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

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I'm currently teaching an "Animals in Classical Music" class for K/1. We meet once a week for an hour, for 12 weeks.  We started out by learning the basics of music: rhythm, pitch, tempo, and dynamic.  Next we discussed the various parts of the orchestra and listened to segments of classical music that prominently featured that particular instrument family.  Then we started Carnival of the Animals, listening to 2-4 parts a week, reading a book that related, and making a musical instrument craft or an animal craft. We finished by watching the Looney Tunes version of Carnival. Now we are beginning Peter and the Wolf, and making paper bag puppets of each character so that the students will be able to perform their own version for their parents. At the end of this session, we will watch the Disney version.  The last week will focus on other classical pieces inspired by animals - Flight of the Bumblebees, Walking the Dog by Gershwin, Baby Elephant Walk by Mancini, and several others.

 

So far it seems to be a great hit.  I have had several parents tell me how much their child is enjoying the class. I'm glad it has turned out so well!

 

Lana

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I taught a one semester photography class that was popular because we had a weekly contest where a winner was chosen who took the best picture of that week. Each week had a theme. Nature, color, action, macro, etc. Prizes were given out each week. It was expensive, but the kids loved it.

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I taught a Nature Craft class (7-9 year olds).  I found tons of ideas on Pinterest and we used lots of materials like leaves, tree branch slices (I bought these on Etsy), sea shells, dried beans, etc.  One week we made a nature notebook, then went for a nature walk.  It's a great class to have in the fall!

 

DH taught photography one semester.

 

I've also taught a few classes using lapbooks...we did one based on an Apologia science book.  I had to seriously cut out the amount of information!  

 

Classes that I didn't teach, but I thought were very successful included:

 

  • state studies--2 of my DC learned their state capitals this way!
  • speech--this was ages 7-9 and they did a great job
  • 2 of my DC took a class that did science experiments, I think she used a book from Critical Thinking Co.  The experiments were much better than the typical demonstrative experiments.  
  • writing/designing a picture book using a blank book (ages 7-9)
  • comic book writing (ages 10+)
  • DD made a multi-medium fairy tale storybook for one class (age 10+)
  • stop motion animation (ages 13+)--this was very popular.  They got together in small groups to make a short movie.
  • PE classes--it's difficult to play team sports at home ;)
  • anything messy like art projects, science projects, or even board games are great because they are difficult to get to when you have small DC at home--I loved having another mom clean up the mess  :lol:
  • cooking classes were always popular

After we moved away, I saw they had a Lego class, which seemed like a wonderful idea!  Each child bought a small bucket of Legos with their course fee.  Our co-op leaned more towards fun classes than educational and I was fine with that.  My main reasons for attending were to get the kids out of the house, making friends, and learning to work in group settings.

 

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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. 

 

What a neat idea! What were your favorite resources to use for this class?

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I forgot to mention that last year I taught a Nature Study and Field Biology class and it went very well (36 weeks, 5th-8th grade)

 

Has anyone taught a music and art appreciation class? I am thinking of that but 36 weeks is a lot to fill, and there is a general music class this year already.

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What a neat idea! What were your favorite resources to use for this class?

 

I use a wide variety of materials.

 

Mathematics: A Human Endeavor by Harold Jacobs has some good ideas. I have also used some of the "math tricks" from Jacobs' Elementary Algebra textbook. 

 

I collect inexpensive puzzle and brainteaser books from bookstores. 

 

I love many of the puzzles from this site: http://dkmgames.com; they have given me permission to print from their site and copy for use in my classroom as long as I give them credit.

 

I also like this site: http://www.puzzle-nonograms.com/

 

I subscribe to the weekly KenKen puzzle collection for teachers through this site: kenkenpuzzle.com

 

The Geometry textbook I use at our other Co-op has challenge problems at the end of most lessons, which I sometimes use. 

 

Martin Gardner has written several books full of interesting puzzlers. Our library has several that I borrow from.

 

I picked up a little Brain Games puzzle booklet at Ollie's Bargain Outlet store. The usually sell for a few dollars each, but I got them for something like 79 cents each. I bought one for each of my students, and I keep them with my supplies. I can just choose a puzzle, and everyone works on the same one. It has a variety of puzzles: word, logic, math, spatial, etc. 

