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November 6, 2013

As we travel around the country at the request of States and grantees (and under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Education of course!), the Y4Y team often hears exciting recommendations from the field. Recently we were at the Fall Meeting of Delaware 21st CCLC grantees in Newark, DE, and heard a great idea from Rob.

He facilitated a project that presented small teams of students with a challenge: you are stranded on a desert island and must overcome various obstacles to survive. The goal of the project is to help students develop various skills, from problem-solving to collaboration. Rob also used this project to help students work on their writing skills. He presented the teams with challenges and asked them to create journal entries addressing how they would solve the problem. Rob then read their entries and responded each week with new hypothetical disasters for the individual teams to overcome.

Rob shared this idea with other grantees who loved the concept and added suggestions for extensions. For example, ask students to create artwork or comics narrating their survival. Or ask students to solve puzzles as part of their plan for survival (e.g., if students say they will fish for food, ask them to create a fishing pole from specific limited materials) and create written instructions.

Thank you to Rob and all the Delaware grantees for sharing your excellent ideas! We hope everyone will continue sharing their experiences and seeking advice from peers on the Y4Y Discussion Boards.  

October 7, 2013

Do you find yourself frequently landing on an inspiring idea or an insightful tip on Y4Y? Of course! The portal is full of useful information that you can use to strengthen your afterschool program. There is even a built-in feature that helps you keep track of your favorite ideas from Y4Y: the Notebook. 

On each page in the Learn and Teach sections of Y4Y (for example take a look in the Project-Based Learning Introduction), a small box on the right side of the page contains the Notebook. You can type notes into the Notebook, right on the screen next to the information you are viewing. Then, your notes are saved for you to access again whenever you may want to add to them or print them in the future. The Notebook is divided into the five content areas, so it’s almost like having a virtual binder of notes for each topic.

The key to using the Notebook is to be registered for Y4Y. Registration allows you access to this convenient feature, among others on the portal such as the ability to post to the Discussion Boards. If you aren’t registered yet, stop by the Join the Y4Y Community page for the quick and easy registration form.