The morning wind was blowing steady as Carolyn, Bill and I struck out on our first horseback ride on the shore of Lake Nicaragua. It had been far too many years for Bill or I to comfortably mention since our last equestrian experiences, and just a few for Carolyn. Once astride we coax our horses to head down the beach. It was easily apparent that the horses were far more in charge then we were. Heading back towards the camp Bill and Carolyn’s horses found the road that led back to their pasture and headed home. I circled back and met them still astride lingering in the shade of a large mango tree.

Oscar and Adam gave us some tips and encouraged us to be diligent with them or the horses would become aware that we were wimps in the saddle and that winning back control would become more difficult. This advice proves equally true in the classroom. Once one student starts to run amok, if it is not reined in the others will follow the lead. Bill alit to head back to the camp to work out some kinks with the computers and Carolyn and I enjoyed slightly more capable rides down the dirt road past the grasslands and sugarcane fields. Carolyn was thrilled as she experienced her first gallop.

Back at school the children were once again eagerly awaiting us. Many of them had practiced saying “Good afternoon” in English and greeted us with fanfare. After passing out the computers – a good time to match names to faces – they once again booted up with no problem and arranged themselves encircling Carolyn’s for a maximum view. Carolyn made clear that we would be working on our lesson in etoys reining them in from the start and they stayed focused with that for the majority of the lesson. At intervals, when a few of the children had successfully executed and grasped a concept, they become junior mentors, aiding others and guiding them. This kept all of the children remarkably on task.

We deviated a bit from the lesson as planned as many children had large sketches that filled the drawing area. Since the lesson involved using the shape tool we took advantage of that and had the children draw discreet objects that could easily be maneuvered. Reinforcing this further Carolyn then engaged them in the decision to draw a train and a face. The train had windows and the face could be moved to appear to be a passenger inside the train. The train could also run off with out the passenger.

By presenting the concepts of separate objects that could then be individually maneuvered in multiple ways all of the children successfully grasped the concept by the end of the lesson.

Once again all of the children stayed on for self-exploration for another hour after class. The question came up as to whether we could have a Saturday session and they unanimously voted for it. Hasta manana.

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