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The biggest hits in our group:

 

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry-not Harry Potter book study, but classes based on what might be covered on HP, with several short topics that kids could pick from at a 3rd-5th and 6th-8th grade level. This was a full-semester theme for the entire co-op. I did a class on Mathemagic (mathematical games, puzzles, and logic) and on "Spell Design" (basic Latin) as part of this group. We also had a "Potions" (basic chemistry), "Care and Keeping of Magical Creatures "(interesting animals and basic zoology), Quidditch (actually playing the game as a PE class). "Wizards Ball" (PE-Ballroom dancing, taught by a parent who does dance competitions and is really, really good). Herbology (wildcrafting and growing an indoor herb garden), Astronomy, and so on. The kids, who are now mostly middle and high school age, have asked about doing another Harry Potter semester.

 

Forensic Science (6th-10th grade)

 

Disney Science of Imagineering and KNex Physics, using the Disney video series and Knex kits. IN our case, we had members who already owned them or were willing to buy them and let them be used, so the cost was minimal.

 

 

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The biggest hits in our group:

 

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry-not Harry Potter book study, but classes based on what might be covered on HP, with several short topics that kids could pick from at a 3rd-5th and 6th-8th grade level. This was a full-semester theme for the entire co-op. I did a class on Mathemagic (mathematical games, puzzles, and logic) and on "Spell Design" (basic Latin) as part of this group. We also had a "Potions" (basic chemistry), "Care and Keeping of Magical Creatures "(interesting animals and basic zoology), Quidditch (actually playing the game as a PE class). "Wizards Ball" (PE-Ballroom dancing, taught by a parent who does dance competitions and is really, really good). Herbology (wildcrafting and growing an indoor herb garden), Astronomy, and so on. The kids, who are now mostly middle and high school age, have asked about doing another Harry Potter semester.

 

Forensic Science (6th-10th grade)

 

Disney Science of Imagineering and KNex Physics, using the Disney video series and Knex kits. IN our case, we had members who already owned them or were willing to buy them and let them be used, so the cost was minimal.

 

 

LOVE the Hogwarts idea. I am not sure if it would work out but love it.  How many weeks was your Imagineering class? I have the videos and planned to use them to supplement my Physics with Toys class but it has not worked out to fit them in. We have tons of K'nex for the class as well.  

 

I had seen upthread some references to the Forensic Science. What did your co-op use?

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I think we did 12 weeks for the Disney.

 

For forensics science, we found a syllabus online for a high school elective class, and picked topics from there.

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I did hands-on science for 4-6th grade for three years with a local co-op. We did a lapbook and hands-on experiments.

 

Very fun. I miss that!

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Our co-op classes meet 7 times per semester, so finding ideas that work for a fairly condensed class has been challenging.  I'm glad to see that someone successfully used the Disney Imagineering videos for a class, that's my idea for next fall.  

 

I taught a handbell class for 2nd-6th graders using these handbells and covering basic music theory.  We performed a handful of songs at our end-of-semester parent night.  I had a lot of kids in the class that had no prior musical experience and this class was a great intro.  

 

Last semester I taught a survival skills class for 4th-8th graders.  We covered topics such as building/finding shelter, firestarting, water purification, rescue, first aid, etc.  We had a great time!  I tried to have a hands-on activity and a short lecture, usually a power point presentation.  I'm doing the same class next semester for the kids on the waiting list for fall.  

 

My kids favorite classes so far have been photography, cooking, gym, legos, and web design.  

Edited by Stratford
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The biggest hits in our group:

 

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry-not Harry Potter book study, but classes based on what might be covered on HP, with several short topics that kids could pick from at a 3rd-5th and 6th-8th grade level. This was a full-semester theme for the entire co-op. I did a class on Mathemagic (mathematical games, puzzles, and logic) and on "Spell Design" (basic Latin) as part of this group. We also had a "Potions" (basic chemistry), "Care and Keeping of Magical Creatures "(interesting animals and basic zoology), Quidditch (actually playing the game as a PE class). "Wizards Ball" (PE-Ballroom dancing, taught by a parent who does dance competitions and is really, really good). Herbology (wildcrafting and growing an indoor herb garden), Astronomy, and so on. The kids, who are now mostly middle and high school age, have asked about doing another Harry Potter semester.

 

Forensic Science (6th-10th grade)

 

Disney Science of Imagineering and KNex Physics, using the Disney video series and Knex kits. IN our case, we had members who already owned them or were willing to buy them and let them be used, so the cost was minimal.

 

Wow that sounds neat. 

