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If you taught a co-op class that was a big hit . . .

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what did you teach?  I'm probably going to be volunteering to teach at a large co-op next year.  The field is wide open--just about any topic in any of these age categories--1st-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th.  I tweak and combine resources a lot, but I don't have the time/energy to come up with something from scratch.  I have a few ideas, but I'd love to hear about things that have worked really well for others.  Please share your successes!  :)

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what did you teach?  I'm probably going to be volunteering to teach at a large co-op next year.  The field is wide open--just about any topic in any of these age categories--1st-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th.  I tweak and combine resources a lot, but I don't have the time/energy to come up with something from scratch.  I have a few ideas, but I'd love to hear about things that have worked really well for others.  Please share your successes!  :)

Art classes using this resource: http://www.deepspacesparkle.com/2007/11/07/fall-leaves/ have gone well.

 

Science Classes Using:

Gems Guide: http://www.lhsgems.org/gemsguides.html

Ellen McHenry Guides

Aims: Chemistry Matters

Physics: http://www.amazon.com/Gizmos-Gadgets-Creating-Contraptions-Williamson/dp/1885593260/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393974681&sr=8-1&keywords=gadgets+gizmos

 

Five in a Row Classes go well.

 

Drama--but that is probably more than you want.

 

Writing Club for the 3-5th graders goes well Just have some kind of mini-lesson on adj, strong verbs, paragraph development, then have them write from a prompt (they can come up with them), then they write, share and give feed back

 

Actually, most things have gone well if the teacher is prepared. Classes with long lectures are probably the exception for the age groups that you listed.

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We did two things for older groups this year that were well attended:

 

1) Introduction to Public Speaking (6th and up)

We put this together from scratch, but there are some programs that could be adapted.

 

2) Time to Invent (5th and up)

Based this on the materials at http://timetoinvent.org/activities/ and just did selected activities, combined with lots of exercises to encourage creative thinking.

 

Erica in OR

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What is your passion?  I'm an art-history girl, so my classes often reflect that.

 

I think my favorite was our Leonardo Da Vinci class, which focused more on his inventions than his artwork.

 

 

 

--- I have to disagree about this age group not doing well with long lectures.  I don't think it is the lectures that are a problem, but the way that they are delivered.  I have had amazing success with lecturing, as long as I give the kids a theme-specific coloring sheet, clay, or another quiet activity to keep their fingers busy while I talk.  Powerpoint is also a great way to keep their attention while you deliver the information that they need.  

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I did a poetry class for 3rd through 6th grade students.  That class ended up being their favorite class of the session.  We just went over a different type of poem or poetic device each week and the students had to write their own poem each week.  At the end of the class I put the poems together and printed a book for each of them.

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Grades 5-9 Speech Boot Camp - 10 weeks based on IEW product, but heavily supplemented, not just watching DVDs, actually, watching very little of the DVDs

 

Grades 8-10 IEW's SWI Continuation Course C, also heavily supplemented to the point that it looks very little like the original course, full year course

 

Grades 4-6 Reader's Theater using a variety of resources- 10 weeks  This one really benefited a couple of kids who are dyslexic.  Reader's theater is wonderful for developing fluency.  We put on a 'play' at the end for the rest of the co-op with very few props and kids were allowed to use their scripts.  I explained to the audience what reader's theater is so that they wouldn't think the kids were lazy and just didn't memorize their lines.

 

My first Little House - This was for K-2 I used most of the My First Little House books, read aloud, covered the vocabulary and a little bit of history, discussed stories, and gave experiences to the kids--like making butter, playing games, singing songs, anything related to the books.  We had a lot of fun.

 

ETA:  These were all taught by me.  I have another mom who assists in the writing class, but other than that I have done all of the planning and prep.  I found that the quality of the classes went down if I made them true co-ops b/c the kids had no consistency from teacher to teacher, and in most cases, no one else was willing to put in the time planning.  The Little House class was originally meant to be a co-op, but after I talked to the moms involved I decided it would be a class.  I wanted my Dd to have all of the experiences I had envisioned, and the other moms did not want to put in that kind of effort.  Probably many of them had older kids and different priorities.  I don't remember.  IT was close to 8 years ago! 

