Monday, April 17, 2017

Technology

Technology is such an amazing tool. Tonight I was able to instantly share some materials for the tutoring system with my tutors. I didn't have to waste paper by printing it out. It cannot be lost since it is on their phones electronically. They can access it whenever and wherever. They don't have to worry about forgetting it at home. I sent it through the Groupme that I have set up for the tutors. I use this group message to keep them updated about times and changes as well as giving me a heads up of who is coming to the tutoring session. I ask them to like a message the night before if they can attend a certain session. This lets me know how many to expect before I go. This greatly helps me out. I also use technology for blogging and logging my hours. The GoGold online tool is so great. I don't have to worry about paper documents. Everything that I need is in one convenient place.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gathering Information

Today, I did a little more on the planning and gathering of information. I emailed asking about who I should ask questions and I did a little brainstorming and got some advice about some of my issues from my mother. I have also found out who the Spanish Honor Society sponsor is at the other high school in town.  I asked a friend of mine there. I need to make that bundle and contact her as soon as possible. I'm also thinking about going to elementary school (the one with the tutoring program) during some of the days I am not at school due to exams or seniors early release. That will allow me to spend more time with the principal and establish permanent ties for next year. I can also help teachers or tutor during the day. I plan on discussing this option with the principal tomorrow at tutoring.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Entering the Final Stages

Don't get me wrong; I've have so much that I still need to do. I still need to talk with the other high school in my city and my principal. Although, I'm not certain about what I will need to suggest to my principal about spreading the word of my project. I still need to have a brainstorm session about that. I also need to create "bundles" of all the materials and documents for the student I have asked to step up next year, the principal at Austinville Elementary, my Spanish teacher/ Spanish Honor Society sponsor, and the teacher at the other high school. I plan on including sign up sheets, data from surveys and test scores, my curriculum guide, flashcards, the reference cards, and a letter to the selected party about why I did this project. I plan to explain my goal and the benefits of this sort of project. I also have plenty of days of tutoring left. I hope that I can get the post surveys turned in soon. I sent them home with the kids yesterday morning. I did have slight trouble getting the pre surveys turned back in. However, I fixed that situation with provided some school supply prizes if they turned them in. I bought some notebooks, mechanical pencils, and stickers. This fixed the problem almost immediately. I suddenly started receiving 3 or 4 surveys each morning. It made me laugh a little. I love these kids. They make my day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It will be sad on the last day that we tutor. One of the 5th graders that I have tutored on a somewhat regular basis invited me to the 5th grade graduation in May. I'm definitely going to go and take some of the other tutors that tutor the 5th graders too. I'm also thinking about getting those tutors and myself to write letter to them. Since they will be going into middle school next year, I thought that they might be needing some encouragement and advice.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

What is the Girl Scout Gold Award?

I've been talking so much about my project for the Gold Award but I have never clearly explained what it actually is. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. It is earned as an independent project with the scout is in high school. It is optional and not many actually earn the award. The Gold Award must do or be a couple of certain things. It must address a root issue in the community. It cannot address a symptom of the problem without also addressing the root cause. It must also be measurable in its impact and sustainable once the official project has ended. This could include an educational video about the issue or a written plan on how the project was accomplished given to an entity that may want to replicate the project. The purpose of the Gold Award is to spread positive change in the community.

Picking Up (January 17, 2017)

I have had the same core group of tutors most days. One day last week, I had a huge spike in tutors. I am hoping that more will be able to join. Ms. Hales is working on getting a group of assigned kids rather than different every week. This would make distribution of surveys, measuring test scores, and the sessions in general easier. I hope that we can get this done soon.

New Semester (January 8, 2017)

This week will begin the second semester of the tutoring program. After two days in the previous semester, it is easier to understand how this will actually go about and what problems may be encountered. For instance, I know the best times to arrive and what the tutors should know when they arrive. I know what is the most useful topics to study with the kids-multiplication and addition. I know where each session will take place. The mornings are at a special table in the cafeteria while the afternoons are in the library. Also the afternoons allow the tutors to help the teachers set up snack for the extended day students before starting the tutoring. This allows a way to get to know students and teachers. So far there have not been too many tutors mainly attributed to the limited time we had last semester to go and tutor. Most of the tutors wished to wait to start fresh this semester. However, it is also good that there are some tutors who did attend last semester that can answer questions for those new to the tutoring. This is especially useful for the afternoons in which I will not be able to attend this semester. I have kept track so far of the tutors and the general number and grades of the kids we tutor as well as what they usually need help with. Surprisingly I have found that spelling and other "English" type activities are also required, not just math. I believe that part of this is due to many of the students having non English speaking backgrounds. This week will be a big week. I plan to hand out surveys and finish the reference cards. This will require a shopping trip for some supplies. I hope that it all goes well.

The First Day (December 9, 2016)

This morning I woke up so nervous about how today was going to go. I realized that this project was something that I was in charge of and any questions or problems were going to coming at me. I was afraid that I would not have answers or that it would not be very organized. I knew before that these few days before the semester ends are merely trial runs. I won't even give out the surveys until next semester. However, I was still very nervous. It turned out fine. I had 4 tutors (including me) in the morning and 4 in the afternoon (including me). The low number of tutors was to be expected. This is a very busy time at Austin and a lot of people are trying to make up grades and study for tests and exams. I believe that there will be more people next week and definitely next semester when school starts fresh. Ms. Hales brought 4 students to meet with us each time. We met in the cafeteria in the morning and the library in the afternoon. After we tutored, we walked the kids to their designated classroom at both times. The morning was basically getting to know your kid and helping with some math that they had been having trouble with. The little girl I was with needed help with longer multiplication. Later on I saw her in the hallway in the afternoon. She smiled and waved at me. In the afternoon, we helped kids with their homework. Since it was after school, they had been given homework that day that they needed to do. All day I have been taking notes about what we do and what students we have. Hopefully this will help me with making lesson plans and reference cards for next semester. I've had the pre surveys checked by Ms Lyles for Spanish errors. Those will be ready to give out next semester. Overall today was really fun, and I greatly appreciate all the time that all involved put in to start this. I know I have a long way to go but I feel like I have accomplished something with at least making it through the first day. They always say that the first day is the hardest. Hopefully, that is true and things will run more smoothly from now on.