Although the girls understood that there was going to be a new facilitator, I was still nervous. I thought of so many ways to present myself: nice, funny, or even strict. It was nerve wrecking. Fortunately, Marilee , their previous facilitator, instructed them very well.
Badges had been introduced during their previous class, so they were excited to know when the first badge was going to be awarded. I told them that during the first week the Communication Badge was going to be awarded. I also had them read and explain the criteria so they would understand better.
The girls began class a little shy, but throughout the day their attitudes changed. I decided to let them vote on the activity for the day; the options were either building straw bridges or making slime. All of them voted for slime. They worked as a team:
First, Lesly helped me set up the equipment. But the other girls wanted to help too so I gave them each a different task. They each read a step and completed what it said; then, as Jade read the instructions, Denise would follow them and complete the step. I was amazed at how they understood each other, sometimes without using words. The girls were interested in knowing exactly what made the slime stretch more or make it “softer” like Jade said. So I allowed them to experiment it themselves.
Here Jade decides to submerge her slime into water and borax. When I asked her what had happened to it, she said, “It became softer.”
Lesly had something a little different in mind. She wanted to know how far her slime would stretch without breaking. Her conclusion was , “the more I have it in my hands the faster it breaks.”
They then helped me clean up and we headed to lunch where we got to tell each other what we liked and what we didn’t. By that time the girls seemed more relaxed and laughed much more than at the beginning. When I asked who thought they deserved the Communication Badge they all raised their hand, but of course they all made sure to look over the criteria first. Towards the end we played charades and hang man: There the girls really let themselves go. As they shared their journals I realized that I didn’t have to be so nervous because they thought that having a new member in their group wasn’t so bad. Knowing that they felt comfortable with me and that they had fun learning makes me look forward to the future classes with my curious explorers!