Enriching Activities at South Bay

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Improving and expanding students’ love of learning is one of the top priorities for the staff at South Bay Elementary School. Meaningful and substantial enrichment programs provide students an extra boost in their elementary school years.

Library/media specialist Kara Levy holds weekly enrichment classes during the school day with an open research period that is available to fifth-graders during their recreation time. Ms. Levy uses science, technology, engineering and math-based materials, such as Little Bits and Dash the Robot, to encourage students to create and learn with different materials. They have also produced book trailers using Movie Maker and stop motion animation programs. During her flex periods throughout the school day, Ms. Levy works with individual classes to provide enrichment opportunities. Working with the teacher, the students can conduct long-term research projects, working as a class or a select group, over the course of the year.

Ms. Levy is also the Enrichment Club advisor, a club for fourth- and fifth-grade students who are invited to attend based on assessment results and teacher recommendations. The club meets after school once a week, engaging in activities such as STEM experiments, coding using Scratch, Google Expeditions and more.

“We need to make sure we provide opportunities for all students to move forward on their individual paths to and beyond proficiency,” said Principal JoAnn Scott. “Enrichment is a way to accomplish this, as well as providing the 21st-century skills our students will need for college and career readiness. Enrichment activities also tap into different types of learning, from a brain perspective, and often mimic the types of skills students will need to master in future workplaces.”
Another way faculty members address enrichment activities is by using their “extra help” time to teach advanced skills and delve into projects that support those students looking to further their studies. Clubs such as Math Olympiads and the Computer Club offer an added challenge for some students as well.

Buildingwide, other South Bay teachers are thinking outside the box and addressing enrichment on various levels. Krista Granieri teaches her kindergarten and first-grade students to speak Italian. Kindergarten teacher and technology advisor Alison Chiquitucto uses a tremendous amount of technology in her classroom, including devices such as robots and tablets. She is integrating this technology into her teaching with these young learners, offering kindergarten students a path to technology from the start of their academic careers.