We recently began a 5-part series of Nutrition Classes starring Jan Ostby of OSU Extension. She had a whole bunch of fun activities that got the kids thinking about different fruits and vegetables, while having a really good time. They ended by preparing their own snack of apple sandwiches- slices of apple spread with a peanut butter-yogurt mixture and topped with raisins, granola, and other healthy fixings. We are looking forward to four more classes with Jan, PLUS a food-centered FAMILY NIGHT tentatively scheduled from 5:30-7PM on Wednesday, May 7th. In Jan’s words: “During the event, we would usually set up 3-4 work stations and have families divide up in smaller groups to help prepare recipes. People can circulate from one area to another. We like to have a main dish (skillet meal or soup), a side dish/salad, and a kid friendly recipe like a smoothie. Because it’s close to Memorial Day, we may want to make frozen yogurt & top it off with red, white, and blue fruits. With electric ice cream maker, it takes about 30 minutes to prepare.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan on missing out on homemade frozen yogurt (and a free healthy dinner plus fun)! I am hoping for a good turn-out of all of our After School families, so please mark your calendars, and if possible let me know you’re coming, so I can give Jan an estimate so she knows how much yogurt (and other dinner ingredients) to bring! You may not know, but if you simply hit reply to this email update, that is a great way to RSVP, as it sends an email to me directly. (You can utilize this feature any time you have feedback to share with me!)
Our final Family Night of the school year will take place on Thursday, June 5, and is a school-wide event featuring many of the programs offered by Crestview Heights School. For our part of the program, we will be handing out awards to students in After School who have shown excellence in 3 areas: Improvement of Grades, Leadership, and Problem Solving Skills. We will also be showcasing some of the fun projects we’ve done this year, and getting families to participate in one of our students’ favorite STEM activities- Introductory Robotics and Computer Programming! The students would love to show you their abilities with programming, but watch out, you may be turned into a robot for a few minutes yourself. Again, please mark your calendars so we can have a great turn-out and support these students!
I’ve been noticing that many of our students are kinesthetic in their learning styles, meaning they tend to learn best by doing/making in a physical way. There are many strengths to having this particular learning style (as opposed to other great styles like visual, auditory, and reading/writing), however, as you can imagine, it can be hard to accommodate kinesthetic learning in the day-to-day classroom, with lessons geared towards testing achievement and the need to prove how and when standards are met on paper. My hope is that by providing an environment where students can explore hands-on activities that are still educational, our After School Program is helping those hands-on learners feel less alienated in their learning environment. Nothing like building an Incan Agriculture terrarium complete with terraced gardens, irrigation system, and architecturally accurate temple to inspire a physical learner to absorb the information they need about an ancient civilization.
Or, for example, an opportunity to learn basic chemistry concepts through a tie dye project. The students have almost all finished their tie dye shirts (thanks to those parents who sent in shirts, and I hope you enjoy the finished results your kids are bringing home!) and learned not only about chemical bonding, acids and bases, atoms and molecules, but about the way colors mix (yellow and blue make…?), as well as refreshing concepts of symmetry (shirt folding to prepare for dying).
It has been almost a month since I updated, so this of course is only a partial glimpse at the highlights of the past month. Please feel free to stop in and visit, we are always looking for more volunteers, and every person has something of value to contribute.