Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Urban Compass Day to Day

I'm sitting at my desk in my office as I write this, about to start the Urban Compass after-school program for its fifth day this school year. I've learned everyone's names very quickly, which helps that I can call them out immediately by name if need be. My classroom is first and some second grade. If/when we have more kids enrolled this year, it may switch to being just K/1.

A typical day at Urban Compass (though we haven't quite gotten on our scheduled routine yet) starts with Ms. L, Mr. Luis and I walking over to 112th St Elementary from Verbum Dei High School (where our offices are and the program takes place). The kids meet us on the playground at 112th St, and once we've gotten them all, we walk over to Verbum Dei with them. I choose a snack helper from a different grade every day--one who is behaving well and gets to choose two friends to help me set up snack later. We then hang up their backpacks in the office and go out to the field and play.

After roughly 30-45 minutes of recreation time, I call my snack helpers to come help me set up snack. We get the snack and the classroom materials out of the office. Snack each day is a granola bar, a piece of fruit and a juicebox. During this time, I also start setting up the classrooms for homework and enrichment time. I call Ms. L to bring the rest of the kids over for snacktime, and while everyone is eating snack, I finish getting the classroom ready.

Every day except Fridays, we have a period of 50 minutes in which the kids work on their homework. If they finish their homework during that time, they can do educational worksheets (I'm only trying to get interesting ones--none of those drill things!) or math or reading games. Once it's 4:30 (earlier on Fridays), we do some kind of arts and craft or other fun activities. Ten til 5, we start cleaning up. Around 5, Ms. L walks the kids back to 112th St while Mr. Luis and I finish cleaning up and are done for the day!

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