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I don't know if you are looking for enrichment or curriculum classes. I directed a co-op which was enrichment classes, and here are some popular classes we had. 

 

6th-8th: 

 

On Trial, the Case of the Big Bad Wolf

 

Forensics: Mystery of the Disappearing Diamonds

 

Fun with Logic: The Fallacy Detective and weekly logic puzzles and games

 

Nature Photography

 

Fine Arts: studied music and art of a particular time period and did some drawing/painting to imitate works of the time period

 

Girls: Natural Spa class making homemade beauty products

Boys: Study a particular time in history, especially a famous war or something in science

 

 

3rd-5th:

 

History Pockets (Our group did the Ancient Greece book but any would work.)

 

Math Games (I always taught this and focused on a different skill set each time we met.)

 

Around the World in ____ Weeks (number of classes per session) This was a world geography class. focused on a different continent each week, taught geography terms, played games from countries, had food from the continent, ended with a Christmas Around the World celebration)

 

Hands-On Science (fun experiments each week, no particular discipline focus, the focus was on fun and impressing the kids)

 

 

1st-2nd:

Hands On Pioneer study: studied a different aspect of pioneer life each week, did craft projects, played games, had food, etc.

 

Etiquette: studied all aspects of manners and ended with a meal to practice the skills

 

My America: a social studies class to teach children all about America's symbols, monuments, holidays, etc.

 

 

 

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Not me, but a good friend teaches runs a popular American Girl Club co-op that has been a huge hit for all of the families involved. They read the historical stories and do related projects, crafts, recipes, etc.

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http://www.amazon.com/Body-Science-Books-Patty-Carratello/dp/1557342113/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394050207&sr=8-1&keywords=my+body

 

I taught a class using this book where you make a model of the body.  We would read a book/do an activity based on the body part and then color/cut out the body part and build the body.  Read and find out books were a great series to supplement with. It was very hands on and the kids had a really nice project to show for it at the end of the semester.  I think we did it in about 11 weeks.  I did it with K-3rd graders.

Joy

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Right now, I'm teaching a World Geography class for 3rd-5th graders.  I'm using a combo of Galloping the Globe, Trail Guide to World Geography, and whatever else interesting I find.  I've also had some guest speakers come in that have lived or are from various countries and the kids LOVE that!

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I teach Geography using the game of risk. This is a big hit with 10-15 yo boys. For the older boys that did a year of that I do axis and allies. Each class has to give me facts each week. The risk class is about a different country and they have to be able to find it on a map.

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DH and I co-taught a science class through our Co-op because the person who was supposed to teach bailed at the last minute and our DFD9 (who was eight then) was really looking forward to it.  It was very experiment based so the co-op part was fun.  We worked on the concepts ahead of time and afterward at home and she loved it.  We offered a reference list and even a recommended companion text for parents to use alongside but I don't think many people followed through with that and we set the course up in a way that the experiments could stand alone after a short prep/concept session.  We were asked to teach again this year but we just had too much going on plus this co-op has been continuing to evolve in social directions we just aren't very comfortable with. 

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Greek History using History Pockets along with  A LOT of supplement in the areas of recipes, art projects, dressing up as a favorite Greek god or goddess, D'Aulaire's, and some play acting of historical events. 

 

Medieval History using Project Passport (purchased a one time license) with similar supplements as above. 

 

Art  - various resources- Meet the Masters, Discovering Great Artists, Dynamic Art Projects for Kids

 

FIAR based classes - Read a book, do a craft or art project based on a theme, or literary element of that book.

 

IEW style writing up to Unit 4 using mostly Aesop's Fables for re-writes.  I incorporated a ton of grammar into this with the use of games and the dc LOVED it. 

 

Botany - no one resource - just a different experiment each week with an ongoing project for them to sprout and grow a bean plant at home and report on it's progress to the class each week. 

 

Sloppy Science Experiments - making slime, oobleck, silly putty, mentos and coke, density rainbows, egg drop experiments, walking on eggs, etc. 

 

 

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I teach Geography using the game of risk. This is a big hit with 10-15 yo boys. For the older boys that did a year of that I do axis and allies. Each class has to give me facts each week. The risk class is about a different country and they have to be able to find it on a map.

