Spring 2024

Class Summaries

Summaries are designed to give parents a glimpse into their child’s Extend classes and are organized by day of the week and then alphabetically. Please note that summaries are provided by the teacher of the class, and the content will vary.

We invite you to take a moment to read about the classes your child(ren) are enjoying.

MONDAY

Adventures in STEM: LEGO®

Throughout the course, students engage in engineer-designed projects, exploring the vast creative potential of the LEGO® building system. Each season brings new projects, ensuring both new and returning students can continuously expand their skills and imagination.

Some projects this season include:

Snowmobile: Through building a snowmobile, students gained insights into the mechanics of these vehicles, including how pullback motors utilize clock springs to power their builds. This project not only enhances their understanding of engineering principles but also fosters problem-solving skills.

Tugboat: The tugboat project introduced students to the world of maritime engineering. They learned about the importance of overlapping bricks for creating strong connections and how Technic pins are utilized for fastening objects together. By exploring different pin connections, students develop a deeper understanding of structural integrity.

Water Strider: Exploring the fascinating world of biomimicry, students learned about water strider bugs and their unique characteristics. Concepts such as eccentricity (not being centered) were introduced, alongside an understanding of battery-powered motors. Through this project, students not only learn about the natural world but also gain insights into electrical engineering principles.

Ballet/Lyrical Intermediate

Here’s a glimpse into what we’ve been working on:

Alignment and Technique Refinement: Our focus remains on achieving perfect alignment and precise execution of foundational movements such as plié, tendu, and dégagé. By emphasizing these techniques, we aim to strengthen our dancers’ technical proficiency and control.

Flexibility Training: In the center, we’ve dedicated time to stretching exercises aimed at enhancing flexibility. This crucial component not only improves range of motion but also reduces the risk of injury, enabling our dancers to move with greater fluidity and grace.

Lyrical Exploration: During the lyrical portion of class, we’ve initiated discussions on the significance of interpreting lyrics to inform the quality of movement in dance. By delving into the emotional depth of music, our dancers are learning to infuse their movements with meaning and expression.

Progressions Across the Floor: Progressions across the floor have included challenging movements like chaine turns, pique turns, and grand jeté. These exercises enhance our dancers’ spatial awareness, balance, and agility, preparing them for more intricate choreography.

Costume Selection and Preparation: We’ve begun the exciting process of costume selection, taking measurements and discussing options with our dancers. Their input is invaluable as we work towards creating a visually stunning performance.

Looking ahead, the focus will be on preparing for the 12th Annual Extend Dance Performance scheduled for May 11 at 10 am. As we continue to refine our skills and piece together our performance, I’m confident that our dancers will shine on stage.

Basketball Skills

Throughout this semester, our players dedicated themselves to honing the essential skills of basketball, delving into the intricacies of passing, shooting, dribbling, and fostering a sense of cohesive teamwork. An emphasis was placed on the mastery of ball control and precise passing techniques. Acknowledging the paramount importance of teamwork in the sport, we devised engaging activities aimed at solidifying these foundational elements. From dynamic team keep-away sessions, where players skillfully passed the ball among teammates without attempting to score, to spirited small scrimmages that seamlessly integrated our refined fundamentals and teamwork skills on the court, this semester has been a journey of skill enhancement and collaborative growth for our aspiring basketball enthusiasts.

Cheer and Tumbling – Midway Campus

The girls in our program are not only honing their familiar tumbling skills but also fearlessly tackling new and challenging techniques. In addition to mastering individual skills, the focus extends to collaborative stunts like the double base thigh stand and a half-to-cradle maneuver. Adding a layer of complexity, the girls are delving into advanced stunts such as the half library stunt and transition stunt, seamlessly merging two distinct elements into one captivating performance.

Beyond the physical feats, this journey is a lesson in teamwork, emphasizing the importance of synchronization and trust. As they navigate these intricate routines, the girls are not just learning skills; they’re cultivating a strong sense of unity and collaboration within the team.

Chess: The Knight School

The Knight School provides an exciting class which includes challenging chess puzzlers for candy prizes, a colorful silicone wristband system in which each color connotes mastery of a different chess tactic, and daily chess tournaments where students play for each other’s Mardi Gras beads!  Students perform better each week without even noticing. During the first half of the semester, students learned the following lessons: Checkmate, Scholarsmate, Forking, Developing, and Pin & Exploit. They have also learned the following terms: Pin, Exploit, Check, Checkmate, “The Golden Rule”, “Touch Move”, “Touch Take”, Chess Notation, Legal Move, Illegal Move, “Flag”, “Stabilize the board”, Fork, Family Fork, Royal Fork, and “Remove the Defender”. Each child is supposed to play three or more games of chess before class meets the following week. Playing chess at home reinforces everything that we have taught in class.

