This past Thursday was “Take Your Child to Work Day.” Arianna, my 3 1/2 year old daughter came into school around noon. Fran and I figured that a full day may be a bit much this year, so we eased her in. Right off the bat, Arianna wanted to play with the computers in school. Actually, she wanted to play with the computers once we got off the elevator…she really like to use elevators. I have a small room to use for storage and desk space right off of a computer lab, she has played on the computers there before.
Before I let her on the computers, I took her over to our Elementary School. Arianna was excited to go over, I had taken her there earlier this year to a story walk they had for the kids. She was asking what she could do, recalling the events of the story walk and wanting to repeat them.
Our first stop was the cafeteria, she sat with some of the Kindergartners and had a bot of lunch, she enjoys being around kids. Most of the kids in our neighborhood are older and very busy after school, so she does not get the opportunity very often to play with others. She was very excited, yet a bit nervous due to the large number of kids in the cafeteria. She got over it quickly.
I started my rounds in the building as Technology Integrator, with Arianna in tow. We first stopped in the Kindergarten room with the SMART table. She quickly picked up how to manipulate the information on the table, she focused on dinosaurs one of her favorite topics. She also showed some staff members how she uses her iPod Touch, flipping through a few games I was showing them.
We stopped in another kindergarten room, one with a Polyvision Eno Board. She went and sat with other students and looked through books with them. I had to reset the orientation on the Eno board, which drew Arianna’s attention. She came over and wanted to touch the plus signs to align the board. Many were too tall, so I aligned the board, then turned the pen over to her. She drew on the board for a bit, then we had no move on.
We stopped and visited some other classes and staff, before making it up to a Second Grade classroom. Arianna jumped right in and sat and listened to a story the class was reading. She participated outside on an Earth Day scavenger hunt, and shared what she found with the class. We worked our way up to First Grade where she sat and watched a Maya and Miguel Earth Day video with the classes.
We eventually made it back to the High School, she made a bookmark while I worked with a teacher on how to set up her room with an LCD projector for her laptop. After this stop we ended up back in the computer lab. Arianna once again focused on the computers, picking out the one she normally uses when in the lab. She played a couple of quick games on Starfall, her favorite is “The Snowman Game.”
She then asked to type on her blog. I logged her in and asked what she wanted to “blog about.” Her response was the Earth Day Scavenger Hunt, which I typed into the title. I went about getting ready to go home, it was after 3:30 PM by this time. I let her type on her own, with an occasional intervention when she realizes that she has clicked somewhere she shouldn’t and things are amiss. I watched Arianna type, staying far enough away that she would not be distracted. She is coming along very well. She put both hands on the keyboard to type, and she was talking about what she did as she typed. She recalled the details of her day, and commenting on each event. I moved closer and asked her what she enjoyed most from the day. She answered as she typed, and seemed to add it to her post. When she was done, she moved the cursor over the publish button, which she recognized from past experience and asked if she could click on the button. With one mouse click her post was published and she was happy. I showed her what the post looked like by hitting the “View Post” hypertext. She clapped and was very pleased with her work.
If you go to her post, there are no words on the page, just a mishmash of letters and numbers. Her blog is located here. The important thing is she enjoyed what she did during the day. Arianna recalled the details of her day, was able to answer questions as to what she did and what she liked. She also created a file to share with the world. It may be a bunch of gibberish, but someday she can look back and see how she started her journey in life, and hopefully her blog will eventually become understandable and coherent, maybe even eloquent. As her father, her efforts are already all of those things to me.