Empowering girls to live and lead with confidence and purpose

01I am a Solar Prep scholar. I ride the bus to school every day. I sit with my friend Maya. When we get to school, a teacher is at the gate to tell us good morning. We go to the gym and practice yoga until our teachers come pick us up. We all shake our teacher’s hand and tell her good morning.

Before we go to our classroom, we have Sisterhood Circle in the gym. This week we are discussing honesty. The fierce female of the month is Gwendolyn Brooks. She showed honesty in her poems.

After Sisterhood Circle, we go to our classrooms for breakfast. My classroom is named after Malala Yousafzai. We are writing letters to Malala to tell her about our school for girls. We listen to music and write in our journals while we eat. Sometimes my teacher writes back to me.

After breakfast, my teacher rings a little bell and we all go to the carpet for Shine Time. In Shine Time we get to talk about how we are feeling and what our goals are for the day. My goal is to speak with confidence and in complete sentences. We also do dances and sing songs. We have been singing a song called A Push and a Pull. It’s really funny.

Girls engage in hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Some days we go to Theater and some days we go to PE. We get to dance and play games and act out stories. Our teachers only speak Spanish during PE and Theater. Sometimes I don’t know what they are saying, but I have a lot of friends in my class who speak Spanish, and they help me understand.

Some days we stay in the classroom for clubs like computers or robotics. Yesterday we made name bracelets using binary code. That’s how computers talk. We got to choose what color we wanted our bracelets to be, and I chose green and blue.

Did you know that I am a Girl Scout? All Solar Prep scholars are Girls Scouts. We get to wear our uniforms once a week and do really cool stuff to earn badges.

After specials we come back to our room to talk about what day it is and what the weather is like and how many days of school we have already had. We have to do a lot of math. We take turns being the leader. When you are the leader you get to stand up and tell the class what to say. I used to be shy, but now I am not!

After that we get to work in our groups. We are trying to solve a problem for the Sheep. The sheep are characters in our book. The book is called Sheep in a Jeep. The sheep got their Jeep stuck on a hill and their friends, some pigs, off the hill.

Friendship is important because you can help each other. And you don’t have to look just like the other person to be their friend. Just like the sheep and the pigs are different, they are still friends and help each other. It’s kind of like when my friends help me with Spanish, and I help them with English.

When the pigs helped the sheep push the jeep off the hill, they fell in a big mud puddle. We are trying to build something that would keep the pigs from getting all muddy. Before we start our group work, our teacher always asks us which of the Solar Six will help us. Today I said empathy because we have to think about how the pigs are feeling and try to help them.

03After that we go to lunch and recess and then to the makerspace. In the makerspace, we get to do art and build robots and create things. We can read books or play Minecraft, too. Sometimes we go outside and work in the garden.

This week in the makerspace our word is motion. My friend and I are building a machine with wooden sticks that will blast a marshmallow across the room. I said that the Solar Six that we need most for that is curiosity because we have to ask a lot of questions and try a lot of things to figure out how to make the marshmallow fly far.

Some days my teacher takes me back to the classroom during makerspace time to work on reading or math. I like that because there are only a few of us and it’s really quiet and I can get help from my teacher to learn things that are hard for me. We always talk about the Solar Six before we start. I say that grit is most important because you can’t give up when something is hard. You have to keep trying.

In the afternoon we sit on the carpet and listen to our teacher read and talk about books and words. Right now we are learning words that have the –ee sound like sheep and jeep and steep. We learn sounds because sounds make words. I have learned a lot of new words this year.

For the rest of the day we work in stations. We use iPads to practice JiJi Math and read books. JiJi is a penguin. Penguins can’t jump or fly, so we have to use math to help her get across the screen.

We also read a lot in the afternoons. We go to the teacher table to read books with our group or we read books on the iPads. There is an app where you read books on the iPad and answer questions and try to get to the next level. I’m almost on level D!

In my science group, we are making ramps and measuring how far the jeeps roll down the ramp. We even used cotton balls to make sheep for our jeep, just like in the book!

One thing I really like about the afternoon is writer’s workshop. I get to work with a partner to practice writing. We are writing about friendship, so I drew a pictures of my friend Maya and me on the bus together.

At the very end of the day we have Shine Time again. We talk about all the things that happened during the day and how we are feeling. We have to get into different groups and talk about our day. We have to tell one thing we did well that day and something we want to do better tomorrow.

When I get home, my mom lets me play JiJi math on the computer and we read books together before bed. If every scholar reads at home for 15 minutes, we will read 2,000 minutes before winter break. I hope we reach our goal!