This year, we are able to offer nineteen different enrichment clusters for our 4th and 5th graders. We looked at the combined top interests from the 4th and 5th grade interest surveys that our students completed at the beginning of the school year. Then, the teachers pick a topic from the list that interests them and narrow the focus a bit. We want the clusters to be student driven, meaning the students are the ones deciding on the product or service that will be created during the enrichment cluster meeting time. However, it is important to create an area of focus for the students.
The teachers then write a description for their cluster that was sent home with our 4th and 5th graders. We want our parents to have a chance to see what is being offered so they can discuss the options with their children. But in the end, we want the enrichment clusters to be student driven, which means the students are the ones deciding for themselves which ones they want to participate in. So, our 4th and 5th graders ranked their top 4 enrichment cluster choices this week in class. We feel it is powerful for our students and necessary for them to be making these choices.
Once the children have ranked their top four choices, the data is sent to one of our fabulous parents, Eric Deal. Eric created a program that sorts the students into their clusters. Of course, we want to give every child their first choice. But, enrichment clusters need to be small groups of students (about 15 students to one facilitator). Therefore, giving everyone their number one choice is not possible. So, if a child does not get their first choice, the program then goes to their second choice, then third and finally fourth. But even if a child gets his/her fourth choice, it is still four out of nineteen and those are still pretty good odds.
The 4th and 5th graders will find out which enrichment cluster they are in on Friday morning, October 10th. It is a very exciting morning for everyone. I do offer tours for our parents. These tours will take place on Friday, October 17, 31 and November 14. Please look for the RSVP in an upcoming school E-news.
Below is the list of the enrichment cluster topics for our 4th and 5th graders. As you look over the list, I hope you agree that there is a really nice variety of topics. Our goal is to have several options that excite our students and engage their passions. This is how we make world-class talent at Laurel Mountain.
Do you enjoy technology? Are you tired of Power Point? Are you ready to Google or Weebly??Have you been to Powtoon? Let's have fun and learn some new skills. Boost your presentation skills or learn programs - the sky just might be the limit.
Have you ever wondered about Legos? Who made them? Why? What’s the meaning of Legos???? What’s all the excitement about Legos? During this time we will explore and have fun with Legos! Our team will help craft where we go and what we do with Legos. So if you like Legos and can’t seem to get enough….than this cluster is for you. “The world is your LEGO!”
League of Extraordinary Crafters
Are you a master at creating fantastic structures? Do you love using Redstone to make incredible constructions? Maybe you've never explored a blocky 3D world with friends but want to try it out? If Minecraft is one of your passions, join the League of Extraordinary Crafters! We will use MinecraftEdu to work together as we mine, forge, and explore new worlds. Let's see what awesomeness we can create!
To Be or Not to Be
Have you ever wondered if you wanted to be an actor? Do you love performing in front of friends and family? Do you look forward to giving reports in class because you don’t just “give” If this describes you, join the “To Be or Not to Be” cluster and discover acting! Develop your skills! Learn techniques! The cluster will decide whether to perform an already written script or whether we should write our own. Should we perform for an audience? I would think so, but If you’ve ever wanted to “trod the boards” and develop your acting skills, “To Be or Not to Be” is the cluster for you.
Games! Games! Games!
Do you have some favorite games that you would like to introduce to friends? Are there some new games you'd like to learn to play? Board games, card games, and much more! Join us for Games! Games! Games!
Do you like to play team sports? Do you know how to be a good teammate? We will be playing team sports with an emphasis on working together and understanding the roles for each member of a team. We will get the opportunity to play both indoor and outdoor games.
Up to Our Ears in Clay!
There are so many things you can imagine with clay. Using clay techniques such as coils, slabs, pinch pots or the potter's wheel there are endless possibilities. Who will you make something for? What will it be? Will it be useful?
Creativity with Colors
Can you imagine a world of color when observing it through a kaleidoscope? What do YOU envision when you think of colors? If interested in exploring YOUR world of colors... come share that vision with us!
Do you enjoy expressing yourself with the written word? Does your imagination soar when you are given an opportunity to creatively write? If so, grab a pencil and unleash your imagination in "Word Up!” This cluster will be the playground for your creative mind as you explore, compose and create various forms of writing.
Into the Wild: Citizen Scientists!
Are you interested in using the latest and coolest ecological science technology to explore the pulse of life in our preserve and support researchers throughout the world? If so, grab one of our tablets or a camera and meet me at the gate to the Preserve -- this cluster is WILD!
LME Software Development Institute
Do you want to know more about how to program computers? Would you like to learn how a programmer thinks about problems and designs solutions? Then come explore with us at the “LME Software Development Institute”! Enter the world of information technology!
Mad Scientists and Crazy Chemists
Do you love to conduct science experiments? Are you curious about how things work and wonder "How did they do that?" Do you find yourself memorizing the periodic table for fun and humming The Elements Song to your friends? Let's reveal the secrets of science together, uncovering the how-to and why behind some of your favorite science experiments. Get ready to "oooh” and "aaaah” in Mad Scientist and Crazy Chemists.
Tape it Up!
What do you get when you mix duct tape, washi tape, and a roomful of creative minds? Join “ Tape It Up!” to unleash the possibilities. Armed with a pair of scissors and a roll of tape...what can you make?
World Class Helpers
Are you a person who likes to help others and tries to make the world a better place by your attitude and actions? Here’s an opportunity for you! Good ideas inspire more good ideas. Come join us to learn about and inspire yourself and others to make social changes that make our school and community a more positive and caring place in which to live.
CSI: Let's solve some mysteries!!!
Do you observe your surroundings well? Do you have an eye for things that are out of place? Discover the excitement of being a detective each time you successfully solve a mystery. Work along with other young detectives as you solve mysteries. You will solve everyday problems and enjoy challenges, as well as, sharpen your deductive thinking and reasoning skills.
Lego Motion Picture Institute
Do you dream of becoming a director or producer of an animated film someday? Did you go home and create a Lego set in your bedroom after watching the Lego Movie? There are many roles when making an animated film. You will learn how to set up a scene, develop characters and back story, as well as direct and produce a short animated film using Legos and a digital camera. Bring your stories and character ideas here.......and make them come to life!
Movies, Videos, Reporting...Oh My!
Explore the many ways we can express ourselves through video. Students will get the chance to create something from their interests that reaches other through the art of media. Bring your ideas, we have the technology, and let’s create something!
Made From Scratch
If you ask kids how they like to learn, most say through games, especially video games. Have you ever wondered how those games are made or thought about inventing one yourself? If so, you should join "Made From Scratch". In this enrichment cluster, we will explore SCRATCH programming and create our own video games, animations, and interactive stories to share with the world. So if you want to help someone and learn an awesome skill, bring your creativity and ideas to “Made From Scratch”!
LME Pet Troupe
Are you passionate about puppies, crazy about cats, fixated on ferrets, or go ga-ga over guinea pigs? If so, then the LME Pet Troupe may be the enrichment cluster for you. This cluster is open to learning more about and doing all things pet-related based upon the group’s interest, so we could learn about pets, pet anatomy, pet care, and/or grooming, provide a product or service to a rescue organization, make bird houses or pet treats, or much more. The sky is the limit! Join this enrichment cluster to find out more and have some fun with pets.