Wednesdays at Winget Park Elementary is Club Day. What is club day? It is an idea that transpired as part of the transformation grant the school is participating in over the next three years. While students still participate in the traditional Special Area classes (art, music, PE, media) each week, they are spending an hour each week in a “student interest club” held during the school day.
At the start of the school year students were given a complete list of the clubs and a brief description of each one. They were able to choose their top six choices, and then students were assigned four clubs for the school year, one for each quarter. These weekly clubs are led by the talented Special Area teachers and Support Staff. Kindergarten and first grade students participate in clubs together; then the following hour fourth and fifth grade students work together; and finally, second and third grade students spend time together.
“Student Interest Clubs” include adventure education, art, Future Performers, Roots and Shoots, STEM/STEAM , Spanish, News, Lego, Environmental, Got Game, Young Chef, Dr. Seuss Book Club, and Health Careers. The Winget Park family has witnessed students who never knew how to ride a bicycle learn in a short amount of time how to ride in the adventure education club; watched students flourish on stage as part of the Future Performers Club; learn how to play games that are old-time favorites and have been forgotten because of X-box and technology while spending time in Got Game.
Students in Adventure Education can expect to bike, hike, play disc golf at the adjacent park’s course, and cooperative group games. The club promotes lifelong fitness activities, problem solving techniques, social and personal responsibility, trust building, goal setting, safety, and fun. The club will enhance students' overall well-being.
In the Future Performers Club the age group drives the hour. Students are given the opportunity to learn and present a musical drama. They learn what goes into presenting a musical play, including role playing, singing as a soloist, singing in a small group and also singing in a chorus. K-1:Working with Aesop's Fables, 2-3: Performed Character Matters I and II, and are currently working on Mother Goose's Character Camp;4-5: Performed Bullies Anonymous and Munchkin Mediation: Conflict Resolution in Oz and are currently working on Social Skills: How to Interact with Human Beings. The theme of the musicals has been with character education, social skills, life skills, problem solving and conflict resolution.
First grade student, Ella Williams, participated in the Got Game and Dr. Seuss book club the first two quarters, and when asked what she liked most about club days she responded, “That we get to learn new things and we get to do different stuff.” In the Got Game club there are no computers; they go ‘old school.’ They learn how to play strategy games, which include Connect 4, Sorry, Phase 10, Chess/Checkers and Uno; memory games like Guess Who, Perfection and Memory Match; vocabulary building games like Pictionary, Scrabble, and Bananagrams; and math games, which include Dominoes and Skip-Bo. Then, they play a few silly, social games like Twister and Flap Doddle. Students in kindergarten and 1st grade can select the Dr. Seuss book club, and each week they read a different book written by Dr. Seuss and then have fun with games, activities, crafts, and sometimes snacks (Hop on Pop-corn) related to the book they’ve just read.
The Art Club is geared differently depending on the age group. Storybook Creations (K-1): Integrates literacy with arts and crafts. Students create whimsical critters based on some of our favorite storybooks such as “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” or “Runaway Bunny.” They use a variety of materials such as clay, socks, pompoms, pipe cleaners, and more. Origami Creations (2-3): Students explore the origins and art of paper folding. They create a variety of traditional origami projects like the “leap frog,” sailboat, and a host of animals. In addition, contemporary paper crafts are constructed such as “the bendable lizard” and paper puppets. Mini Murals and More (4-5): A team of talented students and the art teacher create a small banner to be hung in the school. The banners are based on the CMS Character Education traits. From beginning to end, they plan, design, and paint the banners. Students also get an opportunity to create 3-D boxes and Sharpie marker t-shirts for themselves.
Roots & Shoots is a club founded on the world renowned humanitarian and scientist Jane Goodall. Dr. Jane Goodall created the program in 1977. The student program focuses on helping people, animals, and the environment.
In Spanish club students learn about diversity through songs, games, sports-soccer, making a typical dish or even dancing.
The News club differs depending on the hour. In one hour Say Cheese (K-1): Students participate in guidance activities that are character related, complete an activity and "say cheese" while they are displaying their work. In another hour Photo Bomb Club (2-3): Students photo bomb other clubs on Wednesdays. This group also engages in character education lessons and activities. In a separate hour Newsletter Club (4-5): Students interview different people within the school from staff to students and parents. These interviews are saved on an iPad that will later be uploaded to the school website.
Students choosing the Lego club inspire each other to use their creativity and imagination. They use Legos to explore math, language arts, and science in different ways. The children work individually to create their own free build and work as teams to build cars. Then, they compete to see who has the fastest car. Most of all they have fun!
The cafeteria manager leads the Young Chef club, and students learn the importance of developing healthy eating habits. They discuss and sample foods from each food group. They also get hands-on experience: learning portion control, looking at recipes, and preparing a few dishes of their own. The school nurse leads the Health Careers/Young Doctors club, where they discuss important topics such as being our healthiest, best self by eating healthy and exercising; safety and dialing 911; medical equipment; and doctors, nurses, and other health professionals and what they do.
Ryan Steinmetz, a fourth grade student, has participated in the environmental club and the STEM club. When asked what he liked about Wednesdays and club days he said, “You get to do experiments and try different things.” As part of the fourth and fifth grade group in the STEM club, he participated in Building Bridges (4-5): STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) unit. He and his group learned the engineering basics of bridge design and construction from an expert in the field, an engineering professor at CPCC. The professor teaches the children engineering basics, and they work as a design team to build a truss bridge from popsicle sticks and glue. The most popular and exciting part of the club is testing and breaking the creations!
The STEM/STEAM club is driven by the age of the students. Pets @ the Vets (K-1): STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) unit. Students learn about the skills, services, tools, and habits of mind veterinarians have when caring for our pets. The children write and act out skits, make tools using recycled materials, and learn how to keep pets healthy.
Go Green Racers (2-3): STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) unit. Students build cars using recycled materials. In the unit, children use the engineering design process to make working wheels and axles. They build a car, set performance goals for the car, and then test their creations at a Race Car Rally.
The school custodian leads the Environmental club, and students learn how to apply recycling, energy consumption and water conservation in the school to everyday living.
Winget Park is thrilled students are able to exercise a unique educational experience. It is a special place to be every day, but Wednesdays, now known to many as Club Day, is even more exceptional!