Back when we first mapped out how we would conduct the Toa Nafasi tuition sessions, Vumi and I thought it was best we do a week of literacy followed by a week of numeracy. We decided that we would keep switching the lessons up like that in order that the students focus on an academic subject for a few days, enough to build a foundation of knowledge so that they don’t quickly forget, but not too much to become routine and boring.
Then, we thought it would be cool to turn Fridays into ziada (recreational) days in which the kids could do fun but educational activities. This would promote non-scholastic qualities important to the development of a well-rounded child: communication, cooperation, participation, critical thinking, appropriate social skills and self-management....you get the drift.
To that end, I went on a buying binge at Barnes and Noble while I was home this past Fall and stocked up on puzzles, mix n' match games, and various other fun stuff. (My nutty sister insisted I buy an origami kit, so we'll see if these youngsters can fold a paper crane....actually, it's a good test as to whether they can follow 2-step directions, so I shouldn't call Julia out on this odd choice....)
So now, Fridays are indeed furahi-days (happy days) in which the kids revel with the new toys and learn some new concepts through play. Check out the scene below:
You can see that in the video, one of our students, Danny, kinda bogarts the putting together of the puzzle, but his assertiveness and big smile are such a tremendous change from the way we found him last year that neither Vumi nor Yacinta (a new TTNP hire!) has the heart to tell him to let the others have a chance. Perhaps we can make that part of next week’s TGIF lesson: sharing is caring!