What's in Your Rainy Day Bag?

Rainy Day Bag (beta):


Apples to Apples
4 regular card decks
Trivial Pursuit for Kids

Coloring Sheets (my favorite are the geometric ones like this - http://www.coloringcastle.com/geometric_coloring_pages.html)
Word Finder
Rebus Sheets

Construction Paper
Glue Sticks
Craft Sticks


This is off the top of my head... What do you keep in there?


Thoughts on Working with Kids (1 of Many)

Kids are People

 Obvious, right? We are all people. Kids, though, are especially people. People have certain needs. Fulfilling those needs is not always easy, but acknowledging them is. People are routine oriented and desire some level of structure. People want to be treated fairly. People want attention.
Kids should not be treated like children or, to be more precise, the stereotypical pop culture version of children.

You know the plot: kid knows something, kid is not listened to, some form of huge disaster happens, kid saves the day with a little ounce of “I told you so.” From Nancy Drew to Nemo, successful stories aimed at youth all deal with gaining the respect of adults. Most cases resolve amiably, but we would like to skip the whole Hero’s Journey and cut straight to the respect part. 

Yes, respect (cue Aretha Franklin). 

Respect is the fundamental difference between dealing with children and dealing with people. Children can be treated unfairly. Children can be ordered. Children can be scolded. People, however, must be treated with respect – just a little bit. 

Respect is simply defined in our culture as the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way that you wish to be treated.” The concept is simple. Applying it to kids takes a little more work. 

Sometimes respect comes in conflict with discipline. A kid makes bad decisions and you are forced to take some form of corrective action. Remember what is fair and how you would react if the situation was reversed and you will make the correct decision (maybe... more on this later).

The easiest way to be respectful is to be completely transparent about the rules and consistent about enforcing them. If the kids understand the process and feel that justice is served equally then they will feel respected... and, as a pleasant side effect, will behave better.


Question about Fictional Characters...

Hey All -

Here's a question for the educational community: Is there research that refers to the "voice" of the educational materials?

Who writes our textbooks? When I was growing up, the majority were written like encyclopedias - no characterization or personality. Would that help?

Imagine learning about history from several different fictional characters who lived at the time. There would be a small level of editorial leeway (wow, that's how it's spelled?) given, but for the most part the information would be shared from a viewpoint that the students could relate to... such as a colonial soldier during the Revolutionary War or a kid living in England at the time (or both!)

...just thinking out loud.


ACA & iD Tech.

Here is some great news -

Bryan and I will be presenting at the National ACA Conference in February of 2010. That's pretty... um... incredible and exciting!

We have also been rehired to continue building a stellar Activity Curriculum for iD Tech Camps, the largest tech camp group in America (and I believe the world... which, also means our solar system to anyone's immediate knowledge). They have over 60 separate camp locations around the United States and serve several thousand campers between the ages of 7 and 18 years old.

And we have some product that is currently in what I like to call "Beta" mode. One is a book containing our favorite games, written in such a way that even the most timid facilitator could (possibly) be successful. The book also has an appendix with our favorite songs (as you knew it would). We'll have copies available at the conference and have some of the early versions (rather *current* versions) sitting on our shelf awaiting revision.

If you are interested, let me know.

I am going to start posting more games and advice up here immediately. The latest break was to allow for my wedding (thanks) and subsequent honeymoon to New Zealand (best place on Earth).

I am also working with a couple friends on an iPhone app with all of the games on it, so PE & etc can have everything at their fingertips. It's a little breakneck speed to try to get something out by February, but we'll see...

And... a project that has gotten dusty on the shelf *will* be revived soon. A DVD of (better) produced videos of Bryan and I (and a special guest) performing some of our favorite camp songs will hopefully be put together around the holidays. I will likely include it with the final copy of the book and make it all available for some reasonable fee...