King o’ the Cats

Storytelling shenanigans continue with our extraordinary START volunteers!  We explored stories behind our own names, played a giant Mad Libs game to remind ourselves of the importance of creative and careful word choices in our storytelling, and then worked as a team to act out various parts of an old English fairy tale called “King o’ the Cats”.  MEOW!

START Storytelling Takes Off on Dragons’ Wings

Our delightful START volunteers grabbed us immediately with their dragon tale, and we freshened our understanding of story elements such as plot, mood, character, and setting through a variety of engaging activities.  The whole session was full of laughter . . . and frightful moments . . . and heartbreaking loss of ice cream . . . . and joyful dragon feasts . . . and so much more.  We can’t wait for our next storytelling escapade!

Introducing our Fall START Volunteers!

Have you heard?  It’s time for START to begin!  We welcome our totally awesome Dartmouth students once again, as they infuse our curriculum goals with the arts in their own unique way.  They will be visiting every Tuesday for six weeks starting October 3rd.  The third graders will be jumping for joy to see Autumn from our Animals session is back, and some of our older students will be so excited to catch a glimpse of Emily in the hall after her session with them on Engineering.  Welcome!  We can’t wait to learn with you!

START volunteers Emily, Halley, and Autumn, with Dartmouth HOP Center Outreach Coordinator, the inspiring Mary Gaetz

***Welcome back, Emily!  Emily is a senior government major, French and Chinese minor.  She just spent five months in China and is planning to move back there after graduation to do a year of research.  She is in love with the moon, everything about the moon.  One thing she finds fascinating is that while the stars are different depending on where you are on the globe, the moon is the same.  Ask her for some lunar facts!

***Halley is studying English and education.  She is a senior from Arkansas.  She especially enjoys travel, and when she was growing up, dancing was one of her passions.  Ask her for a little tap dance demo!

***Autumn is a junior psychology major, and she especially loves running, running, running.  She was in 4-H growing up, and she was excited to hear that not only do we know about 4-H around here, but some members of our class have their own farm animals and know about showing.  She had horses and goats in 4-H, and she is from Virginia.  She has just returned from several months studying in India, and she hopes you will ask all about it!

***Don’t forget our wonderful leader, Mary Gaetz!  Mary is the outreach coordinator at the Hopkins Center.  She studied theater, brings lots of children’s theater to the area, and directs plays in the community as well.  She has a husband and two cats, and she grew up in Kansas.


Question:  What is footy?

Answer:  Australian style football!  Check it out!

This week’s START featured Sports Around the World, with plenty of art, acting, and teamwork from us.  A theme of thought is emerging, as each week we discover that people around the world have so much in common even if they don’t speak the same language.  Human beings around the world all appreciate music, have a love of beauty, and enjoy all kinds of play.  Once again, START was a highlight of our week.

Reading various types of graphs, charts, and tables is an important reading skill for us.

This photo expresses the utter engagement of START.  Look at those thinking faces!

Our tremendous volunteers in action!

Music Around the World

Have you ever wondered what is number one on the music charts in Germany, India, or Peru?  Well, in the grand kickoff of our “Current Events Around the World” START session, Elizabeth, Laya, and Max inspired us to move and groove to some international tunes.  We did some comparing and contrasting, wondering, and listening, as well as a LOT of twirling, trotting, hopping, and expressing.  Thank you, START volunteers, for sharing your passion for the beautiful world!

START Starts, and We Can’t Wait!

Guess who I met today!  Our new START team is sizzling with energy and ideas, and they are ready to meet the second and third grade “world travelers”!

We are all excited about the theme for the six weeks of winter START–Current Events Around the World.  We are hoping to connect with our classmate Natalie’s travels to broaden our understanding of inventions, cultures, happenings, the arts, and more from many different places.  Keep watching our blog to see what happens next Thursday on our first day together.

Until then, meet our volunteers!

Max says, “I am a freshman from Oregon.  I am interested in studying computer science and music, and my hobbies include piano and singing.  After high school, I took a gap year to travel by myself around the world.  I especially like the outdoors, so I explored many mountains.  Some of the places I went include Iceland, a road trip across Canada in the winter (brrr!), and taking trains through the English countryside to search for long-lost relatives.  I created a five song album and a music video about my adventures.”

Elizabeth introduces herself, “I am a sophomore from the suburbs of Chicago.  I am in the pre-med track at Dartmouth, and my goal is to become a pediatrician.  I volunteer a lot with young people to help me toward my goal.  I am studying biology and Spanish.  Some of my hobbies include piano and dance.  I like all kinds of dancing, especially modern, contemporary, and jazz.”

And here is Laya–“I am a sophomore from the San Francisco Bay area of California.  I am into building iPhone apps, and I also enjoy sculpting and painting.  I am in the computer science track for now.  Moving across the country for college has been really exciting for me, and I encourage you to try that someday and to have open minds about exploring new places when you have the chance.”