Enrichment Programs 2011/2012

2011 - 2012



October 28, 2011

Scream and Shout – Kidz with Character



Hurld students had a blast at the Scream and Shout – Kidz with Character program. This interactive assembly program focused on the concepts of physical fitness and character. They learned important lessons about never giving up and character-building, which were emphasized throughout the program using a little magic, music, dancing, shouting, audience participation, and a whole lot of fun! Students were encouraged to use their imaginations as they danced along with exciting musical favorites choreographed to be fun for any age and that got boys, girls, and teachers (& Mrs. Mills!) out of their chairs, clapping their hands, and stomping their feet! Along with physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle, this program focused on important values to help students grow into strong and mature adults, including: responsibility, trustworthiness, reliability, respect, caring, fairness, and citizenship; all traits included in the Woburn School System character building program. With their hearts pumping and imaginations active, the students were excited and focused on learning the importance making right choices, even when no one is looking; the ultimate test of good character.


Two Assemblies: Grades K-2 & Grades 3-5


November 28, 2011

Native American Perspectives



Native American Perspectives is an educational program that teaches students about Native American culture and early American history. It included content about the land, the animals, and the people of North America; our continent, our land, our home. The goal of this wonderful program is to promote an appreciation and a better understanding of America's natural environment, native wildlife, and historic past. To help break down long perpetuated stereotypes there are three major points included in each presentation:


- A comparison of the terms "Indians" and "Native Americans", where they came from, how they may be used;

- Native peoples did not all live in the same fashion;

- Native Americans are still among us to this very day.

Educator "Tipi Dan," dressed in clothing of the western plains of the 1800's, provided 30 minute presentations in his "classroom," a 13 ft. tipi, for each class in grades 1-5. Although tipis are only representative of the people of the plains, they do dominate our image of native peoples. Once inside, however, a much more complex world unfolds.

Using discussion, sign-language, demonstrations, and humor, Tipi Dan explored the following specific topics with the students based upon their grade level:  


Program for Each Classroom - Grades 1-5                    


December 14, 2011

Winter Holiday Express - The Magic of Different Cultures



Magic Jim Vagias took students on an imaginary train ride around the world. Using books that can be found in our library, Jim taught students how different cultures celebrate the winter holidays. With lots of humor and audience participation, students learned about Kwanza, Diwali, Solstice, Ramadan, Hanukkah, and Christmas. We’ve all heard of these holidays, but many students (and parents) don’t really know what some of them are about. This program helped to enlighten our students about these holidays while enjoying a fun journey around the world.


All-school Assembly



January 27, 2012

Mad About Math – Keith Michael Johnson's Mathapalluza



To help kick of the Hurld's Math Bee Challenge, the PTO hosted the program Mad About Math, a program which takes the numb out of numbers by incorporating audience interaction, zany demonstrations, colorful props, and humor. It gave the students a whole new way of looking at the world of numbers around us—with fascination and gratitude. This 50 minute romped through the world of everyday mathematics and included: numbers, shapes & geometry, estimation, patterns, problem solving (without panic), measurement, time, spending money, and a brief history of four mathematicians who are famous for doing exciting and dangerous things (from Pythagoras to Florence Nightingale). Oh, and a smidgen of juggling. Throughout the program, Keith reinforces three concepts that teachers told him were crucial:


- Homework is an important part of learning.

- If you are confused-ask for help!

- Understand the whole question before you attempt an answer.


Two Programs:  K-2 and 3-5 grade levels



February 7 – 13, 2012

Storytelling to Writing Residency with Andrea Lovett


Storyteller Andrea Lovett worked one-on-one with our 4th grade classes to learn storytelling tools and strategies that will easily be applied to the writing process, a strategy that has been proven to increase students’ language skills and build their overall comprehension skills, allowing for a fuller and broader language-development process. The workshops began with the students telling their own personal narratives of past experiences using prompts and guided imagery. Working with their peers, students identify their stories’ strengths and discuss the natural metaphors, similes, and the power of first and last sentences discovered within the storytelling process. Using this new knowledge, students created story maps and put pen to paper, writing, revising, and polishing their enhanced narratives to be presentation-ready. Andrea held the attention of the students and they truly looked forward to her time with them.


Five 60 minute workshops for each 4th grade class


February 10, 2012

Historical Perspectives for Children: Abraham Lincoln                     www.historicalperspectives.net


Historical Perspectives for Children presents strong, character role models to students in grades K-8 by portraying the lives of famous women and men in history whose stories tie into the social studies, science and language arts curricula. Each character's life is dramatically reenacted from childhood through adulthood, allowing children to see the process they went through to achieve their goals. These multimedia portrayals are accented with slides, sound effects, taped voice-over, and costume changes to truly bring each character to life. This year, the PTO hosted Historical Perspectives' program about Abraham Lincoln.

