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Old 08-04-2008, 11:15 PM
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snickydog snickydog is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,481
1st Grade Teacher
After-school enrichment ideas

Our school has after-school activities for our students (1st-8th can participate), and I plan to run one this year. The first hour after school MUST be academic (due to funding), and the second hour can be something like a hobby, sport, etc. I'd like to do a cool club, perhaps for the primary students. Do you have any ideas for fun and educational activities for younger students?
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:25 AM
nwteachinlv nwteachinlv is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3
I was going to recommend chess club as well, most kids love it. Maybe a fun hands on science club, where you demonstrate a different experiment each week and then the kids learn about that topic and create their own experiments. Just a couple of ideas. also, since you have such a wide range of ages, how about a drama group?
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:24 AM
seemoreglass seemoreglass is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 43
United States
3rd Grade Teacher
I think kids love chess because it's an "adult" game. Kids like feeling their doing something adult. I would love to start a chess club, but we only doing academic clubs, mostly geared towards state testing
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:05 AM
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snickydog snickydog is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,481
1st Grade Teacher
I'm not that knowledgeable about chess - about how old would you say is a good age to start?

When I student taught, my cooperating teacher was a knitter, so we did a knitting club. Older kids used real knitting needles and knitted with her help (I don't know how to!), and I worked with the younger kids (1st and 2nd) using a Knifty Knitter, and they loved it.

I'm thinking also maybe:
Cooking club (although we don't have an oven, so our "cooking" might be limited!)
Craft club (supplies could get expensive, but I would write a grant or see if the school would kick in money)
Art club (we'd look at different illustration styles real illustrators use - like Eric Carle and his tissue paper collage - through an "illustrator study" and make art like the illustrator does... maybe writing a story to go with it)
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:53 AM
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kpa1b2 kpa1b2 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,223
a book club
I did a reading group one year & they loved Reader's Theater!
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:29 AM
seemoreglass seemoreglass is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 43
United States
3rd Grade Teacher
Originally Posted by snickydog View Post
I'm not that knowledgeable about chess - about how old would you say is a good age to start?
Not sure. I think 1st graders could do it. All you really have to do is know how the pieces move. Maybe give the youngest a little cheat sheet of how the pieces move until they get the hang of it.

Now, to be good.... Heck, I'm 25 and I'm terrible, but apparently this guy... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Reshevsky learned the game when he was 4 and started his career when he was 8!
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:50 AM
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inhisgrip20 inhisgrip20 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 383
Special Education Teacher
At our school we have club days after school once a month for any student that wants to participate. I helped with the drama club. The kids loved it. We started out simple... Some of the activities we did were:
- Giving each student an emotion to act out
- In groups of 4-5, give each student a random prop and let them use it in a creative way, act it out in front of the students and they had to guess what they were doing. The kids got really creative with this... it was really fun.
- In groups of 4-5, the kids were given a short skit to practice and act out. We had one adult per group to help out.

Let's see... some of the other clubs were:
Scrapbooking Club
Helping Hands Club (they did small service projects... wrote letters to troops, decorated and filled welcome to school kits for the office to give to new students during the year, made cat nip toys for the local humane society, etc.)
Sign Language Club
Girls on the Run This was a great club for our girls http://www.girlsontherun.org/default.html
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:20 AM
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KinderCowgirl KinderCowgirl is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,865
Kindergarten Teacher
I taught a class of Kinders to play chess one year-they learned to use strategy and everything!

I love the idea of a cooking and art club. My other thought was maybe you could get someone to teach a basic dance class or something where they could be active. Maybe have like a "Culture Club" where they learned about different countries each week or each month, language, foods, etc. Just a thought.

I hope you have better luck with it than our school did. Our afterschool program was a disaster - it turned into babysitting as these activities were not followed through with the teachers who were supposed to be teaching them.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:54 AM
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czacza czacza is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 22,015
New Jersey
Grade 3
Some ideas from our after-school enrichment program:

book club
board games
card games
cool science (make gak, slime, etc)
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:13 PM
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Ms.Jasztal Ms.Jasztal is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,364
Fifth Grade QUEST (Gifted) Teacher
I would start a writing club because I don't have the journalism at my school any longer. However, I have the classroom magazine on my website and will have my 4th graders (as well as the advanced fifth graders across the hall) help me every once in a while with getting something online.
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