September 29, 2011

Oy! National Exams

All students in Costa Rica in elementary school (1st-6th grade) and high school (7th-11th) take final exams at the end of the year and must pass all the core subjects in order to advance to the next grade.  ADE high school uses a curriculum approved by the Department of Education that is geared for the independent student from the age of 14 to obtain their degree. ADE had to request permission for the 7th graders who came to ADE High School directly from 6th grade who are under the age of 14. Students do not take exams created by the high school but rather national standardized exams administered by the Ministry of Education. However, within the system there is some flexibility. ADE high school students are able to advance students to the next grade (in the subjects passed) if they pass more than half of their exams. They work during breaks and retake the exams in the subjects not passed. Students are given three hours to complete each of the 6 areas of study: Science, Math, Spanish, English, Social Studies and Civics.

An eighth grader commented that she is nervous about the exams but thinks that exams are good in teaching her to prepare and study well. A ninth grader, who has so far passed with flying colors in every exam in the year and a half that he has been with ADE high school, comments that when he first took exams he was really scared because he did not know what was going to be on the exams and had to study a lot. He says it is very exciting to have a challenge and succeed. He comments that the exams are good because they are not only used as a standard for passing to the next grade but also as an opportunity for learning.  At the conclusions of the exams, he realizes that he misses studying when he sees all the time that he spent studying. His advice: "You have to be very calm and study as much as possible. You have to give up watching TV, playing and visiting in order to dedicate to studying for exams." His math teacher has been encouraging him to be a math tutor to the community where there is a great need for help in math. A seventh grader comments that he is very nervous because he has never taken them before and he does not know what they are like. He says that however it makes him realize what areas he needs to work on and the exams push him to prepare well in those areas. He concludes that if it weren't for the exams, he would not perhaps be so well-rounded. He chuckles.

Good luck to all our great students! Exams are on Oct. 9th, 15th and 16th. Please hold our students in your prayers during the next three weeks as we enter into this current examination period..
Written by Chelsea Dozier

September 2, 2011

New Talent Search - Congrats to our students!

By Chelsea Dozier
In exchange for translation and web site work from ADE, Colinas del Poás gave ADE high school free entrance to a New Talent Art Seminar that included art demonstrations and activites by the beautiful pond, painting materials and space to explore and create, and a delicious hot lunch. In addition to our students, there were two elementary schools, parents, serious artists and lots of artists at heart. Congrats to our three students who won awards in the youth category. Check out their paintings on display at the Poas Chamber of Tourism this month.

ADE's zero down model for development looks to local and international organizations to colaborate in bringing programs to the community. If you have a talent or know of someone to share with our youth please contact us! By giving our future opportunites to explore and express themselves, we might be see one day the next Monet, Salvador Dalí, Picasso, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo?

Congrats to:
1. Nathan ADE High School
2. Gabriela ADE High School
3. Daniela ADE High School

Learning about watercolors and primary colors under
a light rain from a university art student

Learning about pastels, three dimensional shading,
perspective, and shadows from a university art student
First place winner (both paintings) for the "rotating
dimensional creativity and symmetry pattern" and the
other for the "simplicity and brilliance of color and
painting design." We did not understand fully all the
terminology and analysis from the judges as to why he
won but it seems to us that in kids art is natural and
innately understood. The lovely pink flower -
a close contender!
Creativity of having used tape to create shapes
Unfinished work of ingenuity using fingers and not a
conventional brush
Gallery of art at Colinas del Poás
Gallery - a portrait
Variety of art styles
Thank you for your support!