If you offer after school enrichment programs but find it difficult to come up with new curriculum visit TeachersPayTeachers.com.
TeachersPayTeachers.com is an Etsy style open marketplace for educators. On there you’ll find a variety of resources that are created by teachers. Granted most of the resources are for school courses, but depending on what type of enrichment classes you are offering you may just find some neat new games, activities and/or project instructions. There are a lot of free downloads, but the good stuff you have to pay for (between $1 – $20+). Based on the after school enrichment classes we offer, here is what I found:
Fitness (Physical Education) – 297 Resources
Greek Mythology – 397 resources
Sign Language – 934 resources
Drama/Theater – over 3000 resources
Art Projects – Nearly 4000 resources
Classroom Management – over 14000 resources
This was based on a quick search and right away I saw some free downloads. Once you register for a free acoount you can download the freebies and/or pay for the others.
Of course, many of us have created our own curriculum, written up our own projects and activities, and we have them all in a binder or on our computer. At TeachersPayTeachers.com you can also sell your own resources. The split for the free account is 60/40. You retain 60% of the fees you charge while the site keeps 40%. Simply create your seller’s profile, upload your resource(s), price it and wait to make some sales. After doing a bit of reasearch I came across an article that mentioned one teacher has already made over $1 million dollars from selling her resources on the site. Granted, she has her own teacher’s blog and drives traffic from her site to TeachersPayTeachers.com, but still, that is pretty awesome. Since it’s start in 2006 the site has paid out over $25 million to teachers that sell on their site.
Whether you’re buying or selling TeachersPayTeachers.com is a site you should bookmark.
Do you celebrate birthdays in your after school programs? Here are a few suggestions on making those celebrating their birthdays feel special.
1. Birthday Necklaces/Beads
There are some fun, inexpensive birthday necklaces available from places like Party City and Oriental Trading. The ones we use for our after school program are from Party City. They come in a pack of 20 for $10. Since they are inexpensive we let the kids keep them.
The other one you see here is a bit pricier at $4 each but much cooler. We use these during our summer camps.
2. Birthday Hat
Birthday hats, like the ones below, can be used with great fun. Many kids will enjoy wearing this hat during your program. This is not a giveaway due to the $10-$20 price tag.
It seems whenever a new season begins we start looking at the pile catalogs we get from various companies to order our arts and crafts supplies. We, of course, have our favorite vendors, but they don’t always carry what we need or have the best prices. So here is my take on the companies we use.
Discount School Supply
Discount School Supply is my favorite company for one reason – shipping. If our order is over a certain amount (usually around $79) then shipping is free. The best part, however, is that it only take 2 days to get to us. In other words, they get the order filled right away and ship it FAST! I love that!
A reader sent this to me and I thought it was very interesting – and appropriate as summer comes closer. This is an article reprint from the July 2009 issue of SmartMoney.
1. “This pool could sure use a few more of me.”
In recent summers qualified lifeguards have been in high demand at pools, lakes, beaches and water parks across the country. But things are looking very different this year. “Everybody in the industry is cutting back,” says Patricia Roper, director of Seaside Aquatic Consulting, in Irvington, N.Y. For a dozen-plus municipal pools in Georgia, for example, that means shorter hours; elsewhere, Roper says, the number of lifeguards—who typically make an hourly wage of $8 up to $20 for well-trained beach guards— is getting slashed.
It’s bad news for lifeguards and swimmers alike. Though most states regulate the number of guards required per square foot of pool space or length of beach, many facilities and town don’t comply, and the standards are rarely enforced, says Shawn DeRosa, an aquatics-safety consultant in Boston. And that can bring danger: In a September 2007 case, a Maryland jury found that inadequate staffing was one factor behind the drowning death of a five-year-old at a country-club pool. Only one guard was present, according to testimony—which isn’t considered adequate by most experts.
2. “My training wasn’t so hot.”
They might look similarly chiseled on Baywatch, but not all lifeguards are equally well trained. The basic certification lifeguards earn from the American Red Cross or YMC A “is really just a learner’s permit,” says Tom Griffiths, at Penn State, who studies drowning. It’s meant to be supplemented with on-the-job training and safety drills, but he estimates about 25 percent of all guards get little or no follow-up, usually at places like country clubs and apartment pools. Others, like the roughly 12,000 guards working at beaches affiliated with the United States Lifesaving Association—which cover about 80 percent of the country’s oceanfront—go through continued rigorous training.
Connie Harvey, head of the Red Cross’s training program, says her organization always recommends lifeguards get regular training on the job, including special instruction in challenging environments like lakes and rivers. Jeff Ellis & Associates, a private firm that works with facilities including apartment pools, guarantees the quality of its guards and even has undercover staff audit them. Says Alison Osinski, an aquatics-safety consultant in San Diego, “It makes a huge difference.”
3. “You’re pretty safe—as long as the pool’s not too crowded.”
