In the Classroom: The Starlights

Tool Time After School's Startlights

So many clubs. So many choices.

The After School's club curriculum offers children an ever-changing selection of interest-based activities to pursue.
Excitement can always be found at the Dungeons and Dragons club! Children take on the roles of fantasy-themed warriors and work together to defeat overwhelming waves of monsters much more powerful than themselves. It takes strategy and solid teamwork to overcome the odds and emerge victorious.
When the life or “death” of a player hangs on the roll of a single dice, a hush falls over the table. The player’s face shows a mixture of apprehension and joy. They know what’s at stake, but nevertheless they must roll, always unsure of what will happen next.
Science club offers children an opportunity to learn simple science principles and apply them to fun experiments. During our time together we made slime and bouncy balls, talked about the formation of nebulas, and created our own nebula jar using cotton balls, water, paint, and glitter.
During the fine autumn weather Scavenger Hunt club took us outdoors. We used teamwork to locate natural objects both large and small, hidden and obvious. With a chill in the air our hunts took us indoors to seek out unknown facts about our friends and teachers in a human scavenger hunt.
Spanish club is a very basic introduction to common words and phrases. We play engaging guessing games and activities that reinforce words for everyday objects. For our last afternoon together we plan to make a traditional Spanish dish to share.
Tool Time kicked off with children brainstorming a list of safety rules and writing them in their Tool Time journal. Children play a matching game by reading a definition and matching it with the tool on the display table.
We then moved onto using tools with adult help and supervision. Thus far the children have used sandpaper to smooth a wooden board, drilled a hole in a piece of wood, and used a Phillips screwdriver to remove a metal hook used for hanging coats.
Giving children the choices helps them learn more about themselves and explore their own interests. It also gives them power and builds self-confidence as they determine how they will spend their own time. 
The Starlights and teachers have already started a list of possible clubs for our next session in January.