Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 2011: Meet Emmy Meinke, an AmeriCorps Member with Girls Inc. of Alameda County


America Learns Strategy of the Month 
Girls Inc. of Alameda County


Meet Emmy
Around our office, Emmy has become known as Emmy “Effective Flexibility” Meinke.

This Girls Inc. of Alameda County AmeriCorps member provides us with an awesome model of what being an aware, responsive educator and mentor can look like. 

Emmy Meinke - Girls Inc. of Alameda County AmeriCorps Member

Effective Flexibility
Emmy created a beautiful opportunity to help her kindergarteners put words to and vocalize their feelings and emotions.

We’re highlighting Emmy’s strategy not only because the activity itself is great, but because Emmy models the process of what strong educators and mentors do when they initially have one objective for their students and then realize that their students aren’t yet ready to meet that objective head on.

A Bit More on Emmy
”I chose to work with Girls Inc.,” she told us, “because I have always wanted to be a teacher; but, before I went back to school, I wanted to have concrete experience.”

Emmy started serving with Girl's Inc.'s after-school program last August.  The goal of the program is to give extra literacy-related support to girls who are struggling in class.

“I was placed in a Spanish/English bilingual school and started working with their kindergarten girls,” writes Emmy.  “My time with kindergarten has been great. Part of my love for teaching in a kindergarten after school program is the ability to meet their academic needs as well as teach social skills, positive decision-making and self respect. . . .  I think it is important for kindergartners to understand the importance of caring for others and yourself.”

Emmy’s Strategy

Learning to Understand & Express Emotions

Created by: Emmy Meinke, Girls Inc. of Alameda County
America Learns Network member since June 2010
Topics: Understanding & Expressing Emotions
English Language Learners
Group Cooperation
Grade Level: Pre-K; Kindergarten
Arrangements: One-on-One; Small Group; Large Group
  • Emmy’s lesson plan (PDF; Word)
  • Strongly recommended: Dr. Seuss’ My Many Colored Days
  • Paint
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Newspaper or butcher paper to protect the tables

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Situation: The group of girls that I am working with right now are very shy. A few of them didn't speak to me for a while.

During a unit in which we were learning to give each other "I Messages," I realized that my students didn't understand or couldn't vocalize their emotions. 

I decided to spend some time during the first part of the year working on expression and feeling comfortable around each other.  This strategy describes one of the activities I led to accomplish our goals while also giving the students reading and writing practice.
Download the Lesson Plan: After reviewing the lesson plan (PDF; Word) and determining how to adapt the strategy for your own students, try to get a hold of My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. 

If you're unable to get the book, check out these sample pages from the story and consider making your own color pages to share with your students.  For example, you may want to color a page yellow and add a huge smiley face to it, and then color another page blue and add a calm or an unhappy expression to it.

This lesson can be done over 1 or 2 days.

NOTE FROM AMERICA LEARNS: If you read these strategies often, you’ll find that this one is in a very different format.  Girls Inc. of Alameda County has its AmeriCorps members submit formal lesson plans each week.  The attached doc (PDF; Word) Emmy’s lesson plan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So cool!