Many of our chess parents report that students develop amazing problem-solving skills, superior sportsmanship, and, perhaps most importantly, a whole new academic confidence that will subsequently color all the classrooms they will ever enter!  Lastly, critical thinking and standardized test scores have been proven to be significantly enhanced by chess mastery.

Code Explorers with Scratch

In class this semester, students have worked on the following projects:

Sprite Customization: Students learned the fundamentals of sprite customization by modifying pre-made sprites in Scratch to create their own unique characters. This process allowed them to express their creativity and personalize their game projects.

 Basic Coding Mechanics: Through exploration of Scratch’s event, motion, and control tabs, students acquired essential coding skills necessary for game development. They learned how to program sprites to respond to various events, control their motion, and interact with the game environment.

Maze Game Development: The class embarked on the creation of a maze game project, applying the coding concepts they learned to develop game mechanics. Students focused on implementing movement controls for their sprites to navigate through maze obstacles and challenges.

The primary project completed during the first half of the semester is the development of individual maze game projects using Scratch. Students customized sprites, programmed movement mechanics, and began incorporating elements such as obstacles and challenges into their games.

Students will be taking home game projects on USB drives which enables continued learning and sharing with friends and family.

Minecraft Master Adventure

In class this semester, the following topics/skills have been covered:

Teamwork and Collaboration: Students have been actively engaging in collaborative efforts to build their homes within the Minecraft world. Through this process, they have learned the importance of effective communication and division of tasks to achieve common goals.

Resource Management: The class has explored the concept of resource gathering and distribution. Students have been assigned specific roles, including mining for materials, hunting for food, gardening for sustenance, and protecting the community from hostile mobs. This approach has deepened their understanding of resource utilization and sharing within their community.

Strategic Planning: With the objective of reaching the Nether, students are strategizing and planning their actions accordingly. They are learning to anticipate challenges, devise strategies, and adapt to unforeseen circumstances in their quest to progress in the game.

The primary project completed during the first half of the semester is the construction of individual and communal homes within the Minecraft world. These structures serve as a testament to the students’ collaborative efforts and creative abilities.

Parish Kicks Soccer Skills

Throughout our sessions, students have been fully immersed in mastering the foundational skills and techniques crucial for success in soccer. We’ve dedicated significant time to honing essential abilities such as kicking, stopping, and passing.

In particular, we’ve placed a strong emphasis on passing form, ensuring that each student makes contact with the inside of their foot for optimal accuracy. To reinforce this skill in an engaging manner, we introduced a fun game that rewards accuracy, encouraging students to aim for specific checkpoints and earn points by successfully passing the ball into the goal.

Moreover, beyond individual skills, we’ve worked tirelessly to cultivate a sense of teamwork among our students. Through collaborative exercises such as passing drills conducted in a circle, where students call out their teammates’ names to enhance ball control and precision, we’ve underscored the importance of working together as a cohesive unit on the field.

To solidify our learning, we’ve organized spirited small-sided scrimmages, where students have the opportunity to put their newfound skills and teamwork into practice in a dynamic and competitive environment.

STEM Robotics with VEX GO

In this class, students embarked on an exciting journey into robotics with VEX GO. Here’s a summary of their activities and learning experiences:

 

Unit 1: Introduction to VEX GO

Students identified various VEX GO pieces and their functionalities, including electronics, structural components, fasteners, and motion components.

Activity: They built a freestanding tower using beams, plates, and connectors, with a total of no more than 10 pieces.

Unit 2: Introduction to Robot Behaviors and Commands

 

Students learned to program the robot to drive forward, reverse, and turn left and right.

They coded the virtual robot to drive in a square and to drive to their current age.

Practice sessions involved using [Drive for] and [Turn for] blocks.

Activity: Students navigated the robot around a castle, knocking over five buildings. They competed to complete the task in the fastest time, tracing their path with a pen.

Unit 3: Coding the Bot

Students constructed the base bot and learned to code using Drive train blocks.

They created a program to move the robot in a square pattern.

Throughout these units, students gained hands-on experience with robotics concepts and programming skills, setting a solid foundation for their continued exploration and mastery of robotics with VEX GO.

Tumble Fun

Students have explored a range of motions in class so far, including working out their abdominals through sit-ups, quadriceps through squats, and triceps through push-ups.  They participated in warm-up games such as Jump the River, Banana Tag, Turtle Tag, Sharks & Minnows, What Time is it Mr. Fox, and Obstacle Courses.  As part of the lesson plan, the athletes practice star jumps, tuck jumps, pikes, donkey kicks, spider walks log rolls, landing, as well as movement and rhythm.  Students have shown growth in motor development skills, creativity, and personal confidence.