Visibility is a big issue for lifeguards, and not just in lakes and oceans. Safety experts are increasingly aware that guards have trouble seeing even in crystal-clear pools when crowded. That’s because many drowning victims sink to the bottom unnoticed—difficult to spot with others splashing around. Water-safety consultant Juliene Hefter calls it the ripple effect: “All that wave action distorts shapes under the water.” Guards can also suffer from “perceptual blindness,” meaning they’re so focused on the water’s surface, they may not process something unexpected on the bottom.
The good news is that pools are taking the issue of visibility seriously. Lifeguards are now routinely shown training videos, teaching them to watch for something that may look as benign as a shadow below the surface. Technology is also playing a part—some 50 pools in the U.S. have paid about $125,000 to outfit their facilities with Poseidon, a network of smart video cameras that detect unconscious swimmers on the pool’s floor within seconds. The price tag might seem high, Osinski says, “but it’ll never cost you what one drowning does.”
Fitness classes are like a spaghetti western – there’s the good, the bad and the ugly. The instructor usually makes all the difference in the world, but it’s difficult to find a really good group fitness leader. If you’re unable to find one then the next thing to do is create a program/class that is enjoyable regardless of the instructor.
Last week I came across an iPhone app called BodyFate. Here’s how it works. You check off the equipment you have (medicine ball, dumbbells, resistance bands, hula hoop, jump rope, etc.). You choose between 3 levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and you choose the length of your workout. When you hit the start button you are presented with two options (doors or hands). Once you have chosen a door (either the left or the right) it will reveal the exercise you (and fate) have chosen. An animated photo will appear to show you how to do the exercise and your workout begins. The exercises are based on your fitness level and the equipment you have available. You never know what exercise is next and that is the fun of it.
You also get 1 “Pass”. If you don’t like the exercise that appears, or you find it too difficult, you can use your “Pass”, but you can only do this once. There are also “Rest” options. You get 3 of these. If you use one of your “Rests” you get one minute to relax. You can earn more “Passes” and “Rests” throughout the workout/game. There’s more to the app, but this is the general concept.
Now imagine taking that idea and creating a group fitness class where the participants take turns choosing mystery options. Behind one door is 2 minutes of jump-roping and behind the other is sit-ups. It’s Donny’s turn to choose and he chooses the red door. It’s jump-roping. Half of the class cheers and the other half moans – and then they all laugh and grab their ropes. Donnie has the chance to use the groups “Pass” but he doesn’t. After 2 minutes have passed it’s Lisa’s turn to choose. She, instead, chooses to use one of the “Rests”. The class thanks Lisa and relaxes for one minute. Now it’s Cindy’s turn to choose…and so on.
The choices can be viewed through a power point presentation, a board with cards taped up on it having the exercises written on the back, or playing cards that can be turned over. This is a program that can create quite a buzz. Everyone is looking for an enjoyable way to stay in shape.
Here’s an after school program that is worth considering. It all started with a trip to the bookstore. I came across a book called The Boys’ Book – How to Be the Best at Everything. In it was written how to do all kinds of things, from ‘how to fight off a crocodile’ to ‘how to juggle’. Many of the things in the book are ridiculous, I mean do boys really need to know “how to teach a parakeet to talk’? But it go me thinking that there are a lot of things many boys don’t know how to do, some are outdoor related while others are etiquette related. Having grown up without a father I felt as though I missed out on a lot. These days many fathers aren’t around to teach their boys those “guy” things all boys should know, whether it’s because of long work hours or other reasons.
Once I decided that an after school program teaching boys stuff they ought to know was a good idea, I began to research what could be taught. I figured that if the instructor didn’t know how to do something he could learn through online videos or books. If it was something a little to difficult then someone who could teach it could be brought in as a guest speaker.
I came up with 75 different ideas, though I figure in an 8 week (one class per week) session 25 things would be enough to teach. What is chosen to be taught would depend on the age group and the skills of the instructor. The following ideas came from the book I mentioned above as well as:
The Guide for Guys: An Extremely Useful Manual for Old Boys and Young Men
Show Me How: 500 Things You Should Know – Instructions for Life from the Everyday to the Exotic
and an online search.
Things Every Young Man Should Know How to Do
1. How to Do an Ollie
2. How to Perform a Card Trick
3. How to Tie Three Essential Knots
4. How to Eat in a Fancy Restaurant
5. How to Get Rid of Hiccups
6. How to Make a Balloon Dog
7. How to Make a Campfire
8. How tot Tie a Tie
9. How to Take a Penalty Kick
10. How to Read a Compass
One of our regular summer camp forum contributors, Cody, posted a list of camp games that were altered to fit a Halloween theme. I have posted them below. If you haven’t visited the new summer camp forum there are some neat ideas that can be used for after school prgorams as well. Come by and see for yourself, and share some ideas of your own.
