I have been working on drafts of several of the planned exercises for the seminar and have posted them. They are certainly not completed, but I want to put them out on the web so that you can see where I am headed. I welcome your questions and comments.
There are a couple of other things I want to let you know about, related to the seminar.
It is my purpose to work the students hard and challenge them, but also to have some fun that will help to keep it interesting, The sessions are long, 4 hr, including breaks, so we can’t expect to keep up the pace of the posted exercise through the entire session. So here are some things that I hope will change the pace without entirely losing the purpose of the seminar.
1. I have discovered that the Haitian students have not been exposed to much in the way of the kinds of games that help to develop strategy skills (or any other kinds of games). My goal is to have 3-5 copies each of Jenga and Quirkle for them to play during breaks or outside of class. I would be happy to hear about other games you think might be good.
A related issue: Shipping anything to Haiti is nearly impossible and always unreliable. Renate relies an carrying things with her when she travels back and forth. If you happen to know someone who will be traveling to Jeremie or the Grande Anse region this summer, please have them contact me (email@example.com) if they are willing to carry something for me. I will get the item(s) to them.
I haven’t quite figured out how, but I have several of the type of drawings MC Escher is famous for and intend to expose the students to them at intervals.
In researching materials on divergent thinking I discovered a teacher who utilizes questions commonly referred to by students as “trick questions” I have about 15 of them, thanks to Rita’s efforts, and will give them a try. I have some concern about how specific they may be to language and culture, but I think they are worth a try.
Rita found that the Haitian students love music and used it when she was teaching them English. I don’t have any specific way to use it (yet), but at least it will be a fun break to start the day or when their brains get tired. Rita is in charge of getting the music together.
Finally, I would like to have some of the material translated from English to Haitian Creole. It isn’t a large amount – most of it would be for parts of the exercises that students will see online (think powerpoint slides) and possibly a few handouts. If you know someone who can do this and would like to have a hand in this project, please have them contact me. (firstname.lastname@example.org) I may be able to come up with a small stipend.
I am looking forward to your input. Please help me to make it a better experience for the students in Haiti.