TUESDAY

Chess – Little Geniuses

Little Geniuses provides an exciting class which includes puppet shows, songs, dances, and chess puzzlers that help kids learn how to play chess. Each week, kids earn stickers, a colorful silicone wristband system in which each color connotes mastery of a different chess tactic and play daily chess games!  Students perform better each week without even noticing. During the first half of the semester, students learned the following lessons: “Never Ever Cheat,” “I Can Figure Stuff Out,” “Friends Are Always There,” “Every Problem Has A Solution,” and “Always Be A Great Partner”. They have also learned the names of the chess pieces and how each piece moves. The following terms have been introduced: Check, Checkmate, Legal Move, Illegal Move, and Flag. They are also in the process of learning their first checkmate, “The Bomb”. Each child is supposed to play three or more games of chess before class meets the following week. Playing chess at home reinforces everything that we have taught in class.

Chess – The Knight School (Hillcrest and Midway)

The Knight School provides an exciting class which includes challenging chess puzzlers for candy prizes, a colorful silicone wristband system in which each color connotes mastery of a different chess tactic, and daily chess tournaments where students play for each other’s Mardi Gras beads!  Students perform better each week without even noticing. During the first half of the semester, students learned the following lessons: Checkmate, Scholarsmate, Forking, Developing, and Pin & Exploit. They have also learned the following terms: Pin, Exploit, Check, Checkmate, “The Golden Rule”, “Touch Move”, “Touch Take”, Chess Notation, Legal Move, Illegal Move, “Flag”, “Stabilize the board”, Fork, Family Fork, Royal Fork, and “Remove the Defender”. Each child is supposed to play three or more games of chess before class meets the following week. Playing chess at home reinforces everything that we have taught in class.

Many of our chess parents report that students develop amazing problem-solving skills, superior sportsmanship, and, perhaps most importantly, a whole new academic confidence that will subsequently color all the classrooms they will ever enter!  Lastly, critical thinking and standardized test scores have been proven to be significantly enhanced by chess mastery.

Choir – Hillcrest

This spring, the Hillcrest Choir happily welcomed many new members! Our returning students worked hard to help our new singers feel comfortable with many singing games starting in January. They played games like “Here Comes A Bluebird”, “Billy Billy,” and “Alabama Gal”  to build a sense of community while exploring different concepts. The choir has also been learning vocabulary words like “solo,” “duet,” “canon,” and “partner song”.

Starting in February, the choir began expanding their repertoire by preparing for their Spring performances. They have been working hard on memorizing “Hand In Hand” to sing for Grandfriend’s Visiting Day on Thursday, April 4th. They have also recently begun preparing for their end-of-the-year Spring Concert with the 3rd and 4th Grade Midway Choir.

Dance Technique

Our dancers have immersed themselves in a dynamic curriculum encompassing Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Lyrical techniques. Through rigorous practice and review sessions, they’re honing their skills across various dance forms.

Flexibility and Technique Enhancement: Central to our training is the focus on flexibility, which we’ve been diligently working on in the center. By prioritizing stretching exercises, we’re enhancing our dancers’ range of motion and overall fluidity.

 

Pirouettes in Parallel: With a special emphasis on pirouettes in parallel position, our dancers are eager to incorporate this technical challenge into their performance piece. Their enthusiasm and determination drive our collective pursuit of excellence.

 

Contemporary Dance Exploration: We’ve embarked on a journey into the realm of contemporary dance, delving into the art of storytelling through movement. By immersing themselves in the music and seeking personal connections, our dancers are discovering the transformative power of dance expression.

Costume Selection and Preparation: The excitement of costume selection is underway, with measurements taken and discussions ongoing. Engaging our dancers in this process ensures their ownership and pride in their performance attire.

Looking ahead, our focus remains on crafting a memorable piece for the 12th Annual Extend Dance Performance on May 11 at 10 am.

Debate Club II

In our recent classes, we’ve been refining our sparring skills in a way that not only engages the students but also boosts their confidence and communication abilities. A highlight of our sessions is the exciting 15-minute game called “4 Corners.” It’s not just any game – it’s a dynamic experience that encourages your child to express their thoughts confidently. Picture this: your child actively participating, choosing between corners labeled Agree, Strongly Agree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree, where they not only voice their opinions but also engage in friendly sparring with their peers. This unique activity has proven to be a confidence-building exercise, allowing every student to shine and showcase their individuality. But that’s not all – after 4 Corners, we dive into captivating topics for research and debate. By this point, the initial nervousness and shyness have melted away, paving the way for seamless debates. It’s more than just a class; it’s an opportunity for your child to grow, express themselves, and thrive in a supportive environment that fosters both personal and intellectual development.

