Great Salt Bay and Wood Hill EIRs 2018

Great Salt Bay’s Educator in Residence: Kasie

This week I have helped several age groups in many different areas. I discussed decision making and time management with the 7th and 8th grade health classes, led team building activities with the 5th and 6th grade, practiced yoga with students in grades 4-8, went on a trip to the DRA, and brought the 3rd grade class to Kieve for a small team building activity and a fire at our Westcott point. On Friday I will be bringing a group of 5th graders to Kieve to both climb and teambuilding. Below, I will highlight on a few things I have done.

Health class – time management 

I have observed the 7th and 8th grade study hall sessions. Many of the students are really good at wasting their time, either trying to talk to friends (when they should be silent) or playing games on the computer rather than actually doing their homework. Why? Wouldn’t it make so much more sense to get your work done at school so that when you get home you have less to worry about?  That sounds like the smartest thing to do for an adult, but for a kid, that’s the last thing they would think to do.

During Monday’s health class, the 7th grade class worked on time management. I led an open discussion of what types of decisions we make everyday from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed. Afterwards, the students created their daily schedule (hour by hour). What do they spend their time doing? Being active with their friends and family? Watching TV? Studying? They had to account for every waking hour of their day.

Hopefully, the kids started to see what they should be doing and what they actually are doing.

TLS with Ms. Jackson and Ms. K’s class
I was able to lead a team building activity with Ms. Jackson’s class during their gym period as well as the normal time slot for Ms. K’s class.

Ms. Jackson’s class – Hula hoop Pass & Stargate
I have been able to meet with Ms. Jackson’s class more than any other class when it comes to working within the TLS cirriculum. She teaches a 5/6 grade, so there are a handful of students whom I was able to work with last year making it a bit easier for them to come together as a group. We started out with the hula hoop pass activity.  They passed with flying colors. Afterwards, we worked on stargate. One of the students had an excellent idea. They did it and again flying colors, atleast on the outside. During our debrief we had a discussion on how the activity went. Many students admitted that although it looked like it ran smoothly, many things could have gone better. We discussed how people were having their own side conversations and not participating for the entire length of the activity, and that many people did their part then did their own thing. Although it was quite and people got through, they were all jammed together and not listening to suggestions that were made. We then discussed how we could make these better in the future.

In Ms. K’s class, we went completed one round of hula hoop pass then discussed what went well and what could have gone better. As with Ms. Jackson’s class, Ms. K’s class realized that they needed to listen to each other better, to fully participate in the activity, and to be focused for the entire activity, not just their part. Next week, we will pick up with star gate.

YOGA 7th grade
This was the second session of yoga at the Y with me for the 7th and 8th grades who chose to participate during their study hall time. I had a few of the same folks from last week and a few new faces. Im glad that I am able to offer a time for the kids to relax, focus on their breathing, and to only worry about being in the moment. This will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the rest my time at EIR.

YOGA 4th-6th  (afterschool program)
This week for the afterschool program we did yoga. It was really interesting to see how different it is for the younger kids than the older ones. We really focused on our breathing, our postures, as well as some stretches. Its always nice when your kids tell you how much they enjoyed the yoga session 🙂
For the last 30 minutes, we played clap ball, a game that requires you to be focused the entire time! It was pretty awesome!

DRA – 2nd grade  
This week for the outdoor adventure days, we took the 2nd grade to the DRA. Here they were split into groups of 3 going to different stations that included looking for tracks, naming different trees, and sledding. A highlight of this trip was watching a fox across the water pounce into the snow trying to catch a mouse. The fox was in our sight for over 30 minutes trying to catch its prey.

Jill is Kasie’s site mentor, and a former TLS employee!

3rd grade to Kieve Thursday the 3rd grade came to Kieve, a trip that had to be rescheduled from last month due to weather. What a great day to be outside! Once the kids arrived on site, we headed to PQ for a quick break then split into 3 groups. Afterwards, we all walked down the fire pit at Wescott point. Here we stayed in our groups and inch wormed our way to a certain point testing our teamwork. My group did such a good job working with one another that we decided to do it again, the other way. The second time, it didn’t go as smoothly as the kids were very excited to start building a fire but they really enjoyed being a small group working together towards a common goal. We then had a “free period” where kids could go around and build forts and play in the snow. As I started the fire, I had a group of kids helping me making the fire grow. It was a wonderful day with a great group. We ended the day with a walk around campus and a stop in at PQ to drink some hot chocolate.


Wood Hill’s Educator in Residence: Kelci

Hi! My name is Kelci O’Neill, and this winter I have been the Educator in Residence for Wood Hill Middle School in Andover, Massachusetts! I have been working alongside our principal Patrick Bucco, and our assistant principal Linda Croteau. This is my second year as an EIR, previously I co-ran an after school program at Nobleboro Central School in Nobleboro, Maine.

Since Kieve’s EIR program began, they have been placing educators in schools throughout the state of Maine to build connections with their students and community. This is the first time that a school out of state has decided to have an EIR at their school, which is so exciting! I feel so lucky to have been given this opportunity to work with the Wood Hill students and the community of Andover. Besides being downright tropical compared to Maine, Massachusetts has differences other than the temperature. The students here are a different population than the rural Maine towns I am used to working with. Because of this, I have had to adjust the connections I make with students to get an in with them. I tackled this in the first week by taking music recommendations from the students and listening to them on my commute to and from work to get immersed in the full effect of middle school angst.

I have found my home in many places all over the school. I frequent the science classes to learn about earthquakes, the music classes to learn the ukulele, and the gym classes to play basketball with the students (apparently I am a baller). Also, I have been doing TLS curriculum with each of the grades in a different capacity. I have been teaching communication, kindness and respect, and team building with the 6th graders. In 7th grade, I have been working in conjunction with the engineering teacher Mr. Tisbert to have the students build bridges in teams and then collaborate on a final product. With the 8th grade I have developed a goal setting curriculum that they will show to their high school guidance counselors. I have also been a mentor for students in informal settings during the school day. I go to every lunch period and sit with students, play cards or go outside with them during recess, and I have even started an informal Kieve lunch bunch for 6th graders who need an extra bit of leadership in their life.

Everyone at Wood Hill has been so welcoming that I almost don’t want to leave. I hope to make the best of my last few weeks here, and I hope that what I have worked to achieve at Wood Hill will prepare the 6th graders for Kieve, expand the knowledge learned by the 7th graders while at Kieve, and will prepare the 8th graders for a better high school experience.

You can follow Kelci’s EIR adventures on her blog: