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Co-op Class Ideas Needed: X-post

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I have a 7th grader who struggles with skills, social interaction, and being very bored and distracted.  We have joined a smallish true co-op this semester, and all of us are enjoying the interaction and day out.  However, my 7th grader is bored and "failing" geography, bored with science, loves crochet but can't really do it, and blossoming in cake decorating. 

 

Please give me ideas for classes I could teach in 12 Fridays that are fun, hands-on, and challenging, but not dependent on writing and math.  Here are my thoughts.

 

1. Mini-society sounds neat!

 

2. Logic using The Great Chocolate Capers book and other logic puzzles.  His logic ability is pretty good.

 

3. STEM that is doable with limited computer access?  Ideas?

 

4. Some kind of craft that would appeal to middle school boys

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My Syllables class is actually semi-fun for an academic class, there are lots of games, and it is even more fun if you use chocolate chips or skittles as markers for the Greek and Latin word root bingo.  It is really good at building up reading, spelling, and writing skills.

 

It is all planned out, 10 lessons of work and a lesson of pre and post test, you could add a bit of the first lesson to the pre test if they finish testing early, the first class is a bit longer than the rest.  The last class can be post test and games.

 

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

 

You could also do lego building challenges, a different challenge each class and teach a bit of something along with it.  Or, mix your logic with legos, do a bit of both each time, call it "Logic and Legos."  You could motivate them to do well and focus with 5 extra minutes of legos for set goals.

 

 

 

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I have done a math/logic games class - just google math games there are so many! I do a STEM class without computers. The kids can do the computing part at home. I would think anything art would be fun. I have done a portrait class while assigning reading from the fifty famous men. It was pretty fun. 

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I hadn't thought of Latin/Greek roots.  Thanks for the link.

 

Imrich, could you tell me more about the STEM class without computers?  What kind of things are you teaching?  

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Geography games using the 10 Days in . . . games and different continent Bingo boards; Flag Frenzy, etc.

 

Imagineering--creating different things using household objects like a paper chair, a chain of paper, a straw bridge, etc.  The class we had worked in teams of two or three students each.  All of the ideas were from Pinterest and places like that. 

 

Weapons -- build weapons like catapults, etc. and talk about how they were used in different historical periods.  There are many books on this like this one:  https://www.amazon.com/Backyard-Ballistics-Cannons-Cincinnati-Dynamite/dp/1613740646  and https://www.amazon.com/Mini-Weapons-Mass-Destruction-Build/dp/1613745486/ref=pd_sim_14_6?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1613745486&pd_rd_r=2B2K36ZWJ8FV659F13CY&pd_rd_w=Qpixi&pd_rd_wg=1tGyB&psc=1&refRID=2B2K36ZWJ8FV659F13CY

 

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Model Rocketry!   STEM, perfect for middle school boys, and a lot of fun.   There is also an element of crafting involved, depending upon how high you go in build level.

 

Apogee Rockets has an educator pack that is free and downloadable.   The "Up Aerospace" rocket is a fantastic rocket to build for beginners.    It's very easy to build but includes all of the pertinent components, launches well, and uses mini-size engines, so you get more bang for your buck (no pun intended).    I bought Educator Packs of 12 rockets at this link.    NASA also has some good model rocketry resources.

 

Another STEM-related co-op class that I have taught to middle school boys is Paper Roller Coasters.   You could turn it into a conceptual physics class, with no math.   The templates cost about $20 to purchase, then your only cost is the paper, tape, marbles, and printing onto cardstock paper.   There are some fabulous YouTube videos showing the Paper Roller Coaster guy's (his name is Andrew Gatt) creations.   If you search "paper roller coasters" on YouTube, you'll see lots of other roller coasters as well.

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I just google stem ideas, and I have purchased a Stem packet on TPT. This week we are building a spaghetti and marshmallow tower. We will then draw them, measure them, find the mean, median, mode and make a graph of the different heights. We have made catapults, airplanes, etc.. The first few weeks we really had to work on how to work with a partner. Now we are ready to add more math in. STEM is a great social skills class. 

I LOVE the paper roller coaster idea. Thanks for sharing. 

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Is an active, outdoor class possible?

 

What about playing PE games like Capture the Flag?

 

Or make cardboard shields and foam swords for  LARP - Live Action Role Playing http://www.larping.org/larp-definition/

 

Or Quidditch? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quidditch_(sport)

 

Or planning and having an ancient Greek Olympic tournament?

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That would be so neat.  I like ideas where the kids have to think and do, instead of sit and take in.  We have decent weather in spring, so I'll keep that in mind!

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There is a 4H project on wind power that I think would work for a co-op.

 

Our 4th/5th boys are doing outdoor/survival skills/disaster prep. The first week they learned how to repair a flat and fix other things on their bikes, then rode around the parking lot. I believe there are knife skills, a weekend hike, making car emergency kits, etc. As you can see, it's a bit of a  mixed bag. We have a lot of dads and grandpas coming in to teach.

 

I think this would work for older boys, too. Maybe you could add in a class on using power tools?

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One idea that is a big hit at our co-op this year is a leather working class.

 

I'm guessing the teachers under charged, but they bought punches, and originally were going to let the kids dye the leather. They bought their projects from Tandy leather. (First responders and military get a great discount. We had two dads in this category. Both volunteered to order for the group to take advantage of this)

 

I did a rocket class last year. Super fun.

I have a duct tape we weapons class this year.

We've done stop motion. Next year someone is dping dissection.

Edited by athomeontheprairie

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Cooking (if you have the facility for it) is always popular with both boys and girls

Robotics (can be expensive but makes a great class)

Chess

First Aid/CPR

Engineering challenges (something like Junkyard Wars where you give two teams a bunch of supplies/junk and they have to solve a problem or create a certain machine)

Square Dancing or English Country Dance (sometimes it is hard to get boys into that but if you can get enough they do end up enjoying it)

Improv acting class

 

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