Geology Rocks and Dinosaur Roars

This spring, students embarked on an exciting journey of discovery, uncovering the size and lifespan of the woolly mammoth. They crafted their own clay dinosaur eggs, delved into the techniques of paleontologists in excavating dinosaurs and fossils, and culminated their exploration with the thrilling creation of an erupting volcano!

Hip Hop Jr./Hip Hop

Dancers are working on rib cage isolation, six-step, coffee grinder, toe touch, and glide techniques. They are doing a wonderful job learning many new combos and are getting comfortable freestyling and coming up with their own movements. Looking ahead, students are working very hard as they start to learn their dance routines for the upcoming spring show.

Intro To Cribbage

During the first half of the semester, students delved into three key topics in their class. Firstly, they mastered the usage of a cribbage board, including pegging points and utilizing a tournament v-style board. Secondly, they gained insight into basic strategy for discarding cards to enhance their own gameplay or hinder their opponents’, requiring adept point counting from multiple card combinations. Lastly, students learned the art of forming sums of 15 from multiple numbers and employing various combinations for scoring. Following the initial nine weeks, students can demonstrate their newfound skills to parents by confidently playing a full game of cribbage while using basic strategies to elevate their chances of winning. Furthermore, beyond individual gameplay, students are equipped to teach others and foster familial bonding through cribbage. Remarkably, these skills extend to potential participation in sanctioned tournaments under the American Cribbage Congress, offering avenues for further engagement and achievement.

Let's Jump

Throughout camp, students worked on new skills such as balance, agility, and endurance.  Along with these skills, students have engaged in dancing, music time, and more!  A typical class includes stretching, warm-up games (Freeze Dance songs, Animal Game, Line Tag, Sharks and Minnows, and Musical Dots), warm-up drills (forward/backward hops on line, side to side hops on line, distance jumping, jumping to the beat of music), and jump-rope play (stationary jump rope, moving forward while jump roping, double-dutch, and personal best challenge).

Minecraft Builder Academy

Students successfully built houses in Minecraft, showcasing their ability to utilize various building materials and implement complex designs. They explored the world of pixel art by creating images on the computer and transferring them into Minecraft using color-coded blocks.

House Building: Students completed their initial task by constructing houses in Minecraft using various building materials. They honed their creativity and design skills by crafting complex structures from scratch, starting with pen-and-paper blueprints.

Pixel Art: Transitioning to pixel art, students learned to create images on the computer using color codes to represent specific blocks in Minecraft. This process enabled them to express their artistic talents while developing an understanding of pixel art principles.

Collaboration: As the semester progresses, students will collaborate in partner groups to tackle more intricate pixel art projects. This collaborative environment fosters teamwork and communication skills while challenging students to think critically and creatively.

Mini Photographers Canva Fun

In class this semester, the following topics/skills have been covered:

Photography Basics: Students are learning the fundamentals of photography, first by taking turns using phones and tripods to capture images, now being introduced to DSLR cameras. They explored composition, framing, and basic editing techniques.

Canva Editing: Students were introduced to Canva’s editing tools, where they learned to enhance their photographs by removing backgrounds, adding designs, and creating visually appealing stories.

Creative Expression: Utilizing their imagination, students brought their ideas to life by incorporating various backgrounds and elements into their photographs, showcasing their creativity and storytelling abilities.

Each student will receive a booklet containing printed copies of their photographs, allowing them to showcase their work to family and friends.

Target Time

Throughout our class, students worked on valuable skills that will further enhance their future athletic experiences. Terms such as accuracy, left/right brain crossover, balance, teamwork, and aiming were emphasized throughout our time with the students.

A typical class includes stretching, warm-up games (Pac-Man, Animal Game, Pop-Up Tag, Head, Shoulders, Cone and Freeze Tag), and fundamental practice (balance, aiming, left/right-sided throwing/catching, kicking, teamwork, distance, follow-through).

Weaving

During the spring session of Weaving, students continued to enhance their skills on the floor looms, creating textured masterpieces and even crafting some long scarves. We explored a variety of materials, thicknesses, and textures, allowing for a rich learning experience. To conclude the class, each student will dye a white weaving they produced.

