March 12, 2009 - 3:00 PM
As I've mentioned before, I work in an after school program called ACE at Meadowlark Elementary School. It is an amazing program. I am a recreation leader and so get to do all sorts of fun crafts and activities with the kids. When the program started, we would just do different activities each day and rotate the kids through the different classes throughout the week. Recently, we started something a little different though and it is going great!
All of the recreation leaders are now responsible for planning their own five-week long class. We pick a topic and come up with related projects to last through the term. This works a lot better because the kids are able to spend more time on their projects and come out of it with some pretty cool stuff. It's also exciting for me because since I get to pick what I teach, I get a lot more into it.
The first round of classes, I taught an art and poetry class. I thought it would be hard to motivate the already tired children to actually write something, but I was surprised to see them all get really into it! All of the students who signed up for my class had a blast. I taught them all different kinds of poetry, usually a new one each day of class. We did haikus, free verse, cinnquains, I Ams, and a few others. For each type of poem, we would do a different type of art. We decorated the poems with pastels, watercolors, collage, colored pencils, and more. I bound all of the children's poems together in a book for them to take home when the class was finished. It was great being able to look at their amazing accomplishments and I think that some of them will be able to cherish this project when they get older.
Right now, I am in the middle of teaching a fashion class! It is so much fun! Of course, only girls signed up for it and they are so excited that the first day of class they literally started screaming. I introduced the class with, "Welcome to the first day of Fashion Fantasy, where your fashion dreams become a reality!" We just finished making some really great shirts with different cutting styles, ribbons, and more and now we are working on some pretty fun tutus! At the end of the class, we are going to put on a fashion show for the other classes, complete with a disco ball and some bumpin' techno music.
I feel so lucky every day when I go to work. It is such a great experience getting to interact with these kids and help them create amazing projects and explore new ideas. I'm thinking about doing a Greek culture class next term!