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 you?". 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 well. 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.