Select one camper as the scarecrow. Form a circle around the scarecrow. The object of the game is to change your pose without being caught by the scarecrow. If the scarecrow sees you move, you are out and must sit in your spot. You must change your pose every time the scarecrow turns away from you. The last person standing becomes the scarecrow for the next round.
Witches Broom Obstacle Race
Use the cones to form an obstacle course on each half of the gym. Make sure that they are equal on both sides. Divide up into two teams and send each team to a course. On the word “start”, the first person of each team sweeps a ball around the obstacles with their broom and comes back to their team line. The first team to finish wins.
Pass the Pumpkin Relay
Line up into two teams. The first person passes the pumpkin over their head to the next person in line. The next person passes the pumpkin under their legs to the next person, and so on. When you get to the end of the line the last person runs up to the front and start it all over again. Whoever has the first person that was in line at the beginning of the game—at the back of the line wins!
I was going to write about an art activity that pays tribute to the artist Michelangelo. In this activity students lay on their back and paint. This activity is based on the popular story that Michelangelo painted the Sistene Chapel ceiling on his back (which isn’t true). Though we have done it in our after school programs I searched the net to find any other ideas I could add to the process. Through my search I found a great page that outlined the activity perfect at a site called BrightRing.com. Then in dawned on me that there are a lot of great sites that have wonderful arts and crafts ideas that you should know about. Here are my favorites.
When you have a chance take a look at these sites. Some are blogs which make it nice to get on their feed and receive updates to new projects.
Art Projects For Kids
Teach Kids Art
Laugh, Paint, Create!
The Crafty Crow
Crafts by Amanda
Disney’s Family Fun
A month ago I had a parent contact me to ask if I would put together a treausre hunt for her 9 year-old’s birthday party. “YES!” I exclaimed.
I do at least one treasure hunt or scavenger hunt every week of summer camp. The campers love them. Let me repeat that - The campers LOVE!!!! them. Fortunately, I really enjoy putting them together and running them as well. So when I was asked to put together a hunt for a birthday boy who loves the book series The 39 Clues, and I was going to get paid for it…well, how could I refuse?
Organizing the Hunt
The first thing I had to do was ask mom some questions:
- How many kids will there be? (14)
- Where do you want the hunt to take place? (downtown)
- How long do you want it to go? (1 hour)
- How difficult would you like it? (easy enough for 9 year olds but difficult enough for them to have to work out each clue)
- Do you want a race between teams or one team to work together? (there will be two teams)
- Will their be an adult chaperone with each team? (yes)
Since this was my first birthday treasure hunt I wanted to give mom and dad some options, so I quickly designed some hunts that ranged from finding hidden animals and treasure (more of a scavenger hunt) to a mix of solvable clues that led from one spot to another. The parents liked the idea of the clues and that’s when mom told me about her son’s interest in The 39 Clues series.
I went to the library and checked out the first book of the series. After reading it I realized two things, 1. I wanted to design a story around the hunt and 2. I had no interest in continuing to read that series.
On the day of the hunt I went around town and taped up envelopes with clues in different spots. One envelope was for the red team and one for the blue team. Thankfully nobody bothered the clues during the hunt (this was a big concern for me). Then I went to the pizza place where they were having the party and I gave the cashier two bags and one envelope to be given to mom. The envelope contained a letter to be read first. It was a letter from me to the treasure hunters (kids) where I told them about the passing of my dear old aunt Regina and how, in her will, she left me a clue that was supposed to lead me to a treasure. The problem was that the clue led to another clue, and then another. I knew I was close to the treasure but I had to attend to other matters so I needed their help. The letter went on to tell them that in each of the bags was a clue and a bandanna (one red and one blue). While the clues were different they both would eventually lead to the same place.
One of the conversations on LinkedIn was about community recreation event sponsorships. It seems a lot of people are looking for information on how to set-up and find sponsorships. While I don’t have the answers (as I was the one who started the conversation on LinkedIn) I do have some links to info on what other departments are doing.
Below are files you can print or download to your computer that have to do with sponsorship and advertising agreements.
Thank you to Dianne Marquez of Los Alamos County for sharing the advertising documents below:
LAC IR AD CONTRACT – PDF
RATE CARD – PDF
Recreation Advertising Policy – PDF
EXHIBIT C_Ad Guidelines – Rich Text
Ice Haus Advertising Agreement – Word
Ice Haus EXHIBIT B_DB – Word
Here are some sponsorship pdfs from different cities and schools. There are a few brochures and a few agreement contracts. This should give you a good idea of sponsorship opportuities from different organizations.
city of auburn wa sponsorship info
city of mcallen tx sponsorship info
city of ocala fl sponsorship info
city of scottsdale sponsorship info
shelby baseball sponsorship information
south burlington vt sponsorship info
tx a-m sponsorship_opportunities
Here is a pdf from IEG on
Determining Fair Market Value of Sponsorship Packages
If you have information you would like me to post here please email me.