Enrichment Programs

Junior Great Books – 1st Grade

The children explore great pieces of literature once a month. During the school day, parent volunteers work with small groups of children as they read a story from the Great Books curriculum, lead a short discussion, and help with a related project. All classroom students participate in this program.

Junior Great Books – 2nd through 5th grades

Children explore great pieces of literature through reading, small group discussion and related activities. Meetings are held from 8:15 – 9:00 am Wednesday mornings at school.

A parent volunteer leads the meetings and there is a maximum of 12 students in the group. All students who enjoy reading are welcome to participate.

Art Adventure – all grades

All students at St. Ambrose participate in Art Adventure during spring. During art classes in that month they are exposed to art from the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Trained parent volunteers present the works and lead related discussions revolving around a portfolio of related art works covering a specific theme.

Word Masters – 3rd, 4th and 5th grades

This is a competitive vocabulary program. Students receive a list of vocabulary words, have three weeks to independently study, then complete a brief multiple choice test. The top 10 scores at each grade level receive a certificate, and those tests are sent in to the national program to be ranked against students across the country. There are three different lists/tests during the year.

Pullout Enrichment – 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades

Students identified by classroom teachers as needing additional challenge may take part in one or more pullout sessions during the school year. Each session covers a unique topic and meets as times decided on by the teachers. Sessions are lead by the enrichment coordinator.

Geography Bee – 4th-8th grade

During the second quarter the fourth through eighth grades participate in a geography bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society. The event takes place here at school and the winners have the opportunity to advance further to state and national levels.

Mini Academic Triathlon – 4th grade

The class participates in two sessions of a “mini academic triathlon” during March. During these sessions, students work in small groups on brainteasers, quiz bowl questions, and original skits. This gives students an opportunity to use their thinking skills in a creative way and also gives them a taste of what to expect in fifth and sixth grade when they have the opportunity to sign up for a regular team and compete against other schools.

Academic Triathlon – 5th – 8th grade

This team competition lets students use their thinking skills in a creative way. Teams compete against other schools in three categories: Quiz bowl, Mindsprints (brainteasers), and Party in a Box (creating an original skit to answer a designated question). There are 4 meets between Dec. and March. Meets take place Fri. after school and last about 4 hours. There will be one or two practices between meets.

Scrabble Challenge – 6th, 7th and 8th