Thursday, December 3, 2015

Refreshed and excited after the break at BS.

   The kids are refreshed and excited after the Thanksgiving break. Happy to be back at their workshops and excited to continue the learning.  
    The science club is creating boats that float and bones from plates and cars that roll. They're having a fun time exploring the sciences. Carolyn Brown's creative activities are keeping the kids engaged and focused and psyched to be learning science.
     Comic book club is having a blast creating their own comics and coloring and drawing and thinking about how their superhero comic books might turn out. I hear word they are planning a comic con for the end of this workshop. Matt is a fantastic workshop educator  that makes it a blast for the children to be creative and get lost in their imagination.
    Origami club is having fun in creating their own animals and objects out of plain flat paper. They are excited to come and show what they have made and actually show how to do it too. They are learning great techniques and I can't wait to see all the things they have created at the end. 
    Violin is strumming right along. They all can play a song together stay in tune and on the beat. They are very engaged learners and Susan keeps them focused and enjoying every new aspect that they learn about music , how to stand ,how to hold the instrument and how to behave when playing in front of a crowd. They will be able to put on a fantastic performance at the end of this workshop.
   Baking with Bertha has come up with some great new recipes to cook this workshop. The kids come back with handfuls of treats and stuff they have created on their own with Bertha's help in the kitchen.  Bertha teaches them how to be safe and have fun while making food that your family and friends can enjoy.
   African textiles is engaged and making beautiful pieces of cloth with intricate patterns that they have picked themselves.Miriam Block has let them get creative while having fun getting a little messy. What could be better than that.
    The get outside club gets outside no matter the weather. Inclement weather cannot stop them they are out in the woods for foraging  for new interesting things to find and study. They've built forts, study leaves and made books about trees. For Dan this small group has given him a lot of chances to do some interesting things with them in the great outdoors. 
    The Chinese club is excited about learning Chinese numbers and letters being able to say them and write them. They've been able to make Chinese dumplings in our kitchen and they tasted and looked delicious. Jessica and the students from Middleberry College have been fantastic with our students. The children love to me the college students and ask them questions about life in China and being in America.  
      The Winter Bell group is chiming their way into a beautiful rendition of Carol of the bells. Jen Allred keeps in tune with our beautiful colored bells. And easy to read musical charts that she has made and created. Can't wait to see the final performance.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Chess and Folk Life at Monkton!

Monkton Central School is excited to be up and running with a fall session. After the success we had in the spring, it's very clear that this member of the Five Towns is ELP-ready!

We started out with two offerings and were pleased to have some new faces joining the ELP crowd. Grace Freeman's folk life workshop is a hit with the fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. They have taken trips to the local cemetery, learned a sweet folk song, and are perfecting their do-si-dos with continued square dancing practice.

We are also hard at work organizing our next session, which will start on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. Please look in the MCS newsletter and on our MCS ELP Facebook page for more information and registration paperwork.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Namaste from Lincoln Community School!

We are thrilled to have Cathy Turner, registered Yoga instructor, teaching Yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school at the Lincoln Community School through ANESU's  Expanded Learning Program!  This group has been meeting for the last three weeks, learning about different aspects of Yoga in a fun and playful environment.  Here is what Cathy says about their time together:

"Breath in joy, breath out the old, turn to your right and say hello to your neighbor."
This is how we have been beginning most of our yoga classes. Our little yogis have been greeting the sun with full sun salutations, working on "peak" poses and learning how to slow the world around them.
We learned how to connect with our breath by blowing a small pom-pom ball across the floor with a straw. We focused on our balance by walking with a stack of dice on a Popsicle stick held in our mouths and we have been playing "guess the yoga pose" to learn different poses.
There has been a lot of care for what we are doing, for each other and the world around us. Everyone takes delight in describing how good they feel after a pose or how tricky a pose was. Tuning in and taking control of ourselves and our feelings is a huge goal in the yoga classroom.  
After all of our busy yoga we come together to form a star, and take a nice long rest in Savasana to watch our worries fade away.
We end each class with a warm Namaste. Hopefully if you ask your child what it means they will be able to tell you!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ahoj Priatelia

Wondering what the title of this post refers to? Feel free to ask students participating in International Interactions. Igor, a native of Slovakia, is teaching students useful phrases, such as "ahoj priatelia" meaning, "hello friends". This past Thursday students began building churches similar to those found in Slovakia. They are using different types of blocks, popsicle sticks, and paint.

Everyday Spanish participants spent the week with "The Very Hungary Caterpillar" in Spanish. They began creating their very own caterpillar masks. They are also learning the names of specific foods in Spanish. We're very lucky to have a teacher fluent in Spanish!

The Robinson Pirates spent part of the week studying cartography. They have made their very own maps...perhaps they lead to treasure! They are also continuing to create their pirate garb. They are now the proud owners/wearers of pirate hats!

