Our fourth to sixth grade team plus our computer lab coordinator put together a pretty cool experience for our students called Enrichment Rotation. With standards and assessment breathing down our necks and fidelity to curriculum looming in the corner, about three years ago, we decided we all needed some fun, aka Enrichment. Among the 7 of us, we offer seven different sessions (eight weeks long, twice per year) to a mixed group of 4th, 5th and 6th grade students. Among our offerings has been Inventors, Slavery, Gardening, Junior Great Books, Poetry, using Sketch Up and Heroes. Not only do our students enjoy (for the most part) the session, but we teachers enjoy the Enrichment as well.
Each of us choses something we feel very comfortable with that is also of personal interest. The idea was NOT to create more work. I’ve done Poetry and last year my offering was Drama. Obviously we change from year to year as we feel the need.
This year, as we sat and discussed the offerings, got our two new team members up-to-speed and threw out ideas, I was left wondering What do I want to do? Earlier in the week I was geeking out on some math sites, finding some great interactive problem solving and games. I mentioned to the group perhaps “playing with math a bit.” Good grief, what a reaction! “That’s great–we never have time for games.” “Exploring and thinking about math are important and with our curriculum it’s hard to find time for that.” “I won some balances from CAG for algebra and variables–want them?”
So I think it’s a good idea. How sad to realize that with so much time dedicated to teaching mathematics, we still feel deficient at thinking, playing and exploring math with our students. I think that would be very Enriching. And I found a great video to kick it off: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cAs1YBELmA
I can’t wait.