 

The Risk game sounds like fun.  Can you elaborate a bit more please?

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What is your passion?  I'm an art-history girl, so my classes often reflect that.

 

I think my favorite was our Leonardo Da Vinci class, which focused more on his inventions than his artwork.

 

 

 

--- I have to disagree about this age group not doing well with long lectures.  I don't think it is the lectures that are a problem, but the way that they are delivered.  I have had amazing success with lecturing, as long as I give the kids a theme-specific coloring sheet, clay, or another quiet activity to keep their fingers busy while I talk.  Powerpoint is also a great way to keep their attention while you deliver the information that they need.  

 

This sounds like fun!

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These books look the same when I follow the links. Can you try to link the arson one again?

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I enjoyed a co-op where I taught music (composer study mostly with a bit of theory), and a friend taught art (artist study followed by trying out some technique).  Those were very fun!   

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I taught a class in Renaissance history to kids aged 7-12. That was a big gap, and I geared it mainly toward the 10yo's in the class, because my daughter was one of them, and she had asked me to teach the class. We helped the younger kids when they needed it. The 10-11 yo's seemed to enjoy it; they were interested and engaged and cheered and groaned appropriately (talking about Renaissance "cures" for illness, or Henry VIII's penchant for new wives, got their attention). I used SOTW 2 for some of the classes, and overall, I feel like it was a really good class.

 

I also taught a class last spring on Treasure Island, for boys (although I suppose girls could have attended if they had wanted) aged 6-9, using a free curriculum. That was a big hit! It required that the parents read the book to the kids, or that they listen to an unabridged audio version, but the curriculum had a lot of discussion questions, art projects, and activities, like knot-tying and mapwork. Really hit a lot of subject areas. I had four adorable little boys in my class, so I was able to sit down at the table with them and discuss things, and they were so sweet and fun. We acted out scenes from TI, and they really got into that. It could easily make a full-year course; our group met four times in the fall and five in the spring (I only taught the spring classes), for an hour at a time, and that made for a lot of reading in between, since we met every two weeks.

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Also, I didn't teach this, but a friend taught an American Girl class, where they did projects and such from the various time periods; I think they did Felicity, Samantha, and Kaya, four weeks each. DD really loved that!

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I taught an 8-wk class on Lewis & Clark at our coop. It was so popular that they asked me to teach it 3 more times. I would read aloud for the first 10-15 minutes from a chapter book written from the perspective of Seaman, the dog. We did crafts or projects every week based on whatever we read that week. It was a lot of fun.

 

I also taught a class on archaeology to several classes. We did quite a bit of hands on stuff and ended the semester by having each class create artifacts for a civilization they had fabricated. The classes traded artifacts and tried to discern as much as they could from the other class's artifacts to put together a civilization profile. It was fun, too.

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I taught an 8-wk class on Lewis & Clark at our coop. It was so popular that they asked me to teach it 3 more times. I would read aloud for the first 10-15 minutes from a chapter book written from the perspective of Seaman, the dog. We did crafts or projects every week based on whatever we read that week. It was a lot of fun.

 

I also taught a class on archaeology to several classes. We did quite a bit of hands on stuff and ended the semester by having each class create artifacts for a civilization they had fabricated. The classes traded artifacts and tried to discern as much as they could from the other class's artifacts to put together a civilization profile. It was fun, too.

 

Lewis and Clark sounds like so much fun!  What kind of classes did you do?

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Lewis and Clark sounds like so much fun! What kind of classes did you do?

I read a chapter each week from a trip narrative written from the perspective of the dog, Seaman. Then I found an activity or craft based on something in the narrative. We made portable soup, learned about grizzly bears, made and wrote in journals, learned how to use a compass and made one, reenacted a couple of scenes, looked at lots of pictures of the terrain, carved dugout canoes from soap, did a picture study of a painting and made up a story about what happened after the scene in the painting (that was hilarious!), and lots more. I just let each week's reading inspire a focus and came up with activities to complement the focus.

