Today is a really important day that I had not…
In our school, we have a 45 minute time period devoted to remediation and enrichment. Students who need to retake tests, need reteaching of a unit, more time for assignments, etc. have a class to go to that will help them be more successful in their education. The remaining students go to a club (an enrichment class). These classes meet once a week and last a semester. Your attendance changes each week because the need for remediation for each student changes each week.
I love our program because it allows us to meet students from all over the school and gives students more time and assistance. Clubs can be a motivator for students who need a bigger push to get class work done as well. The theory is, if they enjoy the club, they will work harder in their class to attend that club.
The downfall is that you do not have your students, you have students from all over the school. Meeting once a week and not having a consistent group of students can make management difficult.
This year, I decided to try a club that was pretty much student-led. I wanted students to have a chance to discover something they wanted. Something that interested them and maybe that they could not do or have not been able to do before. I have attended small workshops on Genius Hour and have visited the Wonderopolis website many times. I based my class on these concepts.
When my students arrived the first day, we looked at a slide show of various images. These images were ideas for something they could focus on. There were sports images, history, research, writing, reading, drawing, cultures, languages, art, crochet, and knitting. I then grouped the students based on what interested them. After grouping, the students came up with a focus, either independently or as a group. I have a Google Doc that was created with their help that was to guide their topic and make something out of it.
I also had them start a blog, in the hopes they could chronicle their journey. However, snow days and holidays have broken this up so much, we all forgot. I am hoping to bring it back at the end.
We are currently halfway through the semester and so far, most of my students have been very focused and excited. I have a group of boys who go outside to shoot layups or free throws and track their progress. Some other boys researched techniques on how to throw a perfect spiral with a football and also go outside to practice. I have one girl crocheting, another knitting. I have students drawing. I have some students creating with papier-mâché. I have students who are learning a new language, writing code, and creating a website.
I will admit, there are times where things seem chaotic. Where I am not sure that everyone is making progress. However, when I take a step back and listen, they are engaged. They are talking about their project. They are trying to find new ideas. I think it is a good chaos.
When they finish, I have an option board to choose some type of presentation from. There is a Prezi option, Google Slide, PowToon, Canva, or Screencastify. Some might make a video, some might stand up and share. This is the part I look forward to the most. I cannot wait for them to share with each other what they have discovered.
Have you tried anything like this? Do you have any tips for organizing or keeping students on track? Again, I really love watching these students create and explore, but sometimes I feel that more organization is needed to keep students on track.
I have some pictures below. Feel free to comment ideas! Thanks for reading.