As teachers we are constantly looking for ways to further educate ourselves in our chosen field—children! One of the ways that many teachers choose to do this is through reading. One such book that has been chosen by a few WACC teachers is the book Generation iY: Secrets to Connecting with Today’s Teens and Young Adults in the Digital Age written by Tim Elmore. He explains the title he chose on page 3 stating, “This population, born in the 1990s and afterward, has literally grown up online. Theirs is the world of the iPod, iBook, iPhone, iChat, iMovie, iPad, and iTunes. And for many of them, life is pretty much about the ‘I’.” Many people read this and think that the answer is less screen time. However, this is not always the automatic conclusion. Please read on for 10 Top Tips taken directly from the pages of Elmore’s book.
Club 45 has recently expanded to include a new club. The RPG (Role-Playing Game) Club was initiated by one of our staff who was previously introduced to RPG and provided access to the games during the Winter Break. The children showed so much interest that it was decided that it should find a permanent home in Club 45.
RPG strives to teach kids how to work on collaborative problem solving skills in a fun environment. Role playing games teach confidence, leadership, and cooperation while showing the consequences of your actions.
Dungeons and Dragons is the RPG that was chosen for Club 45. It encourages the kind of imaginative play that kids naturally engage in. It also helps to further develop an array of educational skills, including: math, reading, writing, cooperation, leadership, problem-solving, and creative thinking.
Now you might be thinking to yourself: how is this game actually played? Dungeons and Dragons is a pen and paper fantasy role-playing game that has gone through many iterations. In it, players design characters to roleplay and complete missions and challenges presented by the Dungeon Master, which in this case will be Ellie (a teacher at WACC). The children and their characters will be fighting enemies and solving puzzles along the way. The core of Dungeons and Dragons is story telling. The Dungeon Master and the players tell a story together, guiding the heroes through quests for treasure, battles with deadly foes, daring rescues, courtly intrigue, and much more.
RPG took effect in Club 45 during the third week of January and is off to a roaring success. Students are really interested in the fantasy world created by Dungeons and Dragons and the part that they are able to play in this story telling world. Club 45 teachers are finding them looking forward to Tuesday afternoons even more than before! We hope to see the continued success of this RPG Club!
What is a leader? What are leadership qualities? Why are leadership qualities so important to
obtain? Who can be a leader? What are the habits and tools required to be a leader? These are all
questions that have been asked of the leadership program at WACC. In club 45, a group of students
meet once a week to discuss leadership opportunities; plan and implement community service
projects, and develop leadership skills. They have organized and promoted a bake sale as well as
our annual giving tree. Our goal is to work on numerous charities throughout the year. Our young
leaders are actively talking to younger students about what is important to them and changes that
they want to see. It has been an extremely exhilarating process to be a part of—really giving kids
the opportunity to teach even the adults in their lives.
Club 45 members used “The Leader in Me” activity guide to work through the seven habits of highly
effective people. These seven habits include:
1. Be proactive—you’re in charge.
2. Begin with the End in Mind—Have a plan
3. Put first things first—work first, then play
4. Think Win-Win—everyone can win
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood—listen before you talk
6. Synergize—together is better
7. Sharpen the saw—balance feels best
The purpose of the leadership program is to assist in both community service projects and learning
life skills that will help these young students in the next steps of their life. As evidenced in the book
“The Leader in Me” by Stephen R. Covey, Sean Covey, Muriel Summers, and David K. Hatch it is
stated that, “the 7 Habits contain many of the traits and life skills that parents, business leaders,
and educators have been calling for students to be taught.” The list of traits that parents, teachers,
and businesses want include (but are not limited to): goal setting, planning, time management,
organization, initiative, responsibility, vision, integrity, conflict management, listening, empathy,
speaking skills, problem solving, teamwork, respect, ethics, manners, honesty, openness, valuing
diversity, physical wellness, social skills, mental skills, emotional stability, and a desire to learn.
Through this we are learning that leaders make good choices, plan, get along well with others, and
use their talents and strengths to solve problems. Our leadership group has gone through a process
to choose leadership positions to run for, campaign for, and participate in an election. Our goal is to
create students who are becoming more and more familiar with these habits and are integrating
words like habits and paradigm into their daily vocabulary.
This has effectively been done thanks to a group of committed students who are helping the
leadership program be successful. We are teaching our students to become the leaders of
tomorrow. These are all essential traits for students to learn. With the end result being that
students learn that ANYONE can be a leader. You do not need to be an elected official in order to
lead people effectively.
