Blog

KIDS ON COURSE

February 26, 2019

A Day in the Life of a KOC staff

A Day in the Life of a KOC staff

Cast of Characters:

Mr. Josh: Kids on Course Site Manager at Wilson Middle School.

Martin: A male student in the 7th grade.

Ashley: A female student in the 7th grade.

Sophia: A female student in the 7th grade.

Student Leader: A student with a group of students that follow.

Chris: 6th grade student.

 

Scene:

Various times throughout the school day at Wilson Middle School.

 

Time:

The present.

 

 

 


Act I, Scene I:

 

Setting:            It was a cold winter’s day and all through the school are children laughing and screaming, adults hustling and bustling and the occasional dog lying about wanting nothing but to stretch and fetch. Then, all of a sudden, the fire alarm goes off and the springs in our boots bounce us into action. The wind blowing harsh enough to make us shiver and quiver our whole bodies over. Kids confused, adults disappointed because we know why the alarm was set off. One bad decision. Just a normal day, unexpectedly normal.

 

At Rise:            Mr. Josh is starting his day. He pulls up and parks his car in front to the building and sees the students and staff outside. When it’s time to go back inside he takes off his jacket and whips it around his chair and throws his bookbag on the floor next to his desk. Hits the power button to his two laptops and in comes students needed space to work and talk.

 

Mr. Josh: (Sniffles nose) Kids, I know that it’s still early in the day but now that we are back inside, we need to get to work. What are you working on?

 

Martin: Math. I have to finish this worksheet.

 

Ashley: I’m working on my social studies packet

 

Mr. Josh: Great! Let’s have at it then. Whatever you don’t finish is homework. Take it home and actually work on it. I’ll be checking in with your teachers to see if it’s finished.

 

Martin and Ashley: Yeah, yeah, I know.

 

Sophia: Hey I finished all my work in class can I come in here and hangout.

 

Mr. Josh: Did you get permission from your teacher?

 

Sophia: Yep.

 

Mr. Josh: Then yes that fine. I have students in here working so you need to respect that they need quiet time to work.

 

(Bells ring)

 

End Scene.


Act I, Scene II:

 

Setting:            Bells ring and the kid’s wings take flight out the door. Lunch. Kids bursting throughout the halls screaming and yelling. Their favorite part of the day. 1,2,3,4 kids… feels like 20. It’s actually 25. 25 Kids eating in the Kids on Course room. Hardly enough chairs. It’s crowded. Chess games going on. Kids arguing about the rules of UNO. Does anybody really know the actual rules? Kids spilling ‘tea’.

 

At Rise:            Mr. Josh builds relationships with his students during lunch.

Mr. Josh: Remember when you’re done eating, you’ll stack your trays and two of you will volunteer to take the trays down to the lunch room.

 

Student Leader: (Speaking loud enough to quiet the room) Mr. Josh we need to talk we have tea.

 

Mr. Josh: I’m all ears! What problem are you having today?

 

Student Leader: (Students following with a snickering smile on their faces) Ok, so this boy said that he like me today and they all heard, and I just rolled my eyes because I though this was over. I told him I wasn’t interested. Why is this happening to me?

 

Mr. Josh: You’re free to feel how you feel but next time try not to roll your eyes and let him down softly. It takes a lot of courage to ask someone out and it would have been nice for you to recognize that.

 

Students Leader: Yeah but I don’t like him, and he know that why would he ask me out. Ugh that was just dumb.

 

Mr. Josh: You don’t have to like him just try and respect his feelings. You don’t have to feel the same way and feel free to share your point of view.

 

Student Leader: Ok.

 

(Bells ring)

 

End Scene.

 

Act I, Scene III:

 

Setting:            Kids are in and out of the Kids on Course room all afternoon working on classwork. Asking for help. Needing redirection to stay on task. Praising for getting their work done. The last bell rings and the kids sing. The end of the school day signifies an extension of learning and challenges for the students. Chess Club and After school tutoring begins.

 

At Rise:            Students from all grades partake in Chess Club and tutoring. Mostly 6th grade with some 7th and 8th sprinkled in. Making critical thinking something the kids seek and making learning as fun as possible. Growth.

 

Mr. Josh: (Gives instructions) Head inside the room and take a seat. Your day is going to look like this. First, snack will be ready in a moment. Then we’ll go outside for ‘brain break’ and give that head of yours a time out. Once ‘brain break’ is over, the chess club players will come back into my room and set up a board and start playing. Remember chess is a thinking game and silence and patience is encouraged. Slow your mind down. Like chess, life is much the same. For those that are in tutoring you will head to your classroom and you’re teacher will be waiting for you.

 

30 min pass

 

Mr. Josh: Let’s go kids! It’s time to head back inside! Grab the balls! Thank you!

