FIPP Activity Report 1 Robin Bouse 12/17/2009

Report #1
FIPP Activity Report
Funded by the Basic Skills Initiative
Name Robin Bouse
Date 12/17/2009
FIPP Partner Briita Halonen
Section #1295
Activity /Strategy Eagle and Hawk Introductions
Category 1
Briefly describe the activity/strategy.
1. Introduction An eagle-hawk activity was used on the first day of class as an
ice breaker. The goals of this activity were to: 1) get students to know one
another and perhaps meet a lab partner they wanted to work with; 2) make the
class less intimidating (science classes are for some students); 3) get students
up and out of their seats and moving around; and, 4) build community in the
class by supporting eachother in their quest to be successful in science class.
2. Set up & Supplies Each student was given a note card. The instructor should
have some prepared questions ahead of time. On the card, students were to
answer a list of questions about themselves that were already written on the
board (i.e., name, high school attended, how many years at El Camino,
proposed major). I also wrote some examples of interview questions on the
board as a guide i.e., "Why are you taking this class?", "Do you look forward to
science and math classes", "What is your favorite movie or TV show and
why?", "Do you have any pets and/or good pet stories?", "Do you have any
hobbies or play sports?", "Any other cool stuff you would like us to know about
3. Directions Students were then asked to pair up with the student next to them.
In each pair there could only be one eagle and one hawk. The students then
interviewed each other from a list of questions I had written on the board or
made up interview questions on their own. After a few minutes, either the
eagle or hawk would fly and find someone they had not interviewed yet. At the
end, they came back to their original seat and original partner and then each
partner introduced the other partner to me and to the class. I collected the
cards at the end of the activity so that I could remember something specific
(and special) about each student.
4. Conclusion This activity met the above goals I wanted to achieve. I learned a lot
about each student and they in turn were able to know one another better. The
activity appeared to make the class less intimidating for some students. For
most students it was a fun first day community building activity. Only one or
two students seemed reticent about the activity, but they still participated.
What worked well? The activity got the students up and moving around, it broke down
barriers and created a sense of community. It was enjoyable for most students and
provided a reward for their efforts - they came in as strangers and left knowing enough
about each other to form the basis of social dialogue that is key to forming friendships at
school. I saw many students smiling as they were getting to know one another. It
showed students that many of them were here to fulfill their science requirement and
were somewhat intimidated by math and science classes. Some students really had fun
with the introductions and made the class laugh.
What would you change? I would develop a clear flow pattern for the students to change
partners. Just letting students find someone they hadn't interviewed yet didn't work that
I would add to the activity an exchange of ECC email addresses if the students wanted
to be contacted outside of class. Students might want to contact eachother out of class
but feel uncomfortable asking for contact information. Many students live far away from
eachother, work a lot, and are generally disconnected from each other. It could be used
as an opportunity to ask for contact information without feeling uncomfortable so that
students can work together and get to know one another outside of class.
Would you use the activity/strategy again? Why or why not? Yes, I most definitely would
run this activity again. It was a great ice-breaker.
Please describe any student learning outcomes/changes that you observed after the
implementation of the activity/strategy. I observed students getting to know one another,
finding lab partners, working together, and forming a sense of community and support
for eachother. Many of the stories and introductions made us laugh and that is a good
start in any class. The successful outcome of this activity was that students learned to
reach out to others and form the friendships at school that will ultimately make their
college experience more rewarding overall. At the end of the semester, it appeared that
there were many lab partner friendships that will continue beyond this class.