Last week Study Buddy attended a fair and it was very successful. Lots of people came and saw us and were interested in joining. Every Wednesday (16-18)and Thursday(15-17) we are at Lundellska skolan with our study buddy group. Feel free to join if your interested. You find us on Facebook and can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
// Study Buddy
As part of our planning process, we decided on a day to make and prep our ideas to demonstrate and show the learners. It was very fruitful as we discovered which ideas worked, what needed materials we still needed and how we could improve our designs to further support the children.
Click on the video link to see more: IMG_1109
Early on Friday morning, feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we arrived at Anna’s apartment to prepare for the meeting with Anna Jones, our main contact with Kvarngärdskolan. Using the process detailed in our previous blog post, we set to work, but not before a traditional Swedish meal of potato pancakes with bacon bits and lingonberry jam!
Realising that there was four of us yet only one person on the receiving end of our presentation, we made sure to keep things quite informal, and not to overload Anna with too much information. So after our delicious breakfast, we cycled to Kvarngärdskolan, just around the corner and were immediately greeted by a playground full of children. I think that this was the moment when the project became real to us, and we were all a bit nervous, but very excited to get the chance to pitch our brainchild that we have been working on over the past months. With the majority of us living in Student Housing, we are somewhat separate from family life so it was refreshing to see children playing and interacting with each other. It really hit home that the project we are trying to introduce could have a lasting impact on these minds that are so ready to learn.
Having sat down in the cosy staff room and introduced ourselves, we gave Anna the details of the project and outlined the Who, What, Where, When and Why’s. It was a great relief that Anna responded excellently to our proposition, she seemed very excited and what we are trying to do fits in perfectly with their curriculum. Anna even suggested some Swedish TV programs that we could watch for inspiration and generally just seemed really in tune with our needs.
We were able to pencil in some provisional dates and left, feeling a bit over-excited and fitting in well with the giggling school children, with the promise of sending over all the necessary information after half term. It was incredibly reassuring to find out that other people have faith in our project and to receive the green light from Anna.
Now the real work needs to start, our pencilled in dates are for the end of November, which is now 3 weeks away. We need to start collecting all possible rubbish (IF ANYONE WANTS TO DONATE THEIR RECYCLING FEEL FREE!!!) and really getting into gear with the lesson planning.
After the Study Buddy group had a meeting with Lundellska School two weeks ago, the project could finally begin. During the meeting we discussed our project idea with several teachers of the language department and "Sprint"-classes (for those pupils who newly came to Sweden and have to learn Swedish as soon as possible". They were really happy about our idea and said that the students already have asked for this kind of support and project to happen.
So it was set!
We decided to meet and give tutoring to the students twice a week: on Wednesdays from 16-18 and Thursdays from 15.15-17.15.
During the fall break in the last week of October we had to organize some volunteers for the first two sessions.
We already found a lot of students who are willing to become volunteers but for our very first session (last Wednesday) only one of them had time to come - and actually he cancelled shortly before. So we had to adapt quickly and were still 5 volunteers (4 of our project group and one of SIU) for our first session - and it actually went quite well! We had about 9 students coming to the first session.
After the first tutoring session we decided to always have about 6-7 volunteers so that we are really able to help all pupils in the amount they need it.
Last Thursday (5th of November) we were then 6 volunteers, again 3 from our group, 1 from SIU and two new volunteers. This time there weren't so many students coming but this had to do with organizational difficulties. It just meant we could focus more on the pupils that were there and give them the help they requested.
For the beginning it was a great start and everyone seems happy! The pupils are very grateful for the help they get and it is a lot of fun to work together with them.
We are looking forward to the next weeks!
When preparing to meet our school for the 1st time, making a good impression was extremely important to us, after all we were acting as ambassadors of Uppsala University and CEMUS. Thus, we had to find the right mix of professionalism and openness. See how we used Covey's first 3 habits to do this:
Habit 1: Be proactive
Planning is a natural part of a teacher's everyday routine. With this in mind, we decided to 'be proactive' and demonstrate this in our first meeting. We wanted to make a good impression but also begin building trust in the partnership we are creating. Therefore, we created a short but interesting PowerPoint introducing why we want to do this project, who we are, what we want to do and how we plan to do it. It was a useful visual and auditory tool to stimulate discussion with the teachers we hadn't met yet. Take a look:
Habit 2 Begin with the end in mind
Re-thinking with HE(a)D is clear in our minds, but the challenge was making it clear to the school. Our approach made easy for the school to see what we wanted to do, where we wanted to go with this project and how it could fit into the schedule at school. By 'begining with the end in mind', it created trust and allowed us time to discuss the logistics with the teachers.
Habit 3 Put first things first
We also created an information sheet to leave with the teacher. This served as a mini agenda for the meeting but also highlighted some important questions at the outset. We 'put first things first', and had the opportunity to clarify both our expectations, what safety issues there might be and what was needed.
Our next post will describe our experiences of the meeting.
HEaD is the brainchild of our group’s efforts in exploring a sustainable development project in schools. Our research has shown us that the subject of Upcycling is new phenomenon in the waste debate.
Upcycling is a greener alternative to recycling where the product is given a new lease of life and re-purposed, unlike recycling which changes the original product often creating an inferior one of less value, but uses energy resources such as heat and electricity.
HEaD is a three-prong approach which seeks to address three elements in the upcycling space. These are:
H – Upcycling in the home
E – Upcycling in the environment
D – Upcycling how we ‘dress’.
Thus our project is an education initiative in a school. We will deliver a one day Upcycling workshop in a school, to three different age groups, each focusing on a different element of upcycling (HEaD). The workshop will last the whole day and will culminate in an exhibition and ‘Trash Fashion Show’.
This week we have kept on developing our prototypes and played more games for inspiration. We are moving in the right direction with our prototypes and saving the world one board game at the time.