School is in full swing now, and all of the standards are taking midterms this week.  The students have been studying very hard, and with some new changes in the education program, volunteers are able to better assist the children in their studies. Although, the team teaching approach is very fun and interactive, The Peery School Administration asked that one-on-one time with volunteers be incorporated into the daily routine as well. We still have some team teach activities included into the schedule–UKG morning fundaments, computer class, and art class–but now most of our time is dedicated to personalized academic help for each child.
The group-teach activities are still some of the volunteer’s favorite times during the education rotation. During computer time volunteers feel needed, especially when students are working in IXL, an interactive math practice program. All of the students enjoy the Imagine Learning program too. Right now they are studying nouns, pronouns, verbs, and reading comprehension. (Big shout out to those who donated the headphones-the students love them and treat them with care!) Volunteers also love Morning Fundaments time with UKG, where they get to sing songs and do dances and get to know one another. UKG’s favorites are the banana song, and Old McDonald. On Old McDonald’s Indian farm there is a tiger, a peacock, and elephant, a snake, a frog, and a lion- it is a pretty exotic and intense farm.
Individual tutoring has also been implemented into the school day. This helps not only with specific subjects, but also allows volunteers to develop an emotional connection with kids. During this time, if a student needs help with a certain subject they are struggling in, the volunteer can give them their attention directly. This direct attention simultaneously helps with social and emotional development. Other interactive activities have made this time very enjoyable for volunteers and students. The older standards really enjoy playing chess. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between chess playing and math skills development. Chess is a great way to teach logic and problem solving. Moreover, The students actually end up teaching the volunteers the game of chess; this is a big confidence boost for them, because the best way to learn is to teach somebody else.

In art class this week, 8th standard got to paint their wings, this was been an ongoing project for the past 3 weeks and they are almost complete. They look amazing and the kids love them. Second standard made finger puppets out of toilet paper rolls. They loved using their creativity minds to act out skits when finished.

“I really like the education day because you get a lot of one-on-one time, and get to know the kids. You are always doing something different with all the different age groups, and you get to experience the different culture. It made me glad that there were so many kids that had a bright future because they were able to go to school. Because of the volunteer program the students we able to excel and we can literally see so many kids that were doing well in school while we were there”. –Sarah
“I loved art class, drawing with the kids and seeing their creativity. You can see when they look through books to find a picture but then use that inspiration to add their own style. I loved reading with the kids and helping them sound out words. You can tell that they are tying to learn and eager to read. Whatever age group it is, they always show that they are interested, they want to learn, and they are focused. I liked education because always I felt like I was helping. “–Molly

“My favorite part was one-on-one time. Liked playing chess with the students; it showed us how smart they are. Art class was interesting because I liked seeing how their minds work with creativity… we could see their thought process when given an artistic outlet. At the end of the day it made me feel enlightened. It was cool comparing their education to my education. Their classroom, compared to my classroom, seems like it would have more fun. It made me realize how much Rising Star and the volunteers mean to these kids. If we weren’t here would they have any of this education or learn these valuable skills?” –Aaron

On Friday, while working one-on-one with 2nd standard Sangeeta, I asked her ‘What is your favorite class?’ ‘This class’ is what she replied. It brightened my heart to know that students look forward to the individual time they get to have during the school day. Their different learning styles are able to be catered to, and therefore they can better excel in all areas of their education” — Rosie
–Rosie Tempka
2013 Education Coordinator

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