What We're All About

CU Students have teamed together this year to learn through exploration how to manipulate many different instructional technologies. In time we hope to branch out and share our knowledge with other educators and peers.
We'd like to serve as a resource to our fellow future educators and professors of Education who would like to put that SmartBoard to use in their classroom, or learn how to use podcasts in the classroom as tools for parent involvement or student assessments. The possibilities are endless!
Your local Clemson Geek Squad


Club 2:45 After School Project Thoughts/Experiences

We'd like you to document your experiences at Club 2:45 as thoroughly as you can. Please include your thoughts prior to your visit (nervous, excited...etc.). How were you treated by the staff/teachers - were they welcoming?; helpful?; not useful? How were the students? What did you do? What would you do differently? What would you recommend to those who have yet to go? What are you planning on doing next time? Please provide as much reflection as possible!


Elyse said...

Visited: Monday, October 22, 2007
This is my fourth year at Clemson Elementary After School Program, so I was exciting to see a different after school care program. I arrived at 2:30, so I could talk to someone before the students came. The doors are locked until 2:45, so I waited and walked door to door in the rain for 15 minutes. In other words, there is no reason to be there before 2:45. Go straight to the office and sign in on the computer. You will see the computer when you walk into the office. Click on the Clemson University option, type your name, and hit no print. The students are broken up by grade and work on homework until 3:45.
I followed fourth grade. We started on the stage in the gym and worked on homework. Then we went to a new art program. Final stop was music. They are undergoing some changes with the scheduling, so the transition from center to center was confusing for students, staff, and volunteers. The students were relatively well behaved considering the scheduling confusion and that they are required to quietly focus on various subjects depending on the center after a full day of school.
Next time, I would help with homework, but then I float from center to center to see what all is offered—trying to find a balance between observing and helping. I did not work with or witness the use of technology besides the keyboards in music center and the computer used to sign in and out, so I would try to find a center where technology is currently being utilized or where technology could be integrated.

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony said...

Visited: Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This was my first time visiting the Code after school program. I was a little nervous at first, but after I got there and started seeing people I know the nervousness went away. I arrived around 3:45 after getting lost trying to find the school. There are so many roads around the school so it is easy to make a wrong turn. After finally getting there, I signed in on the laptop at Club 2:24 office. There was no one at the office to show me around so a teacher got one of the students to take me to one of the computer labs. At the computer lab, I helped 4th and 3rd grade students with a PowerPoint assignment they had. The students had to look up information on a state they were assigned and make a PowerPoint out it. I was surprised at how well some of the students could use PowerPoint. The students that left the computer lab then went to a Lego lab, which I thought was pretty cool. We never used Legos to learn when I was in school. So far, the computer lab has been the only center where they used technology that I have worked with. Next time I plan on finding other centers where the students work with technology. I would recommend if it is your first time going to leave a little early just in case you get lost. You may also want to stay with the group of students you start off with. I changed groups so I had to adjust to new students all over again.

Bridget said...

I was really looking forward to my first trip to Code Elementary to see the new Club 245 that I've heard all about. I was all prepared that morning to head straight to the school after leaving my placement at McLees Elementary in Anderson. I printed directions off and everything, but little good that did me when I realized I had left them on my kitchen table later that afternoon. I can not tell you how I made it to the school; I had already given up and was just trying to make my way back home through the back roads of Seneca (what an experience, but that is a whole other story). Out of no-where I saw the signs for Code Elementary and entered through the first entrance I came to. This apparently wasn't the parking lot we were supposed to be in because the doors were locked, but a kind woman opened the door for me when she saw me peeking through the door trying to get an idea of where I needed to be. She was one of the custodians and was oh so helpful. She was a sweet older lady also, and apologized for talking funny because she had just put a piece of candy in her mouth (I didn't need to know that but that is how sociable this lady was). When I asked her how to get to Club 245 she attempted telling me "turn left, then right, then straight through the gym..." and realized I was already lost so she put her mop down and guided me through the halls in the right direction. I was very appreciative for her patience and helpfulness. Unfortunately I eventually found out Anna Baldwin was not around that day (It was a Friday), so I only stayed for a few minutes. I found the children and faculty congregated in the gym having a lecture about responsibility and good behavior. I introduced myself to some Code Elementary teachers and made sure to leave a message for Miss Baldwin that I had stopped by and look forward to my next visit. The children seemed respectful while the speaker was talking to them, but you could tell they were growing antsy. I left about 15 minutes after my arrival unfortunately. Nobody could tell me where I should go or what I was supposed to be doing - and I had no idea either. When I first walked in I was a little nervous they were going to pawn a group of kids off on me when I didn't even know my way around the school yet. Hopefully when we come in the future we are not expected to be Leaders of a group, but rather helpers and observers. I didn't realize until this trip that I need a little more information on what the expectations are for when we visit Club 245 in the future.

