One of the reasons I was a bit blog silent a few months ago is because I have been teaching a class lately. It's an after-school Harry Potter class! It's been a blast to do. I'm crazy about all things Harry Potter and this after-school group is like an HP fan club, so this has been great. The class is weekly for 3rd through 5th graders, so instead of it being a book group, it's more like we meet for Hogwarts classes and games. (They are all on such different reading levels...) When the kiddos are not meeting with me, they are having Quidditch matches with the PE coach. Super cool.
Anyway, I thought I'd share a bit of what I've been doing, since I just got a new group and we are starting fresh. For our first meeting, I "sorted" the kids into Hogwarts houses and we also decorated wooden wands. Last time around, I actually had the kids take a quiz to sort themselves out, but I spent so much time grading quizzes that I didn't get a chance to talk with them or help them make wands. This semester I have a class of 16 kids and, since I'm all by myself, there was no way I could make the same mistake. So I made some house sorting cards. I crumpled them up, stuck them in a cauldron, added some sparkly blue crinkle paper (for added fluff and so they couldn't cheat and peek at the card they pulled) and called the kids up one at a time to have them put on the sorting hat and draw a card. Since I have 16 kids, I have 4 in each house - which is perfect because I am giving (and taking away) house points for the "end of term party."
(And just in case you wondered, no I did NOT sing them the sorting song... Jim Dale does an excellent job of doing it all on his own. Want to hear him? Visit here.)
The wands turned out pretty great, too. Mr. T chopped up some half inch dowel rods to a nine inch length and then I pre-treated them to some special wand goodness by making hot glue designs on them. Then my Mr. spray-painted them brown. They looked cool before the kids even got to them.
After we decorated wands, I had the kids sit in each of their 4 houses and work on a group project so they could get to know each other better. Since each house specializes in different attributes, I had them do an acronym activity where they took the name of their house (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw) and wrote next to each letter a special defining characteristic. One of my Hufflepuff kiddos gave me her sheet - here is what it read: H - Hard Working, U - Understanding, F - Famous, F - Fun, L - Loyalty, E - Excellent, P - Popular, U - Unforgettable, F - Funny, and F - Friendly. Aren't they so smart?!? I'm looking forward to a super fun semester getting to know these kids.
Next up, Care of Magical Creatures class!