 

I had been at a loss for what to teach one semester and someone suggested that I teach about something I really like. The Lewis & Clark journey is one of my very favorite episodes in US history, so off I went!

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what a great thread!

 

For our older kids (10-12) I combined Philosophy for Kids and Art of Argument. Everyone was encouraged to buy the books, but not everyone did. We share books when needed, and occasionally the kids copy down a definition in their notebooks. We start each session with one of the questions from the philosophy books. They love discussing their thoughts. For the 2nd half, we focus on a group of logical fallacies. The goal isn't for them to be able to name each one, but rather, the main types covered in the book. That's mainly a time thing. The kids also each bring in an occurrence of a logical fallacy. This is completely voluntary, but we've promised them a sundae party if they bring in a certain number (as a group) over the course of the term. We're almost halfway through our term and the kids and I are loving it. Occasionally, during the discussion part, someone will say "hey, that's actually a logical fallacy and here's why." The kid making the fallacy is usually off guard but then we think of what s/he was trying to say, sticking to the issue at hand. It's been a great experience, so far.

 

 

 

 

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I also taught a class last spring on Treasure Island, for boys (although I suppose girls could have attended if they had wanted) aged 6-9, using a free curriculum. That was a big hit! It required that the parents read the book to the kids, or that they listen to an unabridged audio version, but the curriculum had a lot of discussion questions, art projects, and activities, like knot-tying and mapwork. Really hit a lot of subject areas. I had four adorable little boys in my class, so I was able to sit down at the table with them and discuss things, and they were so sweet and fun. We acted out scenes from TI, and they really got into that. It could easily make a full-year course; our group met four times in the fall and five in the spring (I only taught the spring classes), for an hour at a time, and that made for a lot of reading in between, since we met every two weeks.

 

Are you able to share the free curriculum? This sounds like a great fit for the kids at our co-op!

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I've done a lot of classes that are more specialized and take a lot of work (like hands on chemistry), but some classes that I really like that are:

 

Detective Club

http://www.amazon.com/Detective-Club-Mysteries-Young-Thinkers/dp/1593630654

 

More Detective Club

 

Chocolate Caper

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Chocolate-Caper-Mystery-Teaches/dp/1593634994/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394287240&sr=1-1&keywords=chocolate+caper

 

Mystery Disease

http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Disease-Mark-Bohland/dp/1593631103/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394287293&sr=1-1&keywords=mystery+disease

 

Also, NIH has put together a curriculum on bioethics that was really good.

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Are you able to share the free curriculum? This sounds like a great fit for the kids at our co-op!

 

I think I found it.

 

unsocialized.net/gfile/75r4!-!HIHGKJ!-!svyr5/treasureislandseminar.pdf‎

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I think I found it.

 

unsocialized.net/gfile/75r4!-!HIHGKJ!-!svyr5/treasureislandseminar.pdf‎

 

thank you! That link didn't work, but I was able to google it and found this. Thanks again!

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I am thinking about teaching art (Discovering the World's Greatest Artisits) and US Geography (Cantering the Country) next year to K-2nd graders. As I stated in a previous post, Five in a Row has been a blast this year, and I've made it very hands-on, so I want to stick with "active" subjects. Plus, art and geography sound like fun subjects. You can do a lot with both.

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American Girl Club

 

-book discussion

-craft related to the book

-snack related to the book

-game related to the book

 

It was once a month (each month featured a different American Girl) for about 6 months.  2 moms signed up to lead the monthly meeting and included all 4 of the above between them.  Everyone signed up for their month at the first brainstorming session, so there was no ongoing planning. 

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I taught World Geography for 2nd-3rd grade using Expedition Earth from Confessions of a Homeschooler.   We did a different country each week.  We located it on the map and then they filled out a fact sheet with what continent it was on, capital, population, language, religion, etc.  We learned how to say Hello in each country's language.  They colored a flag while I talked about landmarks, customs, etc for a few minutes.  Then we did some sort of craft or recipe from each country.  We only had 1 hr a week and it was very full.  They loved it and the kids still talk to me about it.  For our last class, I created a jeopardy board with all sorts of questions about things we had studied - they had to locate countries on map, name the continent it was on, say hello in that language, lots of other stuff and then their final jeopardy question I gave them a handout with all the flags and they had to label as many as they could.  Both of the teams only missed like 2 or 3 flags each.  I was impressed!

