blind obstacle courses and paperclip shuffleboard

Hi everyone! It has been a long time since my last post – I’m glad to be back. 🙂

First things first, I have started my In-School Mentoring through Big Brothers of Regina and I am absolutely loving it! My match is an enthusiastic and talkative Grade 5 student named James (I have changed his name for privacy purposes). The mentor training prepares you for a mentee that may be shy and closed off for the first few sessions, but James is very outgoing and 10 seconds after he met me, he decided “Okay, you’re my new mentor, so I am going to tell you everything I can about me in our 60 minutes together!” He completely charmed me with his willingness to share his life, and we had a lot of fun getting to know each other the first meeting. We played a game where one of us came up with a question (ex. What is your favourite season?) and then wrote our answer in our own colour (mine was blue) and also tried to guess the other person’s in their colour (James’ was black). We were both excited when we guessed each other’s favourite animals correctly (see below).

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During our second meeting, we played a few games, and the biggest hit was ‘paperclip shuffleboard’ (an idea I found on this site – check it out!) James was especially excited when he came back from behind and beat me in the last round. In fact, he enjoyed this game so much that he asked if we could play it at our next meeting! Here is a picture of the setup I used (it’s super easy, a ton of fun, and can be played with a variety of materials and on many different surfaces):

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Finally, at our third meeting, we played homemade Battleship and, again, I got whooped! We finished our session with a blind obstacle course, which I was delighted that James ALSO loved and requested that we play next week. This is a great game to build trust in the person directing you, and it also lets the speaker practice giving clear instructions.

Me, blindfolded and ready to be led around the obstacle course James set up!

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Secondly, I have had two practicum sessions for my KIN 120 class (Rec and Persons with Disabilities). My partner, who is also in Elementary Education, and I were ecstatic to find out that we were paired with an awesome little six-year-old boy. He definitely keeps us busy, but we are both loving it! Our first session was in the gym, and we played about 25 different games in 50 minutes – haha. Our second session was in the pool at the university and was also a blast. It is a lot easier to make sure that your student doesn’t outrun you when they are in water :p My partner and I have planned a lesson for our session in the gym tomorrow – if you’d like to check out the rough draft of our activity plan, here is the link.

Thirdly, I have been learning A LOT in my ELNG 200 class. The biggest realization that I have had as a result of this class is that I am very envious of anyone who is bi/tri/multilingual! After I am finished my degree and have settled in to teaching, I would love to work on learning another language! I will put that on my bucket list. I am now also very interested in DLBs (dual language books) and if you want to see one that I have found that can be read in Hindi, Telegu OR English, you can click right here!

Lastly, I have always been fascinated with how much children in school are expected to (and do) know these days. When I was volunteering in elementary classrooms in high school, I realized that students were learning geometry in Grade 1 and 2, whereas I am pretty sure these concepts were not introduced to me until Grade 4! My grandparents have also told me that the math I did in Grade 11 and 12 is equivalent to what was taught in university in their generation. Clearly, the education system is expecting a lot more out of students these days; or are students simply coming to school with more home-based knowledge nowadays? I just find it interesting to think that someday I will be teaching Grade 1 students to multiply – haha. What do you think? Are kids these days at a more academically advanced level than when you were the same age?

That’s all for now! Until next time, go forth and learn something new! 🙂

-KKF

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