 

10 min pass

 

Chris: I left my coat outside can I go back out and grab it?

 

Mr. Josh: No, I’ll go get it. I want you in class learning.

 

1 hour 30 minutes pass

 

Students are dismissed from Chess Club and Learning Lab. Chaos consumes the Kids on Course room with kids grabbing their bags and projects they were working on. Chess Club students picking up chess boards and chess pieces and helping tidy the room. Buses arrive at 5:00 pm. Time to get the kids calm before the we hop on the bus. It’s been a long day for them. Repeat.

 

 

 

February 8, 2019

The Day and the Life of a Middle School Manager

Cast of Characters:

Mr. Josh: Kids on Course Site Manager at Wilson Middle School.

Martin: A male student in the 7th grade.

Ashley: A female student in the 7th grade.

Sophia: A female student in the 7th grade.

Student Leader: A student with a group of students that follow.

Chris: 6th grade student.

 

Scene:

Various times throughout the school day at Wilson Middle School.

Time:

The present.

 

Act I, Scene I:

 

Setting:            It was a cold winter’s day and all through the school are children laughing and screaming, adults hustling and bustling and the occasional dog lying about wanting nothing but to stretch and fetch. Then, all of a sudden, the fire alarm goes off and the springs in our boots bounce us into action. The wind blowing harsh enough to make us shiver and quiver our whole bodies over. Kids confused, adults disappointed because we know why the alarm was set off. One bad decision. Just a normal day, unexpectedly normal.

 

At Rise:            Mr. Josh is starting his day. He pulls up and parks his car in front to the building and sees the students and staff outside. When it’s time to go back inside he takes off his jacket and whips it around his chair and throws his bookbag on the floor next to his desk. Hits the power button to his two laptops and in comes students needed space to work and talk.

 

Mr. Josh: (Sniffles nose) Kids, I know that it’s still early in the day but now that we are back inside, we need to get to work. What are you working on?

 

Martin: Math. I have to finish this worksheet.

 

Ashley: I’m working on my social studies packet

 

Mr. Josh: Great! Let’s have at it then. Whatever you don’t finish is homework. Take it home and actually work on it. I’ll be checking in with your teachers to see if it’s finished.

 

Martin and Ashley: Yeah, yeah, I know.

 

Sophia: Hey I finished all my work in class can I come in here and hangout.

 

Mr. Josh: Did you get permission from your teacher?

 

Sophia: Yep.

 

Mr. Josh: Then yes that fine. I have students in here working so you need to respect that they need quiet time to work.

 

(Bells ring)

 

End Scene.

 

Act I, Scene II:

 

Setting:            Bells ring and the kid’s wings take flight out the door. Lunch. Kids bursting throughout the halls screaming and yelling. Their favorite part of the day. 1,2,3,4 kids… feels like 20. It’s actually 25. 25 Kids eating in the Kids on Course room. Hardly enough chairs. It’s crowded. Chess games going on. Kids arguing about the rules of UNO. Does anybody really know the actual rules? Kids spilling ‘tea’.

 

At Rise:            Mr. Josh builds relationships with his students during lunch.

 

Mr. Josh: Remember when you’re done eating, you’ll stack your trays and two of you will volunteer to take the trays down to the lunch room.

 

Student Leader: (Speaking loud enough to quiet the room) Mr. Josh we need to talk we have tea.

 

Mr. Josh: I’m all ears! What problem are you having today?

 

Student Leader: (Students following with a snickering smile on their faces) Ok, so this boy said that he like me today and they all heard, and I just rolled my eyes because I though this was over. I told him I wasn’t interested. Why is this happening to me?

 

Mr. Josh: You’re free to feel how you feel but next time try not to roll your eyes and let him down softly. It takes a lot of courage to ask someone out and it would have been nice for you to recognize that.

 

Students Leader: Yeah but I don’t like him, and he know that why would he ask me out. Ugh that was just dumb.

 

Mr. Josh: You don’t have to like him just try and respect his feelings. You don’t have to feel the same way and feel free to share your point of view.

 

Student Leader: Ok.

 

(Bells ring)

 

End Scene.

 

Act I, Scene III:

 

Setting:            Kids are in and out of the Kids on Course room all afternoon working on classwork. Asking for help. Needing redirection to stay on task. Praising for getting their work done. The last bell rings and the kids sing. The end of the school day signifies an extension of learning and challenges for the students. Chess Club and After school tutoring begins.

 

At Rise:            Students from all grades partake in Chess Club and tutoring. Mostly 6th grade with some 7th and 8th sprinkled in. Making critical thinking something the kids seek and making learning as fun as possible. Growth.

