At the schools, we’ve talked about the kids’ growing “emotional keyboard,” and our role as mentors in teaching the kids how to express themselves. This wheel might be a great tool to use to help your mentee put words on … Continue reading →
Here is a great resource on how to draw practically anything – this can be useful both for mentors discovering their artistic side, and for mentees that want to push themselves a little further! This series is inspired by children’s books, and includes tips on drawing alien invasions, thumbprint finches (check it out), sloths, anything really…
This is what I mean by thumb finch. Now say “thumb finch” very fast 5 times.
Montreal is famous for its cultural scene, and while as students we may be very busy, it would be a crime not to spare an afternoon or an evening per semester to enjoy what the city has to offer.
The magazine VOIR’s cultural calendar lists theatre productions, art exhibits, concerts and more on a daily basis. The calendar itself is in French, but a few of its listings are of English-language shows, while the links to art exhibits are usually in both French and English.
The English-Language Arts Network is a fantastic resource to discover English-speaking artists from Montreal and Quebec, and also to keep up with events within the anglophone artistic community.
A personal favourite of mine is the famous Belgo Building, just a few minutes’ walk away from McGill’s downtown campus, and filled with dozens of art galleries and artists’ studios – you can just walk in and explore new talent. To know more about what goes on in the Belgo, you can check out their gorgeous website, The Belgo Report.
“Conte de fée” by Mirana Zuger, exhibited at L’Espace Robert Poulin in the Belgo in 2014
VOLCANOES. They’re so cool, right? Not from up close, of course. I’m pretty sure your mentee would agree with you.
Here is an incredibly detailed article from The Guardian elaborating on the myriad ways for you and your mentee to learn about volcanoes together (with links). As this is a UK Newspaper, you might have to make a few adaptations to make their suggestions more relevant to our context – such as which volcanoes are closest to Canada, for example.
One thing the article fails to mention is the mythology behind volcanoes. Many cultures have specific myths and stories about volcanoes – if your mentee is into it, a cool project would be to look up and compare these myths!
It’s getting a little toasty here, don’t you think?
Guest post by Elizabeth Bogart, HZ volunteer and Daycare Coordinator for HZ’s Spag Nights
The second Spaghetti Night of the new year is this Thursday!
As the Daycare Coordinator for HZ’s Spaghetti Nights, I look forward to the first Thursday of each month–it is always the highlight of my week.
It’s great to see the bond between the children and our volunteers grow stronger as both keep coming back to Spaghetti Nights every month. In January we had over 20 children come to our event with their parents! There were a couple intense matches of hockey and soccer in the gym and some pretty crafty origami took place upstairs.
This week, we’re lining up some themed activities for Spaghetti Night, as it’s almost Valentine’s Day! Baking might also be in the cards for this Thursday. In all, it will be yet another entertaining evening–just perhaps more pink than usual!
Here’s another great pre-writing activity that uses a thesaurus to help strengthen vocabulary choices. Why is this important? Because kids have a tendency to use the same words over and over when they write. A carefully chosen synonym will add sparkle to any writing assignment. By teaching your children to choose appropriate synonyms, you’ll help them expand their writing vocabulary, making their compositions, reports, and poems much more fun to read
The vast majority of Homework Zone’s volunteers aren’t native to Montreal, and many use the program as an opportunity to break out of the dreaded McGill Bubble. This is one of many posts that should keep you abreast of Montreal life – mais il n’y a rien de mieux que d’apprendre un peu plus de français!
We’ve touched on the topic of emotional intelligence during the Orientation and even in some of the schools. This NPR report delves more deeply in the issue, exploring two new-ish programs in the U.S. designed to teach emotional intelligence: how to interpret one’s own feelings, how to communicate them to others, and how to recognize discomfort in others. Even as adults, we still learn how to do that!
From The Atlantic, a nice reflection piece on the importance of valuing the joy of learning. You can read here.
Here’s an excerpt:
Building on a child’s ability to feel joy, rather than pushing it aside, wouldn’t be that hard. It would just require a shift in the education world’s mindset. Instead of trying to get children to buckle down, why not focus on getting them to take pleasure in meaningful, productive activity, like making things, working with others, exploring ideas, and solving problems? These focuses are not so different from the things to which they already gravitate and in which they delight.