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2008 Waveplace Pilot Plan

  1. Each pilot will be ten weeks long
  2. Each week should have three hour-long classes, preferable Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, to allow for the students to explore on their own between classes.
  3. Each class should have three adult mentors present so they can better help the children during the class. (Our goal is a one to seven teacher/student ratio)
  4. At the beginning of each class, one of the mentors will present the day's lesson, which should take no more than ten to twenty minutes. Each lesson will cover very small bites.
  5. At the end of the lesson, a specific objective related to the lesson will be presented ... a challenge for the children to work on at their own pace.
  6. After the lesson, children will spend the rest of the hour working on their storybooks or the challenges, with the three mentors circulating from child to child, helping and guiding.
  7. Think of the lesson as simply introducing ideas. We don't expect most children to really understand what's being taught during the lesson. It's a look ahead.
  8. Later, as the children work on their storybooks or the challenges, the mentors will remind children individually (or in small groups) of tasks and steps from the lessons.
  9. The overall goal of the pilot will be for the children to create their own storybooks on the laptops. Challenges are optional elements, which can be attempted at any time during the pilot.
  10. Children should be given a "starfish" whenever they complete a challenge. Someone should keep a book with a page for each child, listing each challenge the child completes. (Starfish stickers would be great)
  11. The mentors should tell the group when a child finishes a challenge, and should tell everyone who has the most starfish, etc. This is to motivate the children to try more challenges.
  12. From time to time, the mentors should highlight one of the children by having other children look at their storybook. This is to get the group thinking creatively.
  13. Challenges should be thought of as bonuses, not requirements. If a child makes a storybook without any challenges, they're still doing good. It's all positive.
  14. Some special prize should be promised for the three children with the highest number of starfish at the end of the pilot.
  15. Given that there will be thirty classes (three a week for ten weeks), there will be thirty lessons and thirty challenges. Solving half the challenges should be considered very good.

Mentor Training and Time

  1. For each of the thirty lessons, there will be a ten minute video and one "lesson page" (no more than one page)
  2. The video will show the lesson's concepts and objective clearly, as mentors and children can do themselves in Etoys
  3. The lesson page will outline tasks to learn in the lesson and will also present the lesson's optional challenge
  4. Prior to a given day's lesson, each mentor should:
    a) watch the video (10 minute)
    b) read the lesson page (5 minutes)
    c) try the lesson on their own (30 minutes) ... CRUCIAL!
    d) talk with the other mentors (15 minutes)
  5. In pilots that begin with a week-long mentor workshop, each trainee spends this time in the workshop.
  6. For pilots without a workshop, mentors learn on their own.
  7. Collectively, this means each lesson should require no more than an hour's preparation per mentor. For many lessons, this will likely require less time.
  8. All together, this means each mentorr will spend two hours per lesson, or six hours per week, or sixty hours total.
  9. These numbers should all be considered averages for the purpose of planning and budgeting. Some days will be more and some days will be less.

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Call For Mentors


Waveplace on NPR