 The Math Masters created their very own marble runs and competed against one another to see which contraption sent the marble flying the farthest!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner we have been having discussions about what we are thankful for in our lives. I would like to take a moment and reflect regarding ELP.

I am thankful that Monday-Friday students choose to walk through the library door ready to continue their own education. Some attend 2 hours a week, other choose to be here for two different workshops totaling 4 hours a week. Whether they know it or not they are choosing to better themselves. Instead of going home and sitting in front of a screen they choose to stay at school and sit in front of a mentor.

I am thankful for those mentors who choose to spend their time with the youth in their community. These educators are making an impact and influencing the next generation through play and creativity. These wonderful community members are the ones who create excitement and have students excited for the next workshop and for that we are lucky.

Dovidenia! (Goodbye!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Session 2 up and running.

Chinese club is getting creative making noise dragons(draco).  
The students at Middlebury College make this workshop fun and diverse. Each student teacher gives their own special flair to the lessons being taught. The kids are very engaged. 

Origami workshop is folding their way to amazing creations. 
  Everyone is engaged and active in learning. They are proud to show what they have made at the end of the workshop. It will be fun to see where there imaginations take them. 

Outdoor club may be small but it is mighty. 
   They are enjoying the outdoors studying trees and leaves. Making books to document what they have discovered seems to be very fun and interesting. Can't wait to see what else they discover. 

Kids are creating textiles with block printing inTraveling Museum/Africian Textiles. 
Using wood blocks and Ink they are creating beautiful little tapestries. Big smiles all around in this workshop watching their creations come together. 

Violin workshop is finding their footing for a great beginning to learning this beautiful instrument
The kids are learning their footing and finding out what size violin works for them they can't wait to get started using the real instruments.

Comic book club is serious business and oh so fun. They are busy creating their own comic books and using their imaginations wildly. Looking forward to the comic con at the end of the session.

Science is discovering new things through hands on trial and error. 
The kids are building boats with recycled parts. Then test to see if it floats. Next test is to see how much weight it can handle. Really cool stuff.

Baking with Bertha is the best. 
The smells of the kitchen make your mouth water before they even hit your mouth. And the taste is even better.

The bells are ringing in winter bells. This group is making beautiful music look forward to their mini concert at the end of the session.

Adventures, relaxation, and ELP at LCS!

The ASP kids in Lincoln have been greatly enjoying the beautiful weather we've continued to have since the beginning of the month. Although it gets darker and colder earlier now, we have still been able to run around outside until nearly 4:30 each day. Of course, there have been some rainy days that have trapped us indoors, but we always find something to keep ourselves occupied with!

Hard at work building and painting wooden structures!

We have also been making sure to incorporate relaxation and quiet time during our after school day. The blue mats are a key element for this time, and the kids love making triangular forts to read and rest inside.

November has also brought us the second session of the Expanded Learning Program, which happens to be the first session at LCS. We are lucky to have our own Cathy doing yoga with K-3, and tae kwon-do with Elliot for K-6. Looking forward to seeing the pictures Amber has been taking!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tonight the Expanded Learning Program took the floor at the ANESU All District Boards Carousel Meeting

Academic Enrichment Educators Michael Gray, Jackie Raymond and Elliot Cluba led mini-workshops planned to enact a routine workshop day. Board members were able to gain a sense of how a workshop is led; the range of topics; the quality of the educators; and the vision of the Expanded Learning Program.   Needless to say, it took some time to get the engaged board members back in their seats!  We were grateful to share ways the Expanded Learning Program is meeting the goals of our Supervisory Union, specifically when it comes to goals outlined in the ENDs Policy.  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Build it and They Will Come

Writing this blog post reflecting on our first week of Session II at Robinson I could not be happier.

Session I was a great beginning to our 2015-16 run at Robinson. We averaged 16 students M/W and T/TH with 3 workshops on M/W and 2 workshops on T/TH. Students enrolled in Session II enjoy 3 workshops on M/W, 4 workshops on T/TH, and 1 workshop on Friday!

As the coordinator for the Robinson site the beginning of sessions is always hectic to say the least. The spreadsheets, attendance, coordination with teachers and workshop leaders has my nose to the screen and my brain scattered. As I put all of my ducks in a row I must have forgotten to take a look at our attendance numbers. On our first Tuesday of Session II my jaw began to drop as kids continued to pile into the library! All said and done we were busting at the seams with 36 students for the 4 workshops, our biggest day by far!

On Monday and Wednesday we welcome John Amory teaching Oceans, Rivers, and Lakes, Becky Rose-Adams teaching Homesteading, and Roberta McKinney along with her exchange student Igor teaching International Interactions.

On Tuesday and Thursday we welcome Jill Schoendorf teaching Argh You Ready to be a Pirate, Kerry Lake teaching Everyday Spanish, Sue Bachand teaching Math Masters, and Donna Shepardson teaching GeoBee.

