Today is Saturday and we have come to unwind at a resort in Nadi. We will be here for the next 2 nights. It is 10.30 in the morning. There are people going past me on this footpath – some tourists look surprised – they must be thinking who is this idiot on a “holiday” talking to himself. The library is taking shape. However, it needs more books. One part of our strategy is to ensure that every child has a book to borrow and read each week. Hence our “one book per child” idea can only succeed if we can provide this library with more books. At present we have given them 400 books. They need another 300 or so. This should be our challenge in the early New Year.
The laptops are ready to roll out next week. In a project like this there are lessons to be learnt. Lesson 1 upload all the software before you come. For the library to be more user-friendly, they need to install power points on the ceilings. Yesterday I went into the year six classrooms. These students were given a project for the two-week school holidays. Yes they had to do homework over the holidays. For art and craft (some aspects overlap with design technology here) – the boys had to build a model house with paddle pop sticks while the girls had to design and make an apron. Both groups also had to make a greeting card. The parents had to provide them with the materials that they needed to complete the projects. There was no shortage of evidence of creativity. However, what intrigued me the most was that they were not forthcoming with what they had learnt from this activity. A rich task like this can open doors for so many learning opportunities. One of the things that crossed my mind – which I will share with the teachers is using a reflection framework using the de Bono’s six hats. I think for primary school students this strategy can be quite effective.
The robotics club also seems to be taking shape. Students are very interested and for the half an hour that they could spare at lunchtime, they seem to have achieved a lot. The reason for this is they are so focused and more importantly it’s also something which is very new to them. In terms of the hardware I hope the web cams will work next week when we start recording their role plays. So all in all a good first week.
Today is a nice day. I can see the blue skies. The blue waters are almost under my nose with lots of coconut trees around me. In the distance I see small islands. It is almost an idyllic setting.