Pave the Road For Your Oakland Kids

During my four years working at Oakland, I found a lot of ways to stretch my time and money to get the kids just that much bigger of an edge.  Here a few things you could do at different parts of the month to get resources, trips, and programs for your middle school students!  (You’re in charge of figuring out transportation though; but BART and AC Transit have some sort of discounted cost as long as you contact them ~4 weeks ahead!)

AUGUST

Get Caught Reading – Order Free Reading Posters

Email Universities – Ask for college posters / pendants to post in your room!

CalShakes – {Humanities/ELA}  – check these guys out to see if you can get free Student Discovery Matinee tickets for the next School Year and get an In-School Residency underway.  The instructors here are fun, experienced, and this really allows students the opportunity to move and SPEAK!  (**I’d suggest the workshop happening second semester when classroom management is better).  BART/shuttle! 

SF Asian Art Museum – {Humanities/History} – Look through their exhibitions and see which ones could correspond with your lessons! Get a docent! It’s free for OUSD students and their chaperones, and BART/walking isn’t too bad.  And Sign UP! 

EXPLORATORIUM – they partnered up with PG&E to give out a few free field trips. Sign up ASAP!

Schedule a Holocaust Speaker for 2nd Semester – History is so important.  Let your students hear from a Holocaust survivor who can speak to the horrors of what happens when we don’t stand up for others and simply allow evil to happen.

FLOCABULARY – in the 2015-16 SY, OUSD built a partnership with Flocabulary so that teachers could get access to their videos and lessons. This is AWESOME for class vocabulary building, for introducing history concepts, and for getting down algorithmic math concepts. THE BEST THING is their Week in Rap, that, one year, my students and I watched every week.  It keeps us in the know about what’s going on around the world.  Lastly, if used regularly, this could lead to a cool project where students choose a topic and create their own educational raps!

REMIND.org – Get parents to sign up for this STAT so that you can send out reminder texts. Spanish AND English!

SEPTEMBER

Donors Choose – get your account started and submit something.  In the first week, any contributions can be doubled with whatever code exists.  Have this here because your first project is almost always guaranteed to get more enthusiasm from your friend (and I’d suggest something between 300-400, because if enough people donate, then some altruistic stranger will most likely cover the rest)…

I’m not done though.  The MAIN reason you want to be on Donorschoose is so that you can start writing your DonorsChoose request for materials for Chevron’s annual Fuel Your School thingy.  Think about what you REALLY want that costs $1,000 or less.  Write it up; make sure you’re detailed about what you’re getting and why… BUT  do NOT submit your draft until 9:00PM PST so that it qualifies for Fuel Your School.  IF you do it right at the 12AM EDT start time, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be fulfilled.  

**Rule of thumb; always have a project underway; you never know who’s going to suddenly get it into their head to donate a bunch (like Google and Stephen Colbert).

Adopt-A-Classroom – sign up for it. You might randomly get a few free $100s with no strings attached and no work to do afterwards.  Use it towards your classroom!

OCTOBER

Read For the Record – {Humanities/ELA}– this is a COOL yearly event where kids from schools all across the country are read to, or read to others.  Every year 1 sweet, sweet book is picked (and is available for free online that day.  If you have a K-8 school, coordinate with the younger classes to get your big kids there to read!  If you’re in a 6-8, find a nearby elementary school to go to!

Prepare for NaNoWriMo {Humanities/ELA} – November is National Novel-Writing Month.  There are ways to create a virtual classroom and to get a classroom kit to jumpstart the excitement for writing! Students create their own writing goals and then boom! Off you go!

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER

NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH  (write everyday for 30 days)

Start PREPARING YOUR KIDS FOR HIGH SCHOOL

AS YOU START TO FEEL MORE SANE

CS-First Start a CS club with your students!

JANUARY

Help your kids APPLY TO HIGH SCHOOLS

Girls on the Run Bay Area – get your girls running after school.  This is a BIG commitment, but it’s free for the girls who are in it and they get shoes and lots of opportunities to build community and perseverance.

Do you have a $100,000 dream?  Submit a proposal.

Home Run Readers – If your students reach their reading goal, they get to go to a free A’s Game!

FEBRUARY

Google Science Fair {Science} – Use their resources to help kids start a project for the Google Science Fair (disclaimer: the winners are definitely students who have a bunch of resources that our students could only dream of. Perhaps starting a DonorsChoose project earlier to prepare for this might help?)

Prepare for Pi Day (3.14) – There’s a free pass to the Exploratorium on that day.  But even if you don’t go, start ramping things up by starting your geometry unit or ratios or irrational v. rational numbers.  Pi Day is so fun.

MARCH

3.14 – PI DAY!

 

JANUARY – MARCH – This is when students can start signing up for programs for the next school year or over the summer.

Aim High – 5th-8th graders can apply to this awesome summer program.  I personally know really cool educators who were involved with this program in Oakland.

College Track – this is for our graduating 8th graders. I highly encourage you to get the applications and put in inquiries if you can’t find the application links around January or February.  This is an amazing program that sees kids to and through college.  They have LOTS of resources.  (Only applies to schools with whom they have a working relationship with: Oakland Unity, Life, Skyline, Oakland Tech, are a few, if I remember correctly).

CS Edge – This is a coding/math enrichment program that’s fairly new for 8th graders.    There are a few workshops during the Spring and summer course before high school.  Afterwards, this feeds into the high school program.  No links, but if you’re interested and can’t find information, feel free to contact me directly.

Girls Inc – Various Programs for the summer. I don’t know much about it but some of my top-notch girls have been in this!

Outward Bound Youth Leadership Cohort – this is for high school students, but if you’re in touch with intrepid kids, let them know about this and encourage them to apply!

JUNE 

Get kids reading! with the Oakland Public Library’s cool reading challenge and prizes

Things to look into over the summer…

Bay Area Wilderness Training – If you want to take your kids camping, this is a great way to get training and THEN discounted tent/sleeping bag / other supply rentals!

Personal Perks/Training

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s