Born on February 12, 1809, Abraham loved to read during his limited spare time on the family's modest Indiana farm. Though his entire schooling amounted to little more than a year, he became a self-taught and very successful lawyer, developing a reputation for being fair and honest in all his dealings. These qualities led, in part, to his entry into politics and eventual rise to the presidency during one of the most tumultuous periods of our nation's history. Abraham Lincoln was a leader of unwavering integrity, fully committed to defending that which was not right over that which was popular. The students' interest was held and they were eager to participate in the Q&A that followed the performance.

All-school Assembly                                                          


February 29th & March 1, 2012

Creative Enrichment Educational Services - Magic of Maps


Third and fourth graders once again participated in a MAGIC OF MAPS workshop program designed to excite the children about maps and motivate them to use maps as tools to visually strengthen many curriculum areas. The workshops addressed key questions such as:


- What is a map? How do you read a map?

- How and why are maps used?

- How are latitude and longitude used?

- What are the parts of a map?

- What borders the United States?


The assembly was followed up by classroom Cartography (map making) sessions. These sessions gave students an opportunity to explore an area by making maps with a sense of purpose, observation, and measurement. The third graders rediscovered Woburn as explorers. The fourth graders used latitude/longitude lines to investigate the boundaries and significant locations in the United States. As usual, it was a challenging and intriguing lesson for our students, one they enjoyed tremendously!


Grade-level Workshops - Grades 3rd & 4th


March 9, 2012

New England Aquarium – Tidepool Program Workshops



Kindergarten, first, and second graders thoroughly enjoyed their hands-on experiences with live animals from N.E. area tide pools (a pool of water remaining after a tide has retreated) presented by N.E. Aquarium in their one-hour classroom programs. Enthralled, startled, squeamish, and courageous are just a few words that can describe our young learners' reactions to the various animals, which included horseshoe crabs, seastars (a.k.a. starfish), hermit crabs, extremely large snails, mussels, and various forms of beautiful colored clams! To quote kindergartner, Skylar, "I liked the hermit crab because when he crawled on my hand it tickled!" The students learned a lot and had fun in the process.


The two different programs presented about tide pools included:


Tide Pool Alive - Kindergarten and first grade classes enjoyed their individual workshops as students explored and interacted with live local tide pool animals while learning about their basic biology and anatomy. To achieve their goals, the N.E. Aquarium presenters used guided imagery, enlisted an enthusiastic student to dress up in a child-size seastar costume to help show a larger version of a seastar to help students better understand this unique animal, and set up multiple stations that enabled students in small groups to have hands-on experiences with the live animals. This workshop covered MA curriculum frameworks skills of inquiry; characteristics of living things; and living things and their environment.


Individual Classes – Grades K & 1st


Tide Pool Adaptations - Second graders implemented the scientific processes of predictions, hands-on exploration, and checking predictions to discover how N.E. coastal animals have adapted to life in their specific environments as they examined live animals within three different shoreline habitats (sandy beach, rocky shore, and salt marsh.) As with the other program, students were able to go to in small groups to different stations to experience their hands-on interactions with the animals. The MA curriculum frameworks covered include skills inquiry; characteristics of plants and animals; adaptations of living things; energy; and living things.


Grade 2 together


March 16, 2012

Night Skies Starlab



Each individual classroom in grades 3-5 participated in the The Night Skies Starlab program which actively involved students in observational astronomy. Each 50-minute presentation was guided by Mike Francis, a physical science and physics teacher as well as a former lecturer for ten years at the Charles Hayden Planetarium at Boston's Museum of Science. Using Starlab, the inflatable planetarium dome and projector system, students were able to observe a remarkably realistic view the previous night's sky, which included amazing views of Venus and Jupiter amongst many others spectacular astronomical phenomena. Students were fascinated by the experience of entering the giant bubble and to learn about how to locate elusive constellations, the role the Sun plays in the atmosphere, multiple interesting facts about the planets within our Solar System, and the best times of day or year to view various constellations and planets, just to name a few! With imaginations sparked, students were eager to ask question after question to learn more about the world beyond our own here on Earth. Students left with an understanding of the sky that the will remember for a long time to come!


