Mar 3

Students of the Month – March 2020

Zyarre

Age 12

Zyarre and I did a fun “values” quiz together, and I think he found it illuminating. The quiz revealed that while recognition (being noticed, feeling significant in the world) is important to him, he is deeply interested in justice and helping others. He told me a story about how he welcomed a shy new student to his school, helping the other boy feel more confident. In the future, Zyarre hopes to build a meaningful and secure life that will likely involve some sort of service to others, and I find his attitude inspiring.

Suzanne Rizollo, Tutor

Moises

Age 8

Moises is 8 years old, in 2nd grade. He is a great reader, a studious learner, and approaches all the new things that come his way with determination and concentration. When he grows up Moises would like to work with lizards; he is the biggest Jurassic Park and Godzilla fan that I have met yet! For our reading time, we always set out an audience: Cat in the Hat and a stuffed dinosaur or two! I have learned from Moises that when you need to learn something new that seems difficult, approaching with a calm and studious outlook is the best way to conquer and learn! Here the dinosaurs and Cat and the Hat are helping Moises conquer double digit subtraction!

Sasana Kachirsky, Tutor

Rachel

Age 11

Rachel likes ice skating, anime, math, and making friends. She has taught me that it’s okay to be unique and comfortable with your own goofy self; she is never judgmental and always has a great attitude. Rachel enjoys talking and getting to know people, so its easy for her to drift away from her work. We’ve managed this by separating ourselves from the rest of the group during distracting times. Rachel hopes to become a psychologist because she doesn’t want kids to feel the same way she did when she was sad. If that doesn’t work out she would like to be a veterinarian.

Carlos, Tutor

Feb 25

The School on Wheels Podcast Presents: Digital Learning with Ian Chan and Emma Gerch

In the second episode of our new podcast, Katie Brennecke interviews two members of our programs team about digital learning, digital literacy, and technology at School on Wheels. Ian Chan, Program Administrator and original digital learning champion, discusses our students’ access to digital learning has developed over time. Emma Gerch, Online Tutoring Coordinator, walks Katie through online tutoring, virtual field trips, and the newly developed digital literacy program.

If you want to learn more about the various digital learning programs available to you and your student, please visit our our tutor resources page. While you’re there, you can also find more information about our digital literacy program and watch Emma’s webinar.


Music:
Antidepresseur by [friendzoned] | https://soundcloud.com/friendzonedbeats
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en_US

The River by Rolemusic | http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic
Copyright: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 
United States: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/

Feb 14

Digital Learning Day Contest

Congratulations to winners Elijah and Samson!

Did you know? February 27th is Digital Learning Day! All month long, we’re celebrating innovative technology practices in education and raising awareness about how we can intentionally bring digital tools into tutoring sessions.

Our students overwhelmingly lack access to the tech devices and education they need to succeed in school and beyond. As a tutor, you can bridge the digital divide for your student by thoughtfully using technology to fill educational gaps.

In celebration of Digital Learning Day, we want to see your students use Scratch – a program we love that teaches kids creative coding. All participating students will be entered to win a $25 gift card for Target.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Create a Scratch account (it’s free!)
  2. Have your student complete the Animate a Name tutorial on Scratch. We recommend downloading and printing these Coding Cards for easy instruction.
  3. Creativity is encouraged! Instead of a name, your student can animate “School on Wheels,” or an inspirational word like “Learn,” “Grow,” or “Think.” Or they can animate their own name (first names only please). Sample project here.
  4. Enter the contest below by sharing your project file or the link to your project!
    • To download the project, click File – Save to your computer.
    • To find the link to your project, click ‘Share,’ then ‘Copy Link’.

Note: This project requires a laptop. If wifi is a problem at your tutoring site, you can download the app here for offline use.

Contact egerch@schoolonwheels.org with questions.

Feb 11

Engaging Your Student With Digital Learning Programs

School on Wheels students overwhelmingly lack regular access to information and communication technology. This not only contributes to their learning gaps, but can actually leave them without key 21st Century skills that many of their peers possess. This webinar will walk you through the ways you can help your student(s) bridge the Digital Divide with School on Wheels resources. We’ll go over how to use online programs to help your student learn math, reading, computer science, and more; how to implement our Digital Literacy curriculum; and extra special online learning opportunities for School on Wheels students.