 

Mr. Josh: (Gives instructions) Head inside the room and take a seat. Your day is going to look like this. First, snack will be ready in a moment. Then we’ll go outside for ‘brain break’ and give that head of yours a time out. Once ‘brain break’ is over, the chess club players will come back into my room and set up a board and start playing. Remember chess is a thinking game and silence and patience is encouraged. Slow your mind down. Like chess, life is much the same. For those that are in tutoring you will head to your classroom and you’re teacher will be waiting for you.

 

30 min pass

 

Mr. Josh: Let’s go kids! It’s time to head back inside! Grab the balls! Thank you!

 

10 min pass

 

Chris: I left my coat outside can I go back out and grab it?

 

Mr. Josh: No, I’ll go get it. I want you in class learning.

 

1 hour 30 minutes pass

 

Students are dismissed from Chess Club and Learning Lab. Chaos consumes the Kids on Course room with kids grabbing their bags and projects they were working on. Chess Club students picking up chess boards and chess pieces and helping tidy the room. Buses arrive at 5:00 pm. Time to get the kids calm before the we hop on the bus. It’s been a long day for them. Repeat.

 

April 25, 2018

Top 5 Things About Harrison

My Top 5 Favorite things about HarrisoAs my third year at Harrison is starting to wind down it dawns on me that I am no longer “too new” to have an opinion about this place. So without further ado here are my top 5 favorite things about Harrison.

  1. The Students- One of my very favorite things is seeing our students grow into better versions of themselves. Whether that means seeing a kid become confident in their academic abilities or seeing a kid blossom into a leader that other kids follow. Beyond that they make me laugh, they challenge me, and they have taught me skills I didn’t know existed.
  2. Staff- One of the things I really admire about our staff is that they take care of all our kids regardless of whether they are “their” students. I think of the upper level teachers going out of their way to connect with younger siblings of students. On the flip side I see so many of our big kids excitedly hugging the teachers they have had in the past. I could say so many great things about our staff but all the extra love they show students is important in building resilient future adults.
  3. Families- I always brag about how caring and loving the families at Harrison are to my friends and family. What sticks out to me specifically is during the 2016 flood I walked the neighborhood and saw many Harrison families helping other Harrison families, sandbag and move furniture to higher ground. During the most stressful time imaginable people took time to make sure their neighbors would be OK as well, and that’s really cool. On a day to to day basis I’m consistently treated with patience and kindness from all my Harrison families and I appreciate that.
  4. The building- One of the thing that sticks out about Harrison is the architecture, it is gigantic, old, and one of a kind. I have heard kids describe it as a medieval castle, Hogwarts, and “spooky”, like something from Scooby Doo. While all these things might be true I think it’s also important to note it feels like home and a lot it’s quirks make it truly unique.
  5. The Future- I truly feel like every day at Harrison things are getting better, our kids learn new skills, and they are becoming better future citizens. There are things happening in the upcoming years that will continue to improve student outcomes and make staff even more effective. I’m excited to see these things and be a part of them.

Honorable Mention- Mini corndogs are a strong 6th place on this list, every month I scan the lunch menu to look for these. They are culinary magic and I love them.

– Luke Reynolds, Harrison Site Manager

March 2, 2018

The More That You Read, The More Things You Will Know!

“Those are the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why.”

-JRR Tolkien

In a frantic scramble to get things ready for a recent family night I found myself coming to a stop while setting up a book table. Emptying box after box of new books for our kids to take home at the end of the night I was swept up in a wave of nostalgia seeing old favorites that had seemingly transcended the generations. Surely, I thought to myself, kids today can’t still be reading Matt Christopher books!

This line of thinking set me on the path of remembering my favorite books from elementary school.

I wondered, then, what is on the favorites list of current fifth graders? Could there be any crossover from my own list from that age? I polled a random assortment of current Kids on Course fifth graders and compiled a list of overall favorite books (I combined all Diary of a Wimpy Kid votes into the same slot even if the votes were for different books in the series. Jeff Kinney gets enough publicity.)

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney

2. Gregor the Overlander – Suzanne Collins

3. Totally Lame Vampire – Tim Collins

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – JK Rowling

5. Dork Diaries – Rachel Renee Russell

6. I Survived series – Lauren Tarshis

7. Wings of Fire – Tui T Sutherland

8. Wonder – RJ Palacio

9. Maze Runner – James Dashner

10. Smile – Raine Telgemeier

For anyone interested, my list is (in no particular order) Harry Potter (whole series), Hatchet, The Hobbit, A Light in the Attic, Magic Tree House (whole series), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, any number of Goosebumps books, Matt Christopher’s books (but only the ones about soccer), Johnny Tremain, and Scary Stories to tell in the Dark.

-Jerry Logan, Van Buren Site Coordinator