In addition to the loom projects, students had the opportunity to work on various other projects, including board tapestry weaving and bead weaving. We also had a fun mono print day, where students created numerous prints focusing on color and texture. In the following class, students used these prints to make paper weavings. Those interested also had the option to use wallpaper for their paper weavings, adding an extra layer of creativity to their projects.

Overall, the spring session was a vibrant exploration of weaving techniques and materials, fostering creativity and skill development among our students.

WEDNESDAY

Art Studio

This semester, students have worked on four projects so far:

 

Klimt Tree of Life:  After studying Klimt’s original painting reference materials, students used gold iridescent paint and metallic markers to make their very own Klimt paintings that included a lot of detail.

Alma Thomas:  Students explored Ms. Alma Thomas’ artwork, a former teacher who became a full-time artist when she retired.  Thomas is recognized as a popular American painter of the 20th century and the first African-American artist who has work displayed in the White House.  After studying her use of vibrant colors and circular patterns, students created their own Thomas art pieces.

Color Theory Valentines:  In celebration of Valentine’s Day, students created abstract hearts, while studying a color wheel.

Cyanotype Snowflakes:  Students experimented with cyanotypes, which is a photographic printing process that produces cyan-blue prints.  They cut out snowflakes and used the sun to produce the prints.  The artists were so excited about this project that they voted to redo it with another subject matter.

Art Studio Jr.

This semester, students have worked on four projects so far:

 

Klimt Tree of Life:  After studying Klimt’s original painting reference materials, students used gold iridescent paint and metallic markers to make their very own Klimt paintings that included a lot of detail.

Alma Thomas:  Students explored Ms. Alma Thomas’ artwork, a former teacher who became a full-time artist when she retired.  Thomas is recognized as a popular American painter of the 20th century and the first African-American artist who has work displayed in the White House.  After studying her use of vibrant colors and circular patterns, students created their own Thomas art pieces.

Whisper Valentines:  In celebration of Valentine’s Day, students cut out symmetrical hearts, rubbed the edges with chalk pastels, and then transferred the chalk to paper.

Color Theory Donuts: Students used primary colors and white acrylic paint to make donuts of their liking.  The donuts were brown, icing was a tint of their choice, and the students sprinkled and drizzled icing to enhance their artwork.

Ballet & Jazz

The dancers in this class demonstrated unwavering commitment as they delved into the nuances of ballet barre techniques, emphasizing precision in alignment, feet positioning, arm placement, and the artistry of movement. Their journey extended to the center, where they embraced challenging barre exercises and gracefully navigated across the floor, seamlessly executing intricate moves like chassé, chaine arabesque, tombe pas de bourrée glissade leap, piqué turns, petit battement, attitude, and relevé passé.

Transitioning to the Jazz segment, students immersed themselves in a vibrant exploration of terminology, mastering concepts like parallel stance, plié, ball change, chassé, fan kick, hitch kick, jazz walk, chaines, piqué turn, pirouette, and leaps. Students are working on their dance routines for the upcoming spring show.

Ballet, Tap, & Jazz

In class, we’re dedicated to refining technique and building a strong foundation in ballet, tap, and jazz fundamentals. Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been working on:

Alignment and Terminology: We’re focusing on perfecting alignment and reinforcing basic ballet terminology. This includes positions of the feet and arms such as first, second, third, fourth, and fifth.

Barre Techniques: Our dancers are mastering essential barre techniques like plié, tendu, dégagé, passé, and relevé, which are crucial for developing strength, flexibility, and grace.

Center Work: In the center, we’ve been exploring and reviewing movements like échappé, arabesque, and curtsey. These exercises help dancers refine their balance, control, and poise.

Across the Floor: Across the floor exercises incorporate ballet walks, chassé, and grand jeté, allowing students to practice fluidity of movement and spatial awareness.

Tap Portion: During the tap portion of the class, we’ve been revisiting basic tap steps such as toe tap, heel tap, and shuffle step. Additionally, we introduced the shuffle hop step to expand our tap repertoire.

Jazz Technique: In our jazz segment, students are honing their skills in fan kicks, jazz walks, chainés, and jazz leaps, adding dynamism and flair to their dance vocabulary.

Throughout these sessions, our students are demonstrating incredible dedication and enthusiasm as they prepare for our upcoming spring show.

Far Out Science

This spring, students mixed colors to create wild and fascinating liquid mixtures, used heat to create crayon art masterpiece, then concocted monster eggs with colorful cracked shells. As the week drew to a close, they marveled at the magical transformation of a disappearing eggshell into a resilient bouncy ball through an intriguing chemical reaction.