About the Presenter:

Emma Gerch started with School on Wheels just over 1 year ago. As the Online Tutoring Coordinator, she connects students who need extra help or live outside of the SOW service area with tutors via video and audio chat. She also develops programming to build our students’ technology skills, and makes sure to stay on top of the latest trends in education technology.

Sign your student up for one of our digital learning programs HERE.

You can find our digital literacy curriculum HERE.

The resources included in this webinar include:
Scratch
Newsela
Math Learning Center Apps
Geoguessr
Google Tour Builder
Google Arts & Culture
Google Earth Carmen San Diego
Google Expeditions

Learn more about online tutoring and remote tutoring HERE.

Jan 27

Virtual Field Trips Expand Students’ Horizons

In 2019, we introduced Virtual Field Trips to eight tutoring locations. These sessions expose students to places and ideas that they otherwise may have never encountered, allowing us to expand their worldview despite geographic and financial barriers. We are utilizing two types of Virtual Field Trips – PORTS and Peace Corps Global Connections.

Students interact with a Peace Corps representative

The PORTS program from California State Parks connects park rangers to students via video chat. Rangers in parks all over the state give students a virtual tour of their park, explain how State Parks protect important ecology, and even show students wildlife in real-time. So far, we’ve taken elementary students in Anaheim on a tour of Hearst Castle, learned about paleontology in the Anza-Borrego Desert with students at a South LA shelter, and strolled through the sequoias in Northern California with students at the Orange County Rescue Mission.

The Peace Corps Global Connections program connects Peace Corps volunteers around the world with students in the US via video chat or other methods. These volunteers are able to impart cultural knowledge and inform students about what the Peace Corps does. At the end of 2019, a volunteer in Guatemala spoke to high school students at a youth shelter in Glendora about how she’s improving sanitation policy at a local Guatemalan school. Shortly after, a volunteer in Cambodia spoke to students at a shelter in Long Beach about teaching Cambodian students and handling cultural differences.

Seeing our students’ minds open to all the world’s possibilities is truly a joy. We look forward to connecting more of our students to Virtual Field Trips in 2020!

Jan 27

Students of the Month – February 2020

Elijah

Age 6

Elijah is very active and loves to play sports outside! He also has a great imagination, and has no difficulty making up stories and games about cops and robbers or ninjas. Since we have multiple tutors at our sessions, our volunteers have worked on Elijah’s spelling and literacy through a team effort. One of our tutors modified board games to reinforce phonetic skills. Other times, we have been reading books, playing with flashcards, and writing storyboards for imaginary movies together. One of our young students was disappointed when I ran out of a particular coloring page, but Elijah immediately ran over with the last copy so that they could collaborate on it together. Elijah has a very bright future ahead of him! He shows me that our students are some of the most generous and altruistic.

Charlotte Kim, Tutor

Varaunica

Age 12

Varaunica likes dancing, watching movies, playing board games, and working on puzzles. Something I have really been working on with her is staying focused when concepts, particularly in math, are initially hard to grasp. The challenge is keeping her mind concentrated and her mood positive when tackling a difficult concept. I have learned patience and methods of creativity as we have tried different approaches to get a concept across or to keep my student engaged.

Gloria Brooks, Tutor

Guadalupe

Age 18

Guadalupe enjoys history, basketball, and has a passion for social awareness. I wouldn’t say Economics has been a challenge, but it is the subject we have worked on the most. Understanding certain Econ methodologies is tough for me, too! Guadalupe is very bright and I hope she continues to work hard and further her education. She has plans for college next year. When she gives me her opinions on things, it opens my mind to things I haven’t noticed or thought of. Hopefully, I’m doing the same for her.

Derrick Stephens, Tutor

CeCe (Cecelia)

Age 13

CeCe says her main interests are photography and her cats, Milo and Max. One big challenge we faced and worked on together was completing, in a short time, a math packet of various problems at many levels of difficulty. CeCe’s hopes and dreams are to graduate from college and to become an artist.

Martha Doran, Tutor