In addition to hanging out with awesome first graders every afternoon, I’ve also been able to start volunteering with 826 Chicago, since the school year is up and running now. I’ve helped with a few different book-making field trips – my favorite involved being the typist for a group of sixth graders writing a story about a small robot, a giant snail, and a lost hobo living on a taco planet. This morning, I also had the pleasure of starting an in-school project with several high school ESL classes in Gage Park. Today we did an ice-breaker where the students picked 4 magazine images to use in a short fiction piece. I’ll be heading back once a week with 826 for the next ten weeks of school to work with the students on their writing. It should be great!