First Tee Golf

Throughout our golf camp, students worked on new skills such as chipping, putting, and driving. Terms such as driver, wedge, putter, bogey, eagle, and par will be emphasized throughout our time with the students. The athletes have made tremendous improvements with skills such as ball control, accuracy, and have gained an overall understanding of the fundamentals which have helped them grow and become better each day.

A typical class includes stretching, warm-up games (Pac-Man, Animal Game, Pop-Up Tag, Relay-Race), warm-up golf drills (Battleship, Putting in Cone Challenge, Create your own Golf Course, and Golf Baseball), and fundamental practice (chipping, putting, driving, velcro target practice, distance practice, and short-game practice).

LEGO®: Spring Into STEM

Here’s a glimpse of the exciting projects and concepts our students have explored:

Pedal Boat Duck: Students delved into the mechanics of pedal boats and discovered how they operate. They learned firsthand how pullback motors utilize clock springs to power creations, all while grasping the concept of eccentricity—where things aren’t centered but still perfectly functional.

Bird Bonanza: Students learned about birds and elasticity, harnessing the power of rubber bands to make wings flap and soar.

Playground Paradise: Students learned about the world of playground equipment by understanding the mechanics of levers and fulcrums, discovering how different weights and pressures affect movement and balance.

Minecraft Realms

In class this semester, the following topics/skills have been covered:

Team Exploration of the Nether: Students are collaboratively exploring the Nether dimension, learning teamwork and problem-solving skills as they navigate its challenges.

Construction and Collaboration: Together, the class has built a communal house in the Nether, demonstrating their ability to work together and constructively contribute to shared goals.

Resource Management and Networking: Using cobblestone, students are establishing a networking system to efficiently transport materials between the Nether and the Overworld, showcasing their resourcefulness and adaptability.

Modern Intermediate

In just 5 days of our session, these dedicated dancers have delved into the exploration of body awareness and creativity through improvisation. They’ve embraced various qualities of movement such as sustained, swinging, suspended, and collapsed, while refining their body alignment and placement. With the ambitious goal of creating two distinct dance pieces for our upcoming performance, they’ve already begun the creative process, warming up and discussing the execution and intent of each piece. Despite the fast pace, the dancers are rising to the challenge with grace and determination. I’m truly impressed by their hard work and commitment to mastering new movement techniques. Additionally, we’ve started measurements and are collaboratively deciding on costumes. As we progress in class, our focus will be on crafting our performance for the 12th Annual Extend Dance Performance, scheduled for May 11th at 10am.

We hope you continue your LEGO journey into the Spring with several class offerings.  To see class days/times, please click here and filter for “Lego.”

Netgeneration Tennis

Throughout our tennis class, students worked on three new skills: serving the ball, reaction time, and active game participation. Terms such as forehand, backhand, reflex, and real-game practice were emphasized throughout our time with the students. Skills such as ball control, accuracy, and an overall understanding of the fundamentals have helped these students to grow and become better every day.

A typical class includes stretching, warm-up games (Sliders, Animal Game, Head, Shoulders, & Cone, Capture the Flag, and Angry Birds), warm-up tennis drills (Walk the Dog, Racket Bean Bag Toss, Partner toss with a ball and cone, and Tic-Tac-Toe with a partner), and serving and real-time game practice (serving/ball toss skills and accuracy, coach toss and swing over the net, serve across the net to a partner, and one-on-one volley across net).

Superhero Comic Creator

In class this semester, the following topics/skills have been covered:

Story Development: Students crafted their superhero stories by brainstorming and outlining beginnings, middles, and ends on paper. This process allowed them to develop plotlines and character arcs.

Green Screen Photography: Utilizing green screen technology, students took pictures and edited backgrounds using Canva, bringing their stories to life visually.

Comic Creation: Students translated their stories into comic book format using Comic Creator 3 software, where they combined text and images to create dynamic comic panels.

Each student will receive printed pages of their comic book to take home, allowing them to share their creative work with family and friends.

THURSDAY

Aspiring Artists

This semester, students have worked on four projects so far:

Impasto Landscapes:  Students painted on wooden cradle boards with palette knives to create a heavily textured impasto landscape using fluid, acrylic paint, and light molding paste.

Klimt Mixed Media:  After studying Klimt’s famous painting style, students used images of the head and hands on a board, and then penciled in their own designs, painting them with metallic, bronze, copper, gold, and micaceous oxide, while drawing the patterns with metallic acrylic markers.

Valentine Boxes:  Students made 4 x 6 valentine-inspired acetate boxes with 2-dimensional pieces.  This mixed media project involved several kinds of paper, milangros, bead paints, and metallic markers.