Sarah said...

Visits: October 18, 2007 and November 1, 2007.
For my first visit to Code Elementary, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was excited to see how this after school program worked even though I got really lost and had to call the school on the way there! MapQuest directions can be fairly confusing! After arriving, a teacher directed me in the right direction for the program. I walked in to find Ms. Anna and another teacher with a group of second and fifth graders. They were working on homework so I helped the second graders with math. After working on homework for about an hour, they broke into groups for sessions. Ms. Anna sent me with a group of second graders because the session they were going to was led by a lady who I know from home, Katie Holmes. At first, it was me and another teacher leading the group. Then, while we stopped for everyone to go the bathroom, the teacher handed me the schedule and left me with about 10 second graders. I was slightly overwelmed because I didn't know my way around the school, and I had just met the children. Thankfully we were right by the computer lab, so we just went right in there. There was really no lesson; the kids were just allowed to play games on different websites. I spent most of my time helping the students type in websites or find games. When it was time for us to go, I had no idea where to go, so Ms. Holmes helped me find out what to do next. Ms. Anna met us because the kids were going to her class next. We then went to another computer lab where the kids were allowed to go to a specific educational website and play games there. Again, I just assisted in typing web addresses and finding games. After this session, the kids got ready to go home. From my observations, this after school program is pretty chaotic and still being organized. It was pretty crazy when we were switching session, and the kids were a little hard to handle at times. The kids really enjoyed interacting with technology through the internet games.
On my next visit, I helped the same group of second graders with homework. This time, it was just Ms. Anna, me, and another volunteer. The kids were particularly rowdy this day, possibly because it was the day after Halloween. I went with the same group to the computer lab where they again were allowed to visit one of two websites to play educational games. Then they went to Ms. Anna's class who decided to just take them outside to play. Since that was all she was going to do, I went back to the computer lab to talk with Ms. Holmes about possibly doing something with Google Earth with her older student groups. They are working on State projects using power point. I thought we might could use Google Earth to look at the capitols, etc. of the states. I'm going to download it and play around with it to see what we might can do with that. I plan to communicate with the teacher and try to plan something for my next visit.

Jennifer said...

I visited Code Elementary School on Monday, October 22, 2007 also. Overall it was a good experience. I arrived at the school around 2:35 and I was not sure where we were supposed to enter, but a parent ended up helping me through the front door so that I was able to get inside. The faculty was very friendly. One teacher helped me find the club 245 office because I obviously had no idea where I was going. Once I found it I singed in and met with Anna. She assigned me to go to the group in the media center to help with homework.
I believe the children in my group were third graders. The homework secession was pretty chaotic at first. The students were quite rowdy, and it was hard to get them to settle down stay quiet. After some discussion between the students and the Club 245 staff member the students calmed down. I observed for a little while, but then I was asked to help with homework because there were so many students, so I helped a few students with their social studies and spelling words. I really enjoyed talking with them. Then my group broke into two smaller groups to go to their sessions. This became a little crazy because people were everywhere and it got pretty confusing, but as Elyse said they are working out the transition kinks, so it is understandable. The lesson I went to was about muscles and bones. It was pretty interesting. The students talked with the teacher about what they are and how the work at first and then they did a song/dance to help them understand the concepts. Lastly they watched the Magic School Bus episode about muscles on the smart board. This was a great opportunity for me to see the technology in action. Overall it was a good experience and I am very excited to be able to see more of the program next time.

Taylor Davis said...

My First Visit to Code Elementary

I was really nervous when I first went to Code mainly because I got directions on Mapquest and I was really confused. However, I talked to some others who had been there before and was able to get there very easily. When I first arrived I was greeted by the director who was very friendly and she showed me how to sign in and where to go. I went into a fourth grade room that had about 12 kids. They were going to stay in this room for about 45 minutes until they went to their next activity. Most of the kids were in the same class and had the same homework so it was really easy to help all of them at one time when they had a problem. There was an instructor in this room that was probably a couple of years older than I was that was very helpful in showing me how the program usually ran. After we did homework we took the kids to the library to work on their videos. Before they are able to start recording they are learning the basics about videoing and editing. The instructor had a worksheet for them to do on editing and after going over what editing meant and why its important the students started the worksheet and did a very good job with them. After they were through we went over the worksheet together and explained why some things were errors. I really enjoyed the experience and I can't wait to go back! I think they are very organized and keep the kids busy and learning all the time. However, I would really like to see more of the technology implemented and I hope that I will be able to help in doing this. I saw the microscopes in the office untouched and I think it would be really neat to get the kids excited about using them and other technological learning tools. I felt really comfortable with the kids I was working with. They all wore name tags and I knew all their names after about 15 minutes. I think they were excited to see a new face and we seemed to really connect, I hope to maybe go more often than once a week!

