I honestly, don’t know how I can express the love in my life for my English club! It has become the highlight of my service and my reason for being and staying here. I worked very hard to gather a wide range of students from my entire school from both 9th and 10th grade. Sometimes it is much easier to just announce the existence of an English club in class and thus create an English club, but I really wanted to get to know new students outside my classes. I began with about 24 students registered in two different clubs. Each club wanted to meet twice a week, so that means I have four meetings a week.
To help you understand the purpose for two English Clubs, I will explain how our school schedule works a little bit. Our school has two shifts, half the 9th and 10th grade students meet in the morning from about 8-12:30, then the other half meet from about 12:30-5:00. For two weeks students meet in the morning shift and then their shift switches to the afternoon shift. So for example, both of my classes are in the same shift. So for two weeks I have my two classes in the morning, then I switch and teach in the afternoon for two weeks. But for students, they have classes for half the day, then study at school, have clubs or activities, or work/help at home for the rest of the day.
In order to help my brain with the confusion of having two English clubs, I had my students pick a name for their club the very first meeting. They had fun barnstorming and then voting on names for their club. One club named themselves, the ‘Superman English Club’ and the other club named themselves the ‘Smart Language Club.’
Between students coming to ask if they could join English Club, and members bringing friends, I now have about 35 students registered in my Superman English Club and about 45 students in Smart Language Club (registered, meaning students attended at least one meeting). My Superman English Club averages about 12-15 students per meeting depending on the shift. They don’t seem to like coming in the morning! The Smart Language Club averages 16-18 students per meeting and in the afternoon shift I have over 20 students usually. They like to bring their friends!
In the beginning, I was going in the opposite shift break times to hand out reminder cards to registered students and letting kids know what time to come if they inquired about English Club. Now, I don’t have to do anything except show up on our normal day and time and kids just show up! It has been incredible how dedicated kids have been and how regularly students show up. Each club has at least 10 students who come at least 75 percent of the time, so I have come to know them very well.
-One of the many activities we do in club, READING! My hometown church, First Christian Church of Liberty Women’s Group, was amazing enough to donate 5 sets of books! They sent 10 copies of a set of Encyclopedia Brown books(set of 4 different books) and 10 Frindle books. So far we have read several stories out of the first Encyclopedia Brown book. Before we begin, I go over new vocabulary words that I know they won’t be familiar with. Then as we read, I ask comprehension questions and if they have any questions about the story or vocabulary we go over that as well. So far they have really enjoyed them. Plus, reading comprehension is great practice for their National Exams for 10th and 12th grade later on!
-Our Christmas tree, donated by the amazing Alonna Bailey! We also had a Christmas drawing based on their club attendance, so they could each pick a gift to take home.
-The photos of them looking at pieces of paper on the wall, is called a running dialogue. The papers have sentences written on them. Students are divided into teams, then one person from each team runs to read one sentence on the paper. Then, they run back to quietly tell their partner what it said. Their partner then writes it down on their own paper. Next, they switch and do the opposite role. This was a fun and easy game when the new classrooms we were using for club didn’t have a chalkboard yet, as you can see from the photos.
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