Archive for March 26th, 2014

Salamander Project Workshop in Ilíberis Secondary Education School, Atarfe (Granada, Spain)

On the 11th of March, Esther and Juan Ramón, from the Asociación Herpetológica Granadina, and our collaboration partners, carried out this visit to this secondary high school. It is situated in the town of Atarfe , a municipality included in the metropolitan area of Granada city.

The teacher in charge welcomed them and introduced them to the classes who would be doing the morning workshops: 4 groups from the 1st year of compulsory secondary education (1° ESO in Spain), one of them having the particularity of being a so called Curricular Diversification and Integration class.

These courses (Curricular diversification) embrace children who, for various reasons (demotivation, special necessities, inadaptability, social exclusion risk, learning problems, etc…) present a very high risk of not being able to conclude their studies. These courses fit to their needs and ist purpose is the obtaining oft he qualification, removing the existing barriers. The learning contents do not change, but only the methodology used for its learning.

Due to lack of time (it is a very big centre with a tight schedule) Juan Ramón and Esther had to split up and carry out the activities separately:
1° ESO A and C: one hour presentation by Juan Ramón about the salamanders. There were 26 students between 12 and 13 years old.
1° ESO B: Workshop made by Esther. The children made salamanders out of gomaeva foam sheets. The number and age oft the students was identical to the one above.
1° ESO D: Diversification class. Esther talked tot he students about salamanders, adapting the presentation to their curricular needs. The class comprises 18 children between 12 and 15 years old.

On the 18th of March they repeated the experience but viceversa, which means that Juan Ramón gave the presentation tot he children which had been working with gomaeva the previous week and Esther made new salamanders with the children who had been listening to Juanra’s exhibition.

The experience was highly satisfactory. The teachers have previously prepared the students about the subject our colleagues would talk about. The children have respondend very positively to the different activities offered and participated actively.

15th March, Salamander Project Excursion with the „Communal living“ Home Meridianos (Almería, Spain)

On saturday the 15th of March, Esther, Javier and Juan Ramón, from the „Asociación Herpetológica Granadina“ our collaboration partners in Spain, had a wonderful day out and outdoor workshop in the province of Almería. Meridianos is an association that works with underages who are subject to judicial measures.

Thery are kids with very special characteristics…but who are forever grateful for any kindness shown to them.

The activity was divided in two parts: the first one was the presentation of the subject (Salamanders and other amphibians ) and a videoplay about salamanders(this video belongs to Javier). The way he explains the subject is very appropriate for work and interaction with teenagers.
And who would have said that Esther would dare to approach amphibians!!!???-direct quotation.

Four boys, three educators and the center’s psychologist were present at that moment in time. Eight youngsters in total live at the Home, but four oft hem had home leave fort he weekend.

Once the talk was over, the second part oft he activity started: they left towards a ravine with a thermal spring, in the municipality of Retamar, between the city of Almería and Cabo de Gata ( a coastal protected area in the province). According to Juan Ramónthe area is very similar to Morocco: „you lift a stone and you find all sorts of things, from a scorpion and a natterjack toad to a beetle…“
It was a magical morning. As soon as Juan Ramón or Javier explained what one could find, the kids would lift a stone, and there they were…the animals.

The psychologist (Desi), the educator (Mohamed) and the four youngsters were captivated by them (in the van they were always commenting excitedly about the sightings).

Once they explored that area, they parted towards a salt lake in Cabo de Gata. There is a great birdwatching center there under which they took refuge from the burning sun, shared their food, and enjoyed the sight oft he birds.

The crowning jewel of the day was coffee and cake next to the sea, a present from the boys and educators, while they all shared the day’s emotions.

Later, already at home, they all called Esther to express their thanks for such a beautiful experience. The educators who had been unable to attend the trip, a bit „jealous“, would love to participate in any future activity (workshop led by Javier and Juan Ramón….our boys are crowd-pleasers!!)