In an earlier blog, I referred to Elaine Reese, a child psychologist who measured emerging narrative identities of 40 month old children. The validity of her study is corroborated by other researchers and I am satisfied. I therefore direct my task to compiling best practices of ERE and to suggest settings that can lead to ERE events with GLOBE content. My hope is that parents will imagine the applicability of one or more of these settings, make them happen, and share their success stories for other parents to emulate.
This blog shall serve to chronicle community action in filling career paths to Math, Aerospace, and Research in the Sciences, the Pre-K -- 20 MARS Pipeline, marked by the beginning and ending points in Ryukyu Montessori School (RMS) and Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST). As a real example of community action in Japan, future blogs will include GLOBE learning activities in the primary, secondary, and tertiary segments of this pipeline, engaging both American and Japanese parents, teachers, and students, and celebrated every November in the Science Festival hosted by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST). Parents will be connected to networks such as GLOBE, Space Foundation, and others that will help them keep their children in the MARS Pipeline despite family moves.
Setting 1. Suggested GLOBE Activity at OIST that could then be made an ERE event.
An ERE event is a reference point used in the recall of a segment of children stories about themselves. A birthday party, a Christmas photo shoot with Santa, or a fight over some toy in the playground--any of these can be the starting point of an extended conversation. Instead of a random event, we can set a GLOBE event. Rule No. 1: It has to be a fun event.
At OIST, the top floor of an empty parking structure offers a good spot to view Cloud Cover over Onna. The campus is open on most weekends to the community, and families can plan a picnic on its grounds. Unless there is a university event, the top floors of the parking structure are usually empty.
On a day in April or October, spread a blue picnic blanket and enjoy a snack or lunch. Then do Ring Around a Rosy and instruct that, on the third fall, "we all stay down and face north." Name the clouds. Do another Ring Around a Rosy. Talk about satellites that take pictures of clouds looking down. The scientists monitoring the satellites warn us about storms based on these pictures. We help them by taking pictures of clouds looking up. Use GLOBE Observer app and show the child how the app helps in taking pictures.
At bedtime over several days, get the children to tell their stories, using the GLOBE event as reference. Intersperse facts with feelings. Rule No. 2: Children are assisted to tell their stories. Give them words to choose from when naming their feelings.
"Which one was more fun, the first Ring Around a Rosy or the second one?"
"The second one."
"I fell down too hard the first time around and hurt my head. I said, 'OUCH'"
"Do you remember what your sister did when you cried in pain?"
"She squeezed my hand and said, "Be careful. There's some smart brain in that head."
"How did you feel when she said that?"
"The pain went away. I felt happy my sister thought I was smart."
"Do you remember doing something like that to her?"
"Yes. She fell on her face and I told her to be careful and take care of that pretty face."
"Now you know how she felt when you said she had a pretty face."
"Her pain must have gone away, like mine did. She was back on her feet in no time."
"How did you feel then?"
"I guess, I felt good. I did not give it much thought."
The child's attention span may cut this extended conversation into segments. Help must be directed to enable the child to retell the whole event.
On the clouds we saw that day, what names of clouds do you remember?
We made estimates of how much cloud covered the sky. Do you remember?
We also reported whether the clouds were transparent, translucent, or opaque. What do these words mean?