We are excited to see the leadership program evolve to suit the environment of Club 45!
One of the things that students in Club 45 seem to enjoy the most about the program is the fact that activities are different everyday. Teachers follow a framework schedule that highlights the students interests, such as: art, technology, outdoor physical games, game shows, science, board games, card games, and leadership. For the first few years of students attendance at the center the options in the afternoon often become ingrained: carpentry, art, outside play, game room activities, and yk room activities. These ingrained options in the afternoon hours are enriched in the Club 45 atmosphere. Often we even have children participating in “learning” activities long before they realize that they are learning.
One of the most enriching times, and therefore enjoyable times, is the last hour of Club 45 from four to five in the afternoon. This is the time on most days where Jasmine, a welcomed fresh face, enters the program and offers a variety of activities as listed on the calendar.
On Minute to Win It Mondays, different Minute to Win It activities occur. The students have also enjoyed a card game called 5 Second Rule, where they are given a category and within in five seconds must name three things within that category. It has become a favorite game that the students request at times other than Monday afternoons. These activities help them to: be quick thinkers, categorize, think outside of the box, and become better time managers.
On Trivia Tuesdays, different trivia games are played. Fourth and Fifth Grade Brainquests are used to ask questions. Additionally 20 Questions supplements these trivia afternoons. Trivia options are offered throughout the month, but Tuesdays are something that students look forward to regularly! These activities help them to: be quick thinkers, become better team players, increase general knowledge, and learn in different ways.
On Word search Wednesdays, two different word searches are printed out and then students are given the option to participate in word search races. Word search Wednesdays are a fan favorite! There is a group of five to ten regular participants. Students are timed for five minutes to see how many words they can find; at least one teacher usually participates as well, and the added option to “beat the teacher” creates an interesting different objective. This activity helps them with: word recognition, suffix and prefix recognition, time management, and friendly competition.
On Twisted Art Thursdays, different hands on art projects are offered. Sometimes these projects include: rainbow looms, hamma beads, friendship bracelets, and duct tape crafts. Students are often craving artistic outlets and Twisted Thursdays do just that for them! They are either given very loose instructions or no instructions at all and just allowed to create. These activities help them with: artistic expression, self-regulation, time management, and decision making skills.
Sometimes the end of our program, from four to five, is considered down time where teachers fill the space with simple projects. In Club 45, our goal is to enrich the students from the time we sign them in until the time that they leave. Our goal is to fill every minute with supplemental activities that will aid in learning for every aspect of the students life.
Teachers have worked hard to create an environment that is fun, educational, and inviting for our children in 4th & 5th grades. We’re thrilled to say that Club 45 has become that place! By providing a variety of activities that range from S.T.E.A.M. & Trivia Hours, to Game Shows and Pokemon Hunts our kids can’t wait to be able to attend Club 45. We are focused on creating a space that will enrich students’ lives and help them transition into the high demands of their next stage – middle school!
In structuring a program that allows for some earned independence it is important that we continue to instill and improve upon life skills. It takes a village; home, school, and Club 45 to consistently learn these basic skills. From establishing healthy habits, and decision making, to kitchen basics we hope to add to their life skills tool belt. It is our aim to provide them with an environment that will enrich their lives.
We are aiding in creating a sense of leadership amongst our kids. In a world where all students want to do is fit in, we are trying to instill the idea that there’s more to it than just fitting in. You want to lead others, including your peers and those younger then you in the right direction. In reading an article “15 Tips for instilling Leadership Skills in Children” it became evident that children learn leadership skills through different avenues. We’re thrilled to say Club 45 is already providing the foundation of leadership competency by encouragement and setting a good example.
What is a day in the life of Club 45 look like? We have cultivated an atmosphere where from the minute they walk in the door they have a variety of activities to choose from. We like to start the day with our Question of the Day, “What Happened on This Day” fact, or flexing their brains with a riddle. By participating in these activities each child is able to earn stickers which will help them to earn puzzle pieces for a Club 45 movie! By popular vote the choices of movies currently are: Blank Check, The Goonies, & Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. From there we have a variety of activities for each child to participate in. Each month Club 45 will hand out a calendar that lists these activities. There are always options to read, do your homework, and play board games specifically for their age, or just simply hangout with their friends. Technology days are Wednesdays & Fridays where I-pads are provided or can be brought for an hour of supervised play.