Betsy, CCI, & the Colorado Rockies (Blog 4)

Our CCI Volunteer, Betsy Dupuis, helps organize an service exchange with CCI literacy students and the Colorado Rockies. Here’s her latest blog:

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As if learning about the environment and picking up trash weren’t eIMG_3795nough excitement for the month, we also have had special visitors, a field trip, and lots of new activities in the regular literacy classes!

The visitors were twelve players from the Colorado Rockies academy. The kids had a great time reading their phonetic storybooks to the baseball players, and then they got to play some of their favorite literacy games in small groups with two or three peloteros. To wrap up the event, we had recess—it was hilarious to see all the students chasing the teacher Margaret when they played tag—and snacks.

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A week later, the Rockies invited us to their training facility in Boca Chica. We got to watch a game, play in their computer lab, and have lunch in the players’ cafeteria. The students really enjoyed the experience; we’re grateful to the Rockies for their hospitality!

As for the new activities in the regular classes, I mentioned in a previous post that I had introduced the game Hangman to reinforce letter names and spelling. Since the kids seemed to like it so much, I decided to create a set of cards for another game: Go Fish (the alphabet version), which in Spanish we’re calling Pesca la letra! The goal, of course, is to make pairs of letter cards by asking other players if they have the letter you’re looking for. The punctuation marks also make an appearance, so they students have to remember the names of those, too.

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Some other literacy activities we’ve introduced include a daily recitation of the alphabet, word searches using the words from the Scholastic phonetic books, and brand-new workbooks, created by students in the Interact Club at Angie’s high school, (Chaparral High School in Parker, CO)!

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I also started giving basic computer lessons to small groups. Some students are already pretty familiar with computers, but others don’t even know how to turn them on or use the mouse. The first things I discuss with them are how to take care of a computer, what the main parts are called, and how to turn it on and off. Then I introduce the program Paint so they can practice moving the mouse—clicking, dragging, selecting—while being creative.

Unfortunately, we’ve had some obstacles with the computer class; the main one is not having electricity during our scheduled lessons. Also, there are only four working desktops, so some kids haven’t had an opportunity to take a turn. I hope the electricity cooperates so the rest of them get a chance in the next couple weeks before I leave.

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