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I taught a class in Renaissance history to kids aged 7-12. That was a big gap, and I geared it mainly toward the 10yo's in the class, because my daughter was one of them, and she had asked me to teach the class. We helped the younger kids when they needed it. The 10-11 yo's seemed to enjoy it; they were interested and engaged and cheered and groaned appropriately (talking about Renaissance "cures" for illness, or Henry VIII's penchant for new wives, got their attention). I used SOTW 2 for some of the classes, and overall, I feel like it was a really good class.

 

I also taught a class last spring on Treasure Island, for boys (although I suppose girls could have attended if they had wanted) aged 6-9, using a free curriculum. That was a big hit! It required that the parents read the book to the kids, or that they listen to an unabridged audio version, but the curriculum had a lot of discussion questions, art projects, and activities, like knot-tying and mapwork. Really hit a lot of subject areas. I had four adorable little boys in my class, so I was able to sit down at the table with them and discuss things, and they were so sweet and fun. We acted out scenes from TI, and they really got into that. It could easily make a full-year course; our group met four times in the fall and five in the spring (I only taught the spring classes), for an hour at a time, and that made for a lot of reading in between, since we met every two weeks.

Can you give me more details on the Renaissance history you taught and Treasure Island.  

 

Thank you!  I'm trying to get ideas for our new co-op :)

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I just finished running a Math Circle for co-op for ages 8-12. It was a great success, so we are going to do it for 6-8 next semester. Do some Internet research on math circles to find out more about them, but basically this is lots of creative and conceptual math, problem solving, games, and *thinking* mathematically. Very little computation was involved in the class. Some websites I found very helpful for me: moebiusnoodles.com, letsplaymath.net, math munch, numberphile, vi hart videos, and math books from AMS http://www.ams.org/bookstore/mclseries

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what did you teach?  I'm probably going to be volunteering to teach at a large co-op next year.  The field is wide open--just about any topic in any of these age categories--1st-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th.  I tweak and combine resources a lot, but I don't have the time/energy to come up with something from scratch.  I have a few ideas, but I'd love to hear about things that have worked really well for others.  Please share your successes!  :)

 

I have taught two that went well, didn't require a ton of planning, and were well liked.

 

For 7-9 year olds, we did a "Draw Right Now" book--our co-op meets 24 times/year and that's about how many lessons there were.  Each week, we did one animal (or map).  We would spend the first 15 min or so drawing the picture, they would spend 15 min or so coloring it and doing the background, then I would read from related library books about the animal and we'd discuss it, then they would do the 4 sentence copywork (adding any other info they wanted to).

 

This year, I am teaching "Literature Club" to 9-13 year olds.  I chose Mary Poppins and bought the Veritas Press Study Guide--each week, they read a chapter at home and answer the questions to bring back (I copy the questions from the guide).  We discuss, then either do the activity from the guide (nearly every chapter has a decent related activity suggested) or we do something else that I've come up with--like two weeks we did poetry.  I told them very basic info about limericks one week, haiku another, read sample poems, then had them come up with some (preferably about Mary Poppins)--they had fun with that.

 

We did Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates the first semester--not quite as fun as Mary Poppins, but a good classic book with lots of history/geography tie-ins and new vocab.

 

Always interesting to see what other people come up with--I can get ideas for future years too!

 

Betsy

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"Grades 5-9 Speech Boot Camp - 10 weeks based on IEW product, but heavily supplemented, not just watching DVDs, actually, watching very little of the DVDs"

 

What resources did you supplement with?  I am thinking of teaching this next semester and would like to use the DVD's very little myself.

 

Laura

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elementary ages: Hands On Science

Hands-on science experiments each week, rotating through several stations, with all experiments building onto a specific science topic. No specific curriculum; I put each week together.

 

middle school/early high school: Public Speaking

I would go over some aspect of communications or public speaking for about 10 minutes, have a 10 minute all-class-participating hands-on to practice it, and then the last hour of class was student presentations, with the rest of the students filling out a mini-evaluation form to help the student giving the presentation. Used bits from a number of different resources.

 

high school: Study Skills

Learning styles; time and "stuff" organization; reading strategies;  general study habits and tips; memorization tips; specific study strategies (for math and foreign language); types of note-taking techniques and note-taking tips; types of tests and test-taking tips and strategies. Used many different resources to put together each class.

 

high school: Intro to Film Analysis

Read an article at home each week that I prepared on a different cinematic element (lighting, editing, framing, color, sound, motion, etc.), and then watched a film in class and discussed. My background is film, so I pulled from my own knowledge, and from a variety of online resources.

 

high school: Lord of the Rings

Lit & Comp class based on reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Started off very loosely basing ideas for class from Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings, but it quickly ballooned into my own vast project, pulled from many, many resources. (I'm seeing a trend here, in the way I teach co-op! ;) )

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What resources did you supplement with?  I am thinking of teaching this next semester and would like to use the DVD's very little myself.

 

Laura

I made handouts myself to cover everything I wanted them to know.  I also designed activities that promoted public speaking.  They did a lot of games that required them to speak impromptu.  To make it easier in the beginning we worked on reading with expression and they were not judged on how often they looked at the audience.  I did that mostly for the shy kids, though there were a few kids who were happy to be speaking to a group.  I will have to dig up my file and see if I still have everything.

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I've never taught this but American Girl History is popular at co-op. It is similar to what the prior poster said. They do some cooking in this class.

 

We also got a lot of interest in a cooking/baking class.  

 

We have done FIAR multiple times.  We also usually always offer a Math Games class. Next year it is Math Games/Brain Games.

 

We have done something like the hands-on science one of the other posters mentioned, and this coming year we are doing Inquiry in Action (the free American Chemist Society curriculum)

 

Musical theater and guitar are very popular, as is art

 

 

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I am currently teaching a Sharpie Art Class at our "just for fun" Co-op.  The class filled up so quick that we had to cap the class at 16 students just a couple of days after signups began.  

 

I have had a blast preparing for this class.  If you are interested, here is the link to the blog that I created to support the class.  It is only a one hour class, so the students who have had the most success spend a little time planning their project in advance (otherwise they run out of time or rush with varying results.)  

 

HTH

 

 

 

 

 

  

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I have taught a Lego class two semesters that the kids seemed to love. The gist class was for kids 4th - 12th, but I don't think we had any kids older than about 12 sign up. I would show the kids a quick video about a specific topic or technique, then challenge the kids to build their interpretation. Near the end of class we had a show and tell session, where I briefly taught them a public speaking skill, like making eye contact, speaking loudly, greetings, etc. they had to use that skill during their 1min show and tell. The lego class I'm teaching this semester is very similar, but it's 1st - 5th, and I'm not doing the public speaking element. Everything else is the same except I give them a 10 speed build time at the beginning of class.

 

I've also taught a Games for Critical Thinking class, which is really just an excuse for me to take board games to co-op. Lol! Actually, I have kids begging me to teach the class every semester. I introduce the kids to a wide variety of games, from competitive to cooperative, fillers and brain burners, bluffing games, to straight up roll and move. I had one parent tell me recently that she noticed that her DD has been more strategic and thoughtful in her thinking, both with games and schoolwork. <3

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Huge hit - Hands-On Science that I did for 1st through 3rd. Minimal writing/recording, lots of cool demos and messy projects for the kids. Stuff moms didn't want to do at home. or didn't have the equipment for. I took photos, and every kid got a personalized book of their projects at the end of the year. A lot of work/planning the first year I did it, but easy the 2nd and 3rd years because I already had all the plans and materials.

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I know this is an old thread, but I am hoping to revive it. What new classes have you taught that went over well at your co-op?

 

For ours, Inquiry in Action went really well last year.  Also the crochet class this year was popular and is going well.

Physics with toys has been good so far.  There is a lot to cover so we will not get to it all.

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My favorite-to-teach Co-op class is one I call Thinking Out of the Box. I use a variety of brainteasers, math puzzles, word puzzles, spatial visualization puzzles, logic puzzles, etc. to get the kids to develop critical thinking skills. 

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