(Little by little, a bird builds its nest) In other words, progress is being made at the Croix-des-Bouquets School we have been following on this blog.
On the weekend, a group of volunteers headed to the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in search of affordable books for the students. They needed to know what was in the curriculum, so that they could get the right activities and content onto the laptops. In Petionville they met the bookseller. Here is what one of the lineups looked like on the first week of school! Two volunteers had 30 parents lined up in front of them. Down the road, the other two volunteers had similar problems. Luckily, one group had success finding language books while the other group found maths and science books.
More map making work was accomplished on the weekend as well, and then on Sunday more visitors arrived at the school. It was wonderful that they were able to bring more laptops for classroom use!
On Monday the 5th and 6th graders started using the school server. The activity in class was to learn how to navigate to the lessons for their grade level, pick the specific assignment, and then start taking the quiz. The subject was conjugation of French verbs. For a first experience, lots of technical problems surfaced, and the kids seemed to surmount all the difficulties easily. The teacher was taking the quiz right along with the students. On the whole, both the instructor, and the students seemed enthusiastic about their relatively successful first experience.
The Monday after-school group was about 25 students from grades 3-4. Their task was to create a short slide show complete with pictures, text that would be made into sub-titles, and an audio track.
Working together in groups appeared to be a new experience for many of them. They started out being more inclined to work by themselves than collectively. But they gradually warmed to the task. And after spending most of the time agreeing on the story line, they seemed to enjoy recording their own voices, playing the recordings back for one another.
Next week they will record the story they developed together, and finish the drawing they started to try to illustrate some aspect of the story.
And then there was today’s excitement! This was the first day using the school server to automate a classroom math class. There was a lot of focus on adding three, three digit numbers. Two boys were math whiz kids. They finished the whole sequence, and celebrated by doing a maze activity…very loudly!