Bridget N. Rollings said...

I just got back from Club 245 and I had an awesome time. I was only there for about an hour and a half, and honestly the first hour was actually pretty rough. It was a little hectic; I was a new face and children didn't know how to respond to me; many of the children were very cold towards me and a little disrespectful. I couldn't figure out what role I was expected to take on, and I didn't feel it was my place do be a disciplinarian, but it was a little out of control around there and not what I'm used to in the After-school setting so I was constantly tempted to step in. When we went to the computer lab with the group of second graders to work on their state projects, things started to look up. I sat next to a young boy who was researching the state of Texas. At first he lacked any motivation to be working on the project and he kept asking me to type things in and look them up for him. "You tell me" and "Will you just do it?" were two phrases I heard a lot. It was hard for me to find a purpose for the activity if he didn't give a rip about it. Since he really didn’t like typing the words in I offered to show him the cut and paste trick so he could find the information on the webpage and transfer it into the document template. He thought this was cool because he learned a new trick, and he started really searching for the answers on the webpage (this still took letter recognition and reading skills). It only took one demonstration of how to use the feature and he had it down. After completing the template with all the necessary information we agreed that the page looked boring, so I offered to show him how we could add a heading at the top. We used the WordArt feature to make a fun colorful heading that said Texas. He LOVED this and kept adding new ones. Ask Sarah... He covered the page in the word Texas using the WordArt. He was so pumped about that project he didn't even care about playing the games all the other children were playing after they finished. It was so nice to see his change in attitude. We ended up having a good time, and I almost let him get to me when he was so bummed with the project. I'm glad we found a way to get him interested. It was a great experience; I am looking forward to the next one!

Sarah said...

I visited Club 245 for the third time on November 15. Things went pretty well during my visit! I was asked to help with the third graders during homework time. It was fairly unorganized and the kids were a little rowdy. I wasn't sure when to step in for discipline reasons. I ended up helping students with language arts and definitions. They were a fun group, and I enjoyed helping out! After that, I went with a group of second graders to the computer lab. Because I had been with this group on my two previous visits, I was a familiar face to them. They worked on finishing their state projects which consisted of researching and documenting information about their state in Microsoft Word and cutting and pasting the state flag. I was able to help one little boy find his information and explain cut & paste to him which he thought was pretty cool. It was great to see his enthusiasm about using these programs and features! I had hoped to coordinate with the teacher doing the state projects and find a way to incorporate Google Earth. Although that didn't work out for this semester, I am very excited to find a way to introduce a new technology next semester. I feel much more comfortable around the kids and staff and look forward to helping out again next semester.

Jennifer said...

Second visit on Monday October 29 and third visit on Thursday November 15.
My second visit was interesting! When I arrived at Club 245 I was assigned to work with the second graders this week. It was interesting because the other woman I was working with had never worked at club 245 before, so since it was my second time and I at least knew what was going on I was guiding her instead of the other way around. I learned a lot and it really helped me to think on my toes and help make sure everyone was where they were supposed to be and everything went okay. The first thing we did was work on homework. I mainly worked with one student who was having trouble telling time. We had fun and I helped him come up with little things that helped him remember different times on the clock. I enjoyed working with him. Then we went to the computer lab. I was really excited about this because I was going to get to see the children interacting with technology! I was amazed at how much they knew and how well they could guide themselves through the computer. They played educational games that helped them build their math skills. It was really cool and the students really enjoyed it which shows how technology helps to keep them engaged.
Then my next visit was a few weeks later. This time I worked with fourth grade again. This experience has not only helped me see technology in action, but it has also helped me reinforce the choice I made of early childhood education. I just connected better with the second graders than I did with the fourth. The fourth graders were also more out of control just like they were last time. Once we got down to business and they started doing homework things went much better. I helped a few different students with subjects such as math, spelling, and social studies. Then today we went to the game room for the first lesson. In here they had Wii's for the children to play, crossword puzzles, and other board games. It was different seeing the students in this setting than in the more educational ones. I enjoyed interacting with them and having fun. The Wii shows that there is lots of technology evident within this school setting even though the Wii is not 100% educational. Overall I have felt that I have had a great experience at Code Elementary and I have learned some things that will stay with me and that I can use later on in my teaching career.