On Friday Mike Gray came back for Session II to teach Chess!

(Now we're waiting for Shoeless Joe Jackson to come teach a baseball workshop!)

I would like to recognize the dedication of our workshop leaders. 5 of our leaders teach full time at Robinson during the school day. Our other workshop leaders also work full time and have other activities they are involved in throughout the week. Thank you workshop leaders!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Here Comes Session II

We just wrapped up a great first session at Robinson and on November 9th we begin Session II!

On Mondays and Wednesdays if you drop by Robinson you can find a foreign exchange student teaching about his home country of Slovakia, students exploring oceans, lakes, and rivers, and 4th-6th graders learning all about homesteading!

Tuesdays and Thursdays will have the halls filled with Spanish speakers, pirates looking for their booty, students studying the map of the world, and mathematicians sharpening their skills! 

Friday brings back one of our favorite leaders, Mike, continuing on his journey teaching Chess to a great group of kiddos!

Check back next week to see pictures and updates of all of our new adventures!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

BES Warming up to our great workshops

    As fall flies by we are busy getting the new workshops set for our next session which begins on November 9. We have a lot of exciting stuff planned so be on the lookout.
    As the kids settle into their workshops their smiles get bigger and they seem to be having a great time. 
What could be better than baking with Bertha on a nice cool fall afternoon.

   Homesteading keeps you warm as you prepare for the long winter ahead, canning pickles making jelly and much more. 

   Can't beat warming up to some African drumming and dancing.

   Nothing can warm you up fast like working your brain in the scholars club. 

   Chinese club are on a roll and warming up to a new language and culture. 

   Kids are bundling up to enjoy the fall leaves and the outdoor beauty, in the  Get Outdoors workshop. Making mobiles out of found objects from outside. Sticks leaves and more. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Marshmallow Architects at LCS!

Ever since they noticed a bag of marshmallows up on one of the shelves in our closet, the kiddos have been asking to do something with them. The time came last Wednesday, when we ripped open several marshmallow bags along with quite a few boxes of make marshmallow structures!

Of course, we had to eat some along on the way to keep our energy up!

It was a great activity to do as a group so we could check out each other's creations and work together to build even bigger structures. It was also an exercise in self-restraint, as the rules were only 10 marshmallows each during ASP hours! It was difficult, but everyone did their best to follow the rule.


This upcoming week, we will planning for our Halloween party on Friday the 30th. All students will have time during the school day on Friday to make masks, which they can show off at ASP when they come. We will be playing games, reading Halloween-themed books, eating brains (spaghetti) and eyeballs (grapes), and have one or two "treat" foods. We will make our own decorations and put together a spooky playlist. We've already begun getting into the spirit of Halloween with a yard-wide zombie game played and created by the kids themselves!

The masked Zombie King strategizes with his minions while the humans scatter along the playground structure, anticipating the chase! If they get caught, they will be thrown into the dungeon (tunnel) and turned into zombies themselves! That is...if they don't escape first!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Lights are On and the Kids School!

The Lights are ON....

On Wednesday, October 21st we joined in with the Afterschool Alliance and opened our doors for parents and the community to come visit the ELP workshops. It was the 16th year of a nationwide movement to highlight the amazing work done by educators and community members to enhance student's lives and learning in an afterschool setting. Research has proved that students who participate in afterschool enrichment are improving their lives not only in the realm of education but at home as well. Please check out Afterschool Alliance's research page to see for yourself!

Our K-2 group is VERY busy practicing for their presentation of, "The Very Cranky Bear." We will be performing at MARS on November 11. Please drop by at 8:00 am to support the kids! We took a break today to take a walk to visit Cinnamon and her colt Buckwheat! Along the way we told stories about horses, they could be fiction or non-fiction. Each student had a turn to tell his or her story!

The science workshop is steaming ahead with their experiments. Most recently the students have experimented with static electricity and density. Students took blown up balloons and tried to pick up salt and pepper with the static electricity from the balloon. Students found it was easier to pick up pepper. Why? they asked. Carolyn led them through the reasoning behind density and static electricity!

The first session of workshops comes to an end on November 6. We start Session II on November 9 and the workshops will run through December 18. We have great workshops coming together. Check back next week for a line up of Session II!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

BES's expanded learning program is in full swing

"What happens to kids after school is as important to kids as what happens to them during school." Senator Bernie Sanders, 2010 Vermont Afterschool Conference

The Expanded Learning Program at Bristol Elementary School is in full swing!  This session we are offering The "Get Outside" workshop, African Drumming and Dancing, Homesteading, Baking with Bertha, Scholars Club, and Chinese Club!  Students are enjoying the great outdoors and the beautiful fall colors.  We are happy to host such enthusiastic leaders!  Please stay tuned for session II paperwork!

Homesteading is whipping up some butter!

Baking with Bertha is the Best. 

The rhythm is going to get you in the African drumming workshop.