Cheer and Tumbling

Mastering the fundamentals in our Cheer and Tumbling Class, students are excelling in Lever 1 and 2 Vaulting horse skills. They confidently navigate mounting on and off the Vault, showcasing their prowess. From perfecting skills like Squat on, Bridge mount, Straddle on, to executing a side Vault over the apparatus, their agility and technique shine.

On the Balance Beam, students demonstrate precision with Pony steps forward, coupled with Backward cartwheels under expert guidance. Their journey also involves performing a cartwheel on the beam, skillfully spotting, and executing a flawless round-off off the Beam.

In the realm of Tumbling, creativity takes center stage as students craft their own routines. The culmination of their learned skills results in the captivating V-seat routine, showcasing their individual flair and mastery. The class is not just about technique; it’s about empowering students to express themselves through dynamic and skillful performances.

Choir – Hillcrest

This spring, the Hillcrest Choir happily welcomed many new members! Our returning students worked hard to help our new singers feel comfortable with many singing games starting in January. They played games like “Here Comes A Bluebird”, “Billy Billy,” and “Alabama Gal”  to build a sense of community while exploring different concepts. The choir has also been learning vocabulary words like “solo,” “duet,” “canon,” and “partner song”.

Starting in February, the choir began expanding their repertoire by preparing for their Spring performances. They have been working hard on memorizing “Hand In Hand” to sing for Grandfriend’s Visiting Day on Thursday, April 4th. They have also recently begun preparing for their end-of-the-year Spring Concert with the 3rd and 4th Grade Midway Choir.

Geology Rocks and Dinosaur Roars

This spring, students embarked on an exciting journey of discovery, uncovering the size and lifespan of the woolly mammoth. They crafted their own clay dinosaur eggs, delved into the techniques of paleontologists in excavating dinosaurs and fossils, and culminated their exploration with the thrilling creation of an erupting volcano!

Hip-Hop Jr.

Hip-hop class is a beginner level class that is a fusion of urban and street style hip-hop. The class focuses on learning musicality and rhythm, the use of space, and being grounded. Students are currently gearing up for their end of the year dance and is super excited to present a dance showcasing their cool hip – hop moves that they have learned.

Hip-Hop and Jazz

In our Hip-Hop sessions, students have been mastering rib cage isolation, heel crosses, pumps, drop downs, slides, intricate footwork, and attitude. Additionally, they’ve begun learning a hip-hop combination routine.

Meanwhile, in the Jazz segment of the class, students have been introduced to essential terminology including plié, kick ball change, chasse, jazz walk, grapevines, chaines, pirouettes, and leaps. Alongside, they’re diligently working on a separate jazz combination routine.

Excitement is palpable as we eagerly anticipate the end-of-year Extend Showcase, where our dancers will dazzle the audience with their hard work and dedication.

 

Hola Amigos

In our enriching Hola Amigos Spanish classes, we explored a delightful array of engaging topics designed to captivate young minds. From the basics of introductions, to the excitement of action words, the thrill of sports, the vastness of space, the warmth of Valentine’s Day, and the joy of toys, our curriculum embraced a diverse range of themes. Students not only delved into these fascinating subjects but also actively participated in vocabulary-building activities, paving the way for effective language acquisition. Our classes were filled with laughter and learning as students eagerly embraced a series of interactive games tailored to reinforce the newly acquired vocabulary. These immersive activities not only enhanced language skills but also provided a unique avenue for enjoyment. We believe in making language learning a joyous journey for your child, where every class is not just an educational opportunity but a memorable adventure they eagerly anticipate. At the end of each class, students were able to take home their coloring sheet that went along with that class lesson. After a few lessons, we would have a review class to refresh and at the end of that class, each student was able to pick a fun prize of their choosing which added an extra layer of excitement and motivation.

Jazz & Acro

In Jazz Technique, we’re honing skills such as body isolations, musicality, and the art of extending and lengthening the legs for expressive movement.

In Beginner Acro, our focus is on building flexibility and strengthening the legs and backs to master acrobatic movements like bridges, cartwheels, and handstands, among others.

As we gear up for our end-of-year dance performance, excitement is running high among our students. They’re eagerly preparing to showcase their newly acquired acrobatic tricks and Jazz Technique in a dazzling dance extravaganza!

Magic Explorers

The enthusiasm of the children and the eagerness to try and learn new things is what makes this class exceptional!  Each week, the students work towards accomplishing our goals based on the three keys of magic 1) Make it Fun, 2) Think of Others, 3) Give your Best.  

