Wyatt and I have been SIG campers for a week now. He is loving every minute of it and I am finally feeling like I can breathe. While he enjoys the stimulation of a multitude of new classes and material he has never seen before, I am struggling to create lessons for classes I have never taught before.
Even though I am unsure of my curriculum, I love the SIG methodology for teachers! It gives you so much freedom to meet the objectives of the teacher and the student without having to worry about a stupid state test. Basically, I create objectives for the course and then the student creates a personal objective. We meet and discuss how the activities created by the teacher and chosen by the student can meet all objectives. How empowering for the student and the teacher! This week has almost made me like teaching again... Almost. But I still hate the hours.
The four classes I am teaching are Word Power, Gaming through the Centuries, SIG Apprentice, and Thinking Outside and Beyond the Box.
Word Power is basically expanding the student's vocabulary by researching and using Latin and Greek root word derivations. I have introduced them to Sarah Kay and the power of spoken word poetry. She was a hit! If you haven't heard of her, check out her Ted Talk: Sarah Kay Ted Talk We'll be using their root word derivations dictionaries to create many new products from their Word Power Menu over the next two weeks.
I have Wyatt in my class for Gaming through the Centuries. This is a new class to SIG so I really got to come up with my own idea of what the class should be. I started this week with ancient board games - learning how to play the game as well as why each culture created a particular game. I think the anthropology lessons in this class are more interesting than just learning new games. The first thing I noticed about the gifted kids in this class is that they may know a lot about playing games, but they do not know anything about gamesmanship. So while teaching them Senet, Mancala, and Chess, I have had to work very hard to teach them that when playing a game someone is going to lose. You win some, you lose some. Deal with it! Wyatt likes to win as much as anyone, but he has always handled losing well. Since he was very small we started a rule in our home: the winner puts the game away. Trust me, no winner gloats for very long while putting tiny pieces back correctly. If you would like to learn about ancient board games, check out this link: Ancient Board Games Next week, we look at ancient and modern sports. I have planned a quidditch match for next Friday so say a prayer for me!
SIG Apprentice has been so much fun! I get to be Donald Trump and give my 6 young business women competitions to see who gets to be the Apprentice and who hear's, "You're Fired!" This week's competitions were "Pulling the Strings," "Eco-Friendly Photo Debate", and "Picture Frame Business Plan." Pulling the strings is a cooperative learning lesson for team building where teams must work together pulling strings attached to a pen to play tic-tac-toe. Very funny and revealing about personalities right off the bat. The photo debate idea came to me as I was walking around the Emory campus and seeing signs everywhere about how "Green" Emory is. I thought we should put it to the test. I sent one team with their phone cameras to find all signs of eco-friendly practices on campus and the other team to find all signs of waste. It was a close debate, but waste won, unfortunately. These high school students really impressed me with our last competition of the week. Teams created and mass produced a picture frame design and then created a business plan for their new company. I feel very good about our future business leaders. Their presentations were awesome! If you'd like to see where we are: Emory Campus Tour
My last class of the day is Thinking Outside and Beyond the Box. I love teaching this class! It has been so much fun sharing creative thinking strategies and new perspectives with these young gifted minds. I even got to impress them with my own adventure into inventing when I showed them my Full Bathtub Website. We will have our own invention convention before the end of camp. I can't wait to see what creative ideas these kids come up with! How creative are you? Try the exercises I did in class: Creative Thinking Exercises