Category Archives: North Library

Excitement, active participation, and surprises at North Regional Library

Last week, we conducted our second session at North Regional Library in Durham. We were very excited to see students show up enthusiastically for our second session. As I walked into the building, I even heard one of the students say, “Oooh! Leaders UNITE!” Even though we had skipped a week because of the hurricane, and I had only told the students the name of the club once, I was so happy to hear them excited to participate! Even the boy who began participating at the end of our previous session was actively participating for our whole session today. It was very exciting to see! The students also seemed much more comfortable with me.

Today, we did the Hand Signs activity, and the students loved it! In this activity, one person is the assigned leader, and sees a description of a scenario/scene, which I have typed out for them. They must describe the scene to the other students, who all work together to guess and draw the scene correctly! However, there is one catch: the person describing the scene is not allowed to speak! In a way, this is like charades.

It was very fun and interesting to see how students chose to portray key words in their scenarios. I was very happy to see all of the students immediately and enthusiastically volunteering to be the leader for the activity, and even working together without hesitation with people they did not usually work together with. We did three new scenarios (the students worked together with me to craft fun, exciting scenarios!), and students rotated out who was the leader for the activity.  The three scenarios were as follows:

  1. Draw a forest with a bird on a tree, a lake on the left side, and a dog on the right side.
  2. Draw a school with a school bus on the left side, a kid playing basketball on the right side, and JayZ in the middle.
  3. Draw me at home eating dinner with a rabbit, while my brother is talking on his cellphone.

Here are some notes about how our activity went, which stood out to me as main ideas from each scenario.

  1. In the first scenario, directions were hard at first. It was hard to think about left and right in a context where students were speaking about more tangible words, such as forest or lake.
  2. Although I thought the second scenario would be the easiest, since all of the students go to school together, it was not as easy as I thought. Since the students had different things in common aside from school, and were not anticipating talking about school, it took a while to get school and school bus.
  3. In the third scenario, there were two difficult parts. First was eating dinner with a rabbit, specifically the idea that the rabbit is eating dinner with the students. While the rabbit part was easier to distinguish, the dinner was a bit harder, since it involved both food and a relative time of day. From there, the idea of “with” when saying the rabbit is eating “with” the person was difficult to portray and guess. Another hard one was brother. Again, since students had other things in common, “brother” was often mistaken for ethnicity, friend, partner, and more. After working together, continuing to persevere, and thinking of new out-of-the-box ideas while guessing and portraying the scene, our group was able to get the right answer!

It was exciting to see these students take on such an active role as leaders in our activity, and we are excited to continue giving them opportunities to practice their teamwork and leadership throughout the school year!

 

Advertisements

Making leadership fun and helping people work together

Two wonderful things happened during Leaders UNITE’s first day of the 2019-2020 school year volunteering at North Regional Library.

Today’s group had 9 students. Two of the students were arguing during the first twenty minutes of the club. I ended up assigning them to be in the same group for the group activity, and both girls were very upset by this, and continued to argue. They were doing The Newest App Activity. Although they began by arguing, I noticed that once the girls realized they had similar ideas for an app and created a name, the two started working extremely well together. They shared their paper, divided up the presentation, and continued to brainstorm together. When I pointed out how well they worked together after the activity, they high-fived and talked about what good partners they made. I even saw them talking after leaving the classroom. It was so rewarding to see what a thirty-minute club activity could do to make these students feel more comfortable and less hostile towards one another. I could also see how working and brainstorming together helped the students see that they were actually more similar than they previously thought.

Another student did not participate much in the beginning of the activity. However, once I asked that group a question about their app and he responded with a very thoughtful answer, he continued to become more involved in the process. I could see how he was able to draw on his style of thinking through the process of working out kinks in the group’s app, and the encouragement helped him continue to brainstorming and contributing to his group.

During the beginning of the club meeting, the students were unsure about the club, and some were only participating because of the free snacks afterwards. However, as the activity began and they became more involved in it, I saw them enjoy themselves. Afterwards, they told me that the club was surprisingly fun, and were happy when I said I was returning next week. The librarian even told me that they left the classroom talking about how surprisingly fun the club was. This made me feel so happy, since one of the goals of Leaders UNITE is to make classroom leadership more fun.

I am excited to continue working with these students for the 2019-2020 school year and can’t wait to see how these students continue stepping up as leaders during club activities!

The 2019-2020 Leaders UNITE program begins today at North Regional Library

The 2019-2020 school year of Leaders UNITE began at North Regional library today! We are excited to partner with North Regional Library for a second year in a row, and we were excited to meet many new faces at the library today. This is one of our locations that we will blog about this school year, so stay tuned for reflections and news from this location!

Leaders UNITE North Library