 

Where are these videos?   And are the certain kits

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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

 

I was just thinking of teaching a class this year and legos shot to the top of the list for me. 

What videos were you showing? 

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Wow that sounds neat. 

 

Where are these videos?   And are the certain kits

 

It's the Disney Science of Imagineering. We used the Knex amusement park sets, plus some other assorted stuff.

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We haven't had a co-op in a few years but are trying one this year.  I will be teaching US history for ages 7-9 with specific mention of our state's history to meet our portfolio requirement.  I'll be suggesting that the parents do or assign some reading on each topi ahead of time, and we will do mapwork, games, projects, music, etc. in class.

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Latin from memoria press. Latina Christiana I with Famous Men of Rome for history and culture. 

 

Latin club is another big one. I do kind of put it together. I take the syllabus from the Exploratory Latin Exams and teach from those lists. We learn the colors one day. I make up a game or do a coloring activity to teach it. We learn a song in latin each week and/or a Bible verse to start. Then I take the extra subject for the year for the 5th/6th graders which has a different focus each year and really teach that. Some years it is the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Some years it is ancient geography in latin. Some years it is famous men of Rome. One year it was women. This class is a hit because it enhances latin for the kids taking latin, but it is great for those that aren't too. They get some latin vocabulary but no grammar and plenty of history. I have done this year after year. I have them memorize timelines of Roman history. I relate it to current things. I never run out of topics using basically just memoria press materials, FMOR, the ELE and National Latin exam syllabi and library and internet searches. 

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Latin from memoria press. Latina Christiana I with Famous Men of Rome for history and culture. 

 

Latin club is another big one. I do kind of put it together. I take the syllabus from the Exploratory Latin Exams and teach from those lists. We learn the colors one day. I make up a game or do a coloring activity to teach it. We learn a song in latin each week and/or a Bible verse to start. Then I take the extra subject for the year for the 5th/6th graders which has a different focus each year and really teach that. Some years it is the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Some years it is ancient geography in latin. Some years it is famous men of Rome. One year it was women. This class is a hit because it enhances latin for the kids taking latin, but it is great for those that aren't too. They get some latin vocabulary but no grammar and plenty of history. I have done this year after year. I have them memorize timelines of Roman history. I relate it to current things. I never run out of topics using basically just memoria press materials, FMOR, the ELE and National Latin exam syllabi and library and internet searches. 

 

This sounds fabulous! I like the idea of Latin Club as opposed to class. What ages/grades was this class for? And did the students have any formal Latin outside of class? Was this extra and in addition to Latin they were already learning? One more question: When is the NLE 2018 exam material available? 

 

Thanks!

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I taught at a co-op for many years. 

 

Here's a list of my classes that have been hits:

 

  • My Body (K-2) made life sized bodies for each of the kids, learned about a system and added parts to the paper kid. 
  • One Hour Mysteries (grade 6-8)- based on the Prufrock Press books
  • Magic School Bus (K-3) - watch a video or read a book, play a game/do an experiment. Used Scholastic's website heavily for this
  • Littles' Literature (preK-3) - similar to Five in a Row, using Pinterest to do activities based on book
  • Westward Expansion (gr 4-6) - Used a unit from Teachers Pay Teachers to run a simulation of the Oregon Trail, also panned for gold, etc.
  • Flight (gr 4-6) - learned a little bit about flight, found freebies online, loosely based on this website - http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/lessonplans/flight.html
  • Kids' Creating (gr 4-6) - made goop, slime, painted things, etc. Used this website: http://www.walkingbytheway.com/blog/crazy-kid-concoctions-co-op-class/ and one of the Williamson Kids' books
  • Engineering (gr 6-8) - built off of Design Squad teacher plans, did a Rube Goldberg machine using lots of recycled things

 

 

 

 

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This sounds fabulous! I like the idea of Latin Club as opposed to class. What ages/grades was this class for? And did the students have any formal Latin outside of class? Was this extra and in addition to Latin they were already learning? One more question: When is the NLE 2018 exam material available? 

 

Thanks!

I have done this for whatever grades I have each year. One year I did elementary to high school all together. Generally I have higher elementary and up. 

