7:58 am and all the teachers are packed into the van with our suitcase of teaching materials and giant roll of paper. As we board the van I notice a tiny ETE camper running up the street past us at full tilt. Beeds bouncing everywhere. This little neighbor knows she is late. We pass her by… Just kidding, pick her up on our way to camp.
8:15 am the LUNGS on these campers!!! Green group, red group, blue group. All are present. Only one or two empty seats at this point. They yell and sing and remember songs from past years flawlessly, leading the whole group from the front when given the chance. “I know I can…”
8:30 I put some things in place for today’s lesson: building a structure that can hold a bottle of glue using only a set of 30 index cards. The structure must be two index cards tall and complete within 25 minutes. I’ve practiced many times myself and I know the difference maker is realizing you can fold the cards. Shaina and I have planned to not tell students and see what they can figure out without that key info: a pre-test. At least one group constructs by turning each card into a boat then using them as blocks. A boat???? Amazing.
9:30 first group goes through and impresses. Every group meets three of the four criteria. Just haven’t figured out yet how to make it taller and maximize the cards and structures. Groups are ecstatic, jumping up and down at the dramatic moment of truth when the “tree falls on their house” (glue bottle is placed on card structure) for the test and their structure holds the weight. I later find numerous paper boats on the floor, some with the name “bateau de Jeremie” written on them.
10:30 same results as first group but with different ideas and different structures. Pretty much every student contributes and perseveres with the problem, remembering constraints to the end. Lots of different ideas and high fives. Debrief.
11:30. Last group is a little tired, almost frustrated but one group eventually gets three criteria (weight and materials and time) so the others are inspired to press on to the end.
lunch… Break for teachers.
1:22 recreation: the way these kids all know the rules to soccer and how to kick, catch with their bodies, throw, play goalie… Very impressive. I can’t be in the U.S… Oh yah, I’m not!
time to go home and the one camper we are suspicious might be too young for the camp (aka teddy bear) tells me with a big smile “na we demain”. – see you tomorrow!!
smiles from Hinche.