On the first day of class, your child received a binder with a Velcro pocket in which to keep all their Magic Adventure Pack (M.A.P) and props.  I have been impressed with how they have kept up with the materials so far. You should be proud that you are raising such responsible children.

Each week, we worked on creating and learning to perform a new magic trick. We play games, share stories, and solve mysteries. We study how to be respectful of others, how to be authentic and giving, and practice communication and presentation skills.

Minecraft Builder Academy – Midway

In class this semester, students have worked on the following projects and skills:

City Building: Students have successfully completed their initial task by constructing houses in Minecraft using a variety of building materials. They have expanded their efforts to create a connected cityscape, incorporating bridges and roads into their designs. Throughout this process, they have refined their creativity and design abilities, beginning with pen-and-paper blueprints and translating them into intricate structures within the world of Minecraft.

Collaborative Building: Students have been engaged in collaborative building projects, honing their teamwork and communication skills as they work together to create complex structures within the Minecraft world.

Creative Design: Through the construction of various structures and landscapes, students have explored their creativity and design abilities, learning to implement unique and imaginative ideas into their builds.

The class is currently amid completing their group projects, which involve the construction of larger-scale structures or themed environments within the Minecraft world.

FRIDAY

First Tee Golf

Throughout our golf camp, students worked on new skills such as chipping, putting, and driving. Terms such as driver, wedge, putter, bogey, eagle, and par will be emphasized throughout our time with the students. The athletes have made tremendous improvements with skills such as ball control, accuracy, and have gained an overall understanding of the fundamentals which have helped them grow and become better each day.

A typical class includes stretching, warm-up games (Pac-Man, Animal Game, Pop-Up Tag, Relay-Race), warm-up golf drills (Battleship, Putting in Cone Challenge, Create your own Golf Course, and Golf Baseball), and fundamental practice (chipping, putting, driving, velcro target practice, distance practice, and short-game practice).

Pokemon Engineering: LEGO®

Here’s a glimpse of the exciting projects and concepts our students have explored:

 

Pallet Town Exploration: Students delve into the lore of Pallet Town in the Pokémon world, while also learning about the mechanics of ball and socket joints. They discover the importance of framing in constructing buildings and structures, laying the groundwork for their own Pokémon adventures.

Pokémon Catcher Challenge: Students master the art of catching Pokémon while gaining insights into the principles of physics. They learn about fulcrums and how they facilitate movement, as well as the concept of center of gravity and its impact on balance. With newfound knowledge, they’re ready to embark on daring Pokémon-catching escapades.

Pokémon Gym Quest: Students uncover the secrets of Pokémon Gyms and their significance in the Pokémon universe. They explore scale models and their practical applications, understanding why they’re essential in designing and planning. Additionally, students discover the functionality of hinges, unlocking doors to new possibilities in their Pokémon engineering endeavors.

Pow! Zap! Create! Comic Creators

In class this semester, the following topics/skills have been covered:

Storytelling and Narrative Development: Students have explored the art of storytelling by crafting their own short comic books, focusing on developing engaging plots, dynamic characters, and compelling narratives.

Visual Storytelling Techniques: Using sequential art and panel layouts, students have learned how to effectively convey their stories visually, experimenting with different techniques to create engaging and immersive comic book experiences.

Creative Expression: As they bring their stories to life through comic book creation, students have had the opportunity to express their creativity and individual artistic styles, honing their skills in illustration, coloring, and lettering.

Students have completed their short comic book projects, showcasing their storytelling abilities and artistic talents. These comic books will be compiled and printed for students to take home on the final week of the mid-semester.

Soccer Fundamentals

Throughout our soccer class, students worked on new skills: dribbling, passing, and shooting. Terms such as inside foot/outside foot, ball control, and patience were emphasized throughout our time with the students. Skills such as ball control, accuracy, and an overall understanding of the fundamentals have helped these students to grow and become better every day.

A typical class includes stretching, warm-up games (Pac-Man, Animal Game, Pop-Up Tag, and Relay-Race), warm-up soccer drills (one foot on the ball control, shooting with both feet, dribble down court with both feet, and partner passing), and fundamental practice (run full speed towards the ball and kick, small dribbles with control, small/medium/large kicks buildup, inside foot scoring, and outside foot dribbles).

Cheer and Tumbling

The girls are honing their skills in voice projection to ensure their cheers resound with energy and enthusiasm. From perfecting stunts to crafting cohesive routines, they’re fully immersed in the world of cheerleading. Tumbling plays a pivotal role, with a focus on mastering techniques such as t-jumps, tuck jumps, and straddle jumps. Amidst the excitement, they’re not only having a blast but also dedicatedly refining their abilities to bring their routine to life.


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