Who are we > Coach
Coach René de Vries
[ Who am I ]
[ Conclusion ]
name is Rene de Vries. I am teacher of grade 6 of primary school De
Wadden - location Molenwijk - in Haarlem, Netherlands.
Since the beginning of Dutch
ThinkQuest Junior, my students participate each year in this internet
contest. My students made in total more than [ 60 websites
] . Last year I did not know if I would like to continue with ThinkQuest.
But when my school received a special award and when I heard the
questions of my students, I thought by myself: why not. Because it is
true: in the first week of this new school year, my students came to my
desk and asked me: "Mr. Rene, we do join ThinkQuest again, don't
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In the first week of October we decided to quit the project. In that same week I told my students that I would take some extra days vacation end of October, because I would go to Kenya for 2 weeks. My students started to yell: "Why don't we make a website about your work in Kenya."
My first thoughts were: yes, why not... but... wouldn't it be a kind of child labor when I let them make a children's website for the foundation? Well, I thought: NO. It would give an extra dimension to their internet contest. However, I told them that they had to think it over very carefully and that we would discuss it after my return from Kenya.
November it became clear to me that the students wanted to do this
project: making a website about Africa and Kenya. So we made again
working groups: this time 5.
During the weeks after our decision to make the website as it is now, we discussed the content of the total website: Africa pages, Kenya pages, raising money for FUSP...
In January I told them that our school was approached by two volunteers of Novib. They asked us to do a new project with Novib. We told them we were willing to co-operate, so my students and I agreed that we would pay attention to this project as well.
Since the end of December my students started to write in their week journals. Each week each team has to write down what they did during that week. They could submit it in a kind of online diary. If you can read Dutch, then we would like to invite you to read their stories.
My students are
smart and they know that since the beginning of Dutch ThinkQuest Junior
my students make it to the finals with at least one team. Their target
is to be a finalist too: they would like to go to the theme park
Efteling in June 2006.
Well, with such a wonderful attitude, for me my students are already winners!
I coached my students as usual (as I did the last several years): I explained them how they could scan drawings / photos, I explained resolution of photos, we worked with Frontpage, discussed the importance of having a good source page, etc. My students worked on the project during some Geography and Biology hours but most of the work is done after school hours: at home or in my classroom.
discussed the lay-out of the website. Since we would write about FUSP
and the Kenyan schools, we thought it would be important that the Kenyan
students can read this website too. That is the main reason why I
translated the complete Dutch website into English.
My students said that it was no problem to design a website as it is now. They thought too that most important thing is that children in Kenya can read their website.
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What are the learning targets for my group
main target of the Novib project is to make students in upper grades of
primary schools more global thinking. You have to agree with me, that my
students met these target! They did a wonderful job the last few months.
The students did what I expected them to do: great job kids!
My own learning objective was to see how I could motivate students in my grade to be more global thinkers. And I can tell you crystal clear: they are!
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did my students learn more?
In present days, when kids
in Holland can have access to internet, to computer games, to mobile
phones, and more... in this time of comfort and enough money it was a
good moment that my students could think about how it would be if they
have to grow up in a country as Kenya. My students now know that for
instance most girls cannot finish their education because they have to
help in house holdings. Or to work in the fields, factories... or have
to work in prostitution. Even girls of their own age... of younger.
So my students were very motivated to make our ThinkQuest entry to a huge success. They realize how thankful they must be to be a child in Holland!
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kind of problems did we face while working on this project?
Further no problems: Hakuna Matata. Maybe the jury of the internet contests will find a problem when they want to view our site with another browser. Well, that is their problem: most people in the world use Internet Explorer, so we only tested our site with that program.
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