In this fast-paced culture, we often miss opportunities to share skills and knowledge that used to be a natural part of what family and community members passed down to the younger generation. The Enrichment Class Program was designed to capitalize on middle schoolers’ natural curiosity about the world, and to cover important and interesting topics that our students might not be exposed to otherwise. Each class runs for six weeks and is taught by a faculty member or community member. Some examples of classes include chess, acting, and stem projects. Some class descriptions are listed below.
Chess: Chess, as you know, is a strategy game dating back to the 19th century. It has recently become more popular as teens scramble to download chess apps or start the newest chess club. You can read a related article here.
In educational circles, it is well-known as a game that increases abstract, logical, and higher-order thinking. Every Crusader should know how to play, and we are looking forward to the culminating chess tournament!
- Students will learn the names of chess pieces and how they move.
- Students will learn strategies to compete and win.
- Students will be able to respond to complex moves by using critical thinking skills.
- Students will improve their ability to solve problems and make decisions.
- Students will increase their ability to be patient and keep on task.
STEM: STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and is an educational umbrella utilized as a launching pad for increasing focus on these four fields. STEM educators are in pursuit of giving students the opportunity for independent problem-solving and critical thinking. This class gives students the opportunity to participate in STEM projects like building your own robot and creating a rocket. The sky’s the limit!
- Students will understand how a rocket balloon works.
- Students will be able to measure how much air their lungs hold and how a spirometer works.
- Students will understand tensional, compressional and sheer stress related to rocks.
- Students will be able to build a robot using simple materials.
- Students will explore how acids and bases react and interact.
- Students will improve their ability to solve problems with a team and apply higher order thinking skills.
The Art of Thinking: This class strives to push students to analyze, discuss, dissect, and debate real-life events, problems, and/or cultures that are different from their own. Being exposed to differences and developing empathy and understanding for others, all within the Catholic worldview, is an important part of becoming Messengers of Hope for the World. For this school year, students will be watching and discussing the documentary Spellbound, which is about children who compete in the National Spelling Bee. Please find a review here: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/spellbound
- Students will be able to describe different regions of the US in terms of their geographic features and demographics.
- Students will be able to describe the different ethnic groups that make up the US population.
- Students will be able to explain what is meant by “The American Dream,” and will be able to discuss the different attitudes that parents can take regarding their children’s participation in competitions.
- Students will be able to explain the history of the English language in broad strokes, and identify the etymology of some words.
- Students will be able to spell out loud and participate in a spelling bee in class.
- Students will be able to explain some connections between etymology and spelling patterns, such as the wh- sound or –able vs –ible.
- Students will be able to understand and repeat some phrases and idioms that they hear in the film Spellbound, using accurate pronunciation and intonation.
Manners, Social Skills and Etiquette: Also referred to as “Soft Skills” which are rooted in respect, this class will focus on the fundamentals of honesty, punctuality, and proper behaviors in different settings. In addition, the students will learn interpersonal, problem solving and conflict-resolution skills both inside and outside the classroom. The students will journal what they have learned and put into practice and will share what was most effective for them at the end of the course.
- Students will be able to greet and introduce people politely.
- Students will understand the fundamentals of manners and what virtues go along with them.
- Students will understand the nature of friendship and how they can develop good friendships.
- Students will understand what it means to be a good family member and practice those skills at home.
- Students will understand elements that comprise good and polite conversations.
- Students will be able to identify items on a properly set table and be able to set the table.
Acting: Theater classes provide students with many necessary life skills such as empathy, perseverance in the face of difficulties, and the ability to effectively work with others. Students will also develop their ability to adapt when change occurs, and they will enhance their public speaking skills. This class will introduce students to the basics of theater and acting. Students will learn about community building, focus and concentration, and improvisation in this class. The final project will involve writing, directing, and starring in a small scene.
- Students will be able to speak clearly and loudly.
- Students’ comfort level with public speaking will be increased.
- Students’ confidence will increase.
- Students will be able to memorize lines.
- Students will be able to act in a scene with classmates.
- Students will be able to understand the writing process for a scene in an original play.
- Students will understand how props and costumes enhance a production and must be considered in the acting process.
- Students will increase their ability to work as a team and collaborate.
Geography: There was a news story once of a woman who drove from Italy to France without knowing she had crossed country borders because she was following her GPS without realizing where she was going. Crusaders need to have a good understanding of boundaries between countries, where states, lakes, seas, and oceans and mountains lie. Discovering the physical world ignites the imagination and extinguishes ignorance. This class is of the utmost importance.
- Students will learn factual information about the world and its regions.
- Students will understand the differences between bodies of water and be able to identify major ones such as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
- Students will become adept at reading maps and begin to memorize the countries of the world.
- Students will understand the land features which impact different regions of the world and be able to recognize major mountains, desserts, waterways, peninsulas, islands, and other types of terrain.
- Students will review their knowledge of the fifty United States locations.
Tinkercad: This online program will introduce your child to a three-dimensional space where his or her imagination can run wild creating objects and structures. Our students will visualize solid objects from different angles and perspectives and prepare for a future career in architecture, design, or theatre! We are hoping to partner with outside organizations in order to print these stellar projects.
- Students will be able to design and modify 3-D objects.
- Students will understand what 3-D printing is.
- Be able to move around by: Turning, Zooming, Panning, Reset view, Move, and Undo.
- Be able to resize and rotate objects using object sliders.
- Be able to extrude from objects, or make holes in them.
- Be able to bevel or round object edges.
- Be able to group objects together into one object.
- Know how to use the ruler and align tools.
- Be able to duplicate objects, including repeating patterns