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Author: Megan Green

What Is So Special About After School?

After 20+ years of working in after school, I have learned that there are many things that make after school special. Some might be apparent, but others might be less obvious. One go-to resource for me is information from the Afterschool Alliance, This is Afterschool, which reminds us of all of the benefits of after school. They sum it up in a few words. “Decades of research prove afterschool help...

Back to School? It’s Time To Let The Kids Do The Talking!

There is power in letting the kids do the thinking and the talking and you can make this happen as you are thinking about starting a new year with your kiddos. A successful day for an after-school leader is when s/he goes home rested and the kids are exhausted from all of the thinking and collaborating! I’d like to share some tips for facilitating more and talking less. In short, working on being ...

Kids Are Natural Scientists—Let Them Take the Lead!

Science is based on curiosity and finding evidence. Giving kids opportunities to roll up their sleeves and understand the world around them by looking for evidence is a great way to be a “guide on the side” rather than a formal teacher or science expert. By letting the children lead, watching what they do, and asking questions, you empower them to follow their natural curiosity. By encouraging the...

Planning for a “New Year” With Our Kiddos #Repost

Editors note: This blog was first published in January 2018. We believe the content of this blog is as relevant today for 2019, as it was for 2018. Let’s keep asking these questions… ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ January 1 is really our second “New Year” with our kiddos. Happy New Year, take two! As educat...

Math IS fun!

No, I am not being sarcastic. Math often gets a bad rap. It can be considered a four letter word! There was even a talking Barbie that exclaimed, “Math class is tough!” (You can read about the controversy here and even see her in action here.) Are we bringing up a generation of kids who think they don’t like math at a time when math is key and so important? In my 20 years at Collaborative Classroo...

8 FREE Resources to Welcome In the New School Year

Happy New Year! Greetings! It is a new year! 2017-2018 starts now! This is a time when you will see kids you know and a time to meet new kiddos. But most important, it is a time to learn from last year and make this year even better. It’s back to school time!     Take a moment to think about what you learned from last year and what your New Year’s resolutions are for this upcoming year,...

We’ve All Got a Spark. Let’s Light a Fire!

We have the power to light a fire in every child with whom we work. It only takes one person to change a child’s life. Think back on your educational influences and you will likely find someone who lit a fire in you that still burns today. Across the country I’ve asked leaders, “What childhood science experiences do you remember?” People share about baking soda volcanoes, s...

Wanna Join the Mistakes Club?

Mistakes have gotten a bad rap. Reactions to mistakes can range from mild embarrassment to communications of regret to utter outrage. If we always respond to mistakes negatively it has potential to give our kids the impression that mistakes are to be avoided at all costs. I am a card-carrying member of the mistakes club. Some days I think about running for president of the mistake club. While I...

Student Interest Leads to Engagement

Let’s talk about how getting to know the children we work with can help us build engagement and excitement about learning. Seems easy but can be forgotten and can make such a difference. It is the same way we think about who is coming for dinner…we wouldn’t make something they didn’t like! Explore Existing Interests Poll your children to learn what they are interested in, a...

My Why: It Takes a Village

I do what I do because I was given an opportunity 18 years ago to join the Center for the Collaborative Classroom (formally known as the Developmental Studies Center). I left the classroom to join a team at CCC to work on a National Science Foundation funded project to help kids talk to a significant adult in their life about mathematics. This project started with a school to home component that w...

12 Tips to Integrate Academic Enrichment In Afterschool

I have been working with after school programs across the country since 1998. And there are some things that I have learned that make doing academic enrichment activities more successful with kids after school. To meet the goals of this, we need after school not more school and kids should be engaged and having fun. Here are some helpful tips: Meet with your school(s) to find out what areas to foc...