 

I do this in addition to latin class where they are learning grammar and have daily homework and translation. So some of the kids who take it have latin going on otherwise, and some just take it for the fun and exposure. Anyone can benefit from learning the latin vocabulary and seeing words in English that come from it (and Spanish.) It gives those kids a feeling of learning another language because we will memorize a song or a prayer or a Bible verse or two over the course of the year too even if they aren't taking a latin class.  I mix all levels of latin classes together for this too. So I will have kids taking their first year of LCI and kids in First Form and some in Third Form altogether, plus kids who are only taking this latin club. When I have a verse or a song we are learning, I will go over any pretinent grammar in the title or the verse that kids in the other classes have been studying. So I may point out what declension a word is and what tense if that is something they should be seeing. And I will just say, this is for kids in the Third Form class, when I point that out. 

 

For the kids who take the actual latin exam with me, we generally do a latin class hour, then they take this club, and in the month prior to the actual exam we will meet an additional hour a week to review. And they do their daily work at home. 

 

I have lots of experience doing the ELE for younger grades, and only two years experience doing the NLE, so I am not as familiar with their timeline of when info comes out. But the ELE syllabus is a great starter point for studying for even the NLE, but the culture, grammar, and history required for the NLEs goes up higher with every level. So we all get together and learn material in Latin club that is ELE levels. It reviews basic history that everyone should know. Then those taking latin and doing their daily work get plenty of practice for the grammar sections. And then we get together and study culture and history more in depth for higher levels of NLEs. DD14 has two gold medals so far for levels 1 and 2!  So this is working for us. 

 

And this class has been popular year after year. All kids love to hear the stories from FMOR. I read them on my own, do internet research and read other library books. Then I retell the stories in class, having the kids take notes and add to their timelines and notebook pages as we go by putting pertinent info on the board for them to copy. All kids who do my class can tell you basic timelines of major events in the three types of government in Roman History because I really drill it into them and have them recite with me each period. Before a new story starts we retell past stories using key words I had them copy in past weeks and recite the dates on the timeline and such. 

 

Some of the kids who started this club with us years ago continue to meet outside of co-op and we go see plays and such together. We have put on a play of Julius Caesar twice, which really helped all kids understand that story more too. 

I have days where we play Mother (mater) May I? and I have them ask how many steps they want to take in Latin, and count them out in latin to practice numbers for beginners. I have them play I spy in latin for color practice. A big hit for learning body parts is singing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes in Latin. And then they take turns singing it with other body parts. 

Edited by 2_girls_mommy
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I taught a geography class for grades 1-2 using "Paddle to the Sea" and a unit study I found on line. The kids seemed to enjoy it. We carved a canoe out of soap.

 

Our FTC robotics team teach a lego robotics class and that is always very popular.

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I have done this for whatever grades I have each year. One year I did elementary to high school all together. Generally I have higher elementary and up. 

 

I do this in addition to latin class where they are learning grammar and have daily homework and translation. So some of the kids who take it have latin going on otherwise, and some just take it for the fun and exposure. Anyone can benefit from learning the latin vocabulary and seeing words in English that come from it (and Spanish.) It gives those kids a feeling of learning another language because we will memorize a song or a prayer or a Bible verse or two over the course of the year too even if they aren't taking a latin class.  I mix all levels of latin classes together for this too. So I will have kids taking their first year of LCI and kids in First Form and some in Third Form altogether, plus kids who are only taking this latin club. When I have a verse or a song we are learning, I will go over any pretinent grammar in the title or the verse that kids in the other classes have been studying. So I may point out what declension a word is and what tense if that is something they should be seeing. And I will just say, this is for kids in the Third Form class, when I point that out. 

 

For the kids who take the actual latin exam with me, we generally do a latin class hour, then they take this club, and in the month prior to the actual exam we will meet an additional hour a week to review. And they do their daily work at home. 

 

I have lots of experience doing the ELE for younger grades, and only two years experience doing the NLE, so I am not as familiar with their timeline of when info comes out. But the ELE syllabus is a great starter point for studying for even the NLE, but the culture, grammar, and history required for the NLEs goes up higher with every level. So we all get together and learn material in Latin club that is ELE levels. It reviews basic history that everyone should know. Then those taking latin and doing their daily work get plenty of practice for the grammar sections. And then we get together and study culture and history more in depth for higher levels of NLEs. DD14 has two gold medals so far for levels 1 and 2!  So this is working for us. 

 

And this class has been popular year after year. All kids love to hear the stories from FMOR. I read them on my own, do internet research and read other library books. Then I retell the stories in class, having the kids take notes and add to their timelines and notebook pages as we go by putting pertinent info on the board for them to copy. All kids who do my class can tell you basic timelines of major events in the three types of government in Roman History because I really drill it into them and have them recite with me each period. Before a new story starts we retell past stories using key words I had them copy in past weeks and recite the dates on the timeline and such. 

 

Some of the kids who started this club with us years ago continue to meet outside of co-op and we go see plays and such together. We have put on a play of Julius Caesar twice, which really helped all kids understand that story more too. 

I have days where we play Mother (mater) May I? and I have them ask how many steps they want to take in Latin, and count them out in latin to practice numbers for beginners. I have them play I spy in latin for color practice. A big hit for learning body parts is singing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes in Latin. And then they take turns singing it with other body parts. 

 

Oh my gracious, how I'd love a class like this in our town! If you ever move to Florida, let me know! We might drive for this. ;) Thank you for the details. 

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My syllables spell success class gets good reviews for an academic class. I have also had 4 children say it was their favorite co-op class ever, including one 9 year old boy who was inspired to take up a study of Greek and Latin roots after the class. He also wrote me a hilarious thank you note with every other word spelled incorrectly. His mom made sure I knew it was on purpose, LOL. I personally would not vote it my favorite if I was I child and I really like languages and phonics.

 

There is a transcript of the entire 10 lesson class and all the materials are free to print. I am converting the DVD lessons to YouTube and should be on track to have 1 per week starting August 1st. I can also mail beta versions of the DVD for cost. I do not have the teaching tips done yet, I have only done 1/10 of them so far, but you all should be good without that portion. When I teach it as a co-op class, I have the parents do the reading grade level test before the first class and after lesson 9, with the MWIA as well for anyone reading below grade level. I spend the first bit of the first class testing any holdouts while the rest of the class colors in their vowel and consonant reference chart or some coloring pages for lesson 10 holdouts. Then, I announce the average class imorovement at the end of lesson 10, doing the math while they play scrabble.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

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My syllables spell success class gets good reviews for an academic class. I have also had 4 children say it was their favorite co-op class ever, including one 9 year old boy who was inspired to take up a study of Greek and Latin roots after the class. He also wrote me a hilarious thank you note with every other word spelled incorrectly. His mom made sure I knew it was on purpose, LOL. I personally would not vote it my favorite if I was I child and I really like languages and phonics.

 

There is a transcript of the entire 10 lesson class and all the materials are free to print. I am converting the DVD lessons to YouTube and should be on track to have 1 per week starting August 1st. I can also mail beta versions of the DVD for cost. I do not have the teaching tips done yet, I have only done 1/10 of them so far, but you all should be good without that portion. When I teach it as a co-op class, I have the parents do the reading grade level test before the first class and after lesson 9, with the MWIA as well for anyone reading below grade level. I spend the first bit of the first class testing any holdouts while the rest of the class colors in their vowel and consonant reference chart or some coloring pages for lesson 10 holdouts. Then, I announce the average class imorovement at the end of lesson 10, doing the math while they play scrabble.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

 

Wow 

 

Keep us posted when you have the lessons up on Youtube!

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Wow

 

Keep us posted when you have the lessons up on Youtube!

The first lesson is up and the next 6 are on time to be released one a week over the next 6 weeks. I am working on converting the last 3 and uploading and checking them on YouTube.

 

Edited by ElizabethB

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I taught Scratch programming a few times and it was always popular.

I know this is an old feed, but I have a quick question. What equipment did you make sure they had? I was trying to figure out if this was possible in a co-op setting.

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Last semester I taught a one-semester class in which the class worked together to complete a 90 Second Newbery project. That was a hit! (You can see it online here: http://90secondnewbery.com/post/169544124171/the-mostly-true-adventures-of-homer-p-figg-by )

 

Most of those students had spent the previous year with me using Teaching the Classics lit analysis materials. I’m teaching a class again on lit analysis this semester, only I’m also using Rita Cevasco’s materials for it.

 

A primary art class based on picture book art and drawing heavily from the blog Deep Space Sparkle has also been a hit this year.

 

Games classes (math games, General board games) have also gone well.

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I usually teach middle and high school. I’ve done art using all sorts of Pinterest ideas. I’ve also done cupcake decorating and easy cooking, again using Pinterest. My friend and I did a games class and mini weapons of mass destruction using the book and office supplies. All of these classes have gone over pretty well. Obviously, I’m more on an enrichment/fun sort of teacher. I just don’t do well with harder subjects. 

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