Individual Programs for Each Classroom - Grades 1-5

*Paid in part by a grant from the Woburn Cultural Council


April 13, 2012

Energy Pursuit - Game Show                                                                                             www.nstar.com

NSTAR and Radio Disney collaborated to create a 50-minute exciting, high energy, educational, and interactive game show for upper elementary grades called Energy Pursuit. In this live game show, each grade-level from 3-5 had their own program where students stood at “Jeopardy”-like podiums answering questions to help educate them all on the importance of energy efficiency, the environment, and safety. In addition to the enthusiastic audience participation, watching the students pounce on the buzzer in excitement to answer a question was a site to see! There was a lot of friendly competition that also helped teach students that even though they may try their very best, they can't always be the one who will be the top prize-winner. Nonetheless, though, they are winners just by giving it their all!


Grades K-2 joined in as a part of the audience to learn a few things about energy themselves while experiencing a fun, buzzer- & bell-filled, live game show! There was lots of excitement to go around!


Individual Grade Programs - Grades 3-5

*Free program


April 30, 2012

NSTAR Energy Wizard – The Magic of Saving Power



Our K-2 students watched an entertaining show called "The Magic of Saving Power." The free program was a spellbinding showcase on the benefits of conserving energy and was hosted by Joules, the official NSTAR Energy Wizard. Joules dazzled students with fun facts and taught them magic tricks to use at home to help conserve energy. They had a lot of fun waving their “magic” wands and helping the “Energy Wizard” perform energy-efficiency magic. Please ask your children about the program and encourage them to use the conservation tricks they learned as well as to teach you them, too! It would be great for the environment and could help to lower your electric bill, a win-win for everyone!

Individual Grade Programs - Grades K-2

*Free program


May 18, 2012

Top Secret Science Workshops



Top Secret Science is an exciting and fun national program designed to help students learn to enjoy science. They use the latest educational techniques and principles of science and combine them with interactive projects, entertaining demonstrations and simple experiments that expose children to the thrill of scientific discovery. The program aligns with the Massachusetts Curriculum Science Standards.

In a white lab coat, Scientist, Michael Bergen (from the local Woburn branch) led Hurld 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students in at least half a dozen experiments. The goal of the 1½ hour classroom program was "fun, fast-paced, hands-on science experiments," which students made in class and took home. Experiments covered the topics of:

Earth & Space - Properties of Rocks & Minerals, The Weather, The Water Cycle, The Earth's History, The Earth in the Solar System


Individual Grade Workshops - Grades 3-5


May 25, 2012

Dental Hygiene Program


Two wonderful hygienist from Dr. Mooney's dental office here in Woburn conducted a presentation about the importance of good dental hygiene to our students in grades K-2. They provided good tips and advice to help them learn the necessary techniques of taking good care of their teeth. All of the students were given a “good dental hygiene” goodie bag at the end of the program...no candy in it, of course!


Assembly (K-2)

*Free program


June 6, 2012

Pedro's Judo Center Exhibition                                                                                          www.pedrosjudo.com


Unlike any other sport, judo is unique in instilling in its students: confidence, self-esteem, and the ability to focus. Judo also develops a level of body awareness and coordination that makes every participant a stronger, healthier, and better all-around individual. What better way to end the school year than with a judo presentation that helps support some of these essential characteristics. This particular program focused on the importance of physical fitness as well as the topic of anti-bullying. Black-belt Sensei (sen-say), Riley McIlwain from Pedro's Judo School, lead the demonstration for our students. He spoke about how to handle bullying situations, why people bully others, and how to prevent getting bullied. He stressed that students should always tell a teacher as well as tell their parents if they are in a bullying situation.


Judo is a martial-art similar to jiu-jitsu, but it promotes self-defense and does NOT involve punching or kicking. It is among the safest of all contact sports. The Sensei and his purple-belt assistant engaged students in an exhilarating exhibition that showed them the throws and pins. Some students were shown how to “throw” the assistant over and all did so with great excitement and pride! Also to the cheers of the other students! You had to be there to see some of the teachers get involved!


Assemblies (K-2 & 3-5)

*Free program



June 18, 2012

YMCA Summer Safety Program


The Health and Wellness Director at the YMCA, Jeremy Stiles, spoke to our grade K-2 level students to educate them about the importance of summer safety in the backyard particularly around pools as well as at lakes and beaches. A few points covered included:


- Make sure an adult is watching when you are in the pool or at the beach.

- Don't try to hold onto someone who is drowning because they could end up pulling you down with them; let an adult know A.S.A.P.

- Always use a swim vest when in deep water  if you are not strong enough swimmer to stay afloat.

- Be aware of those who are around you and be careful not to play too roughly; particularly in the water.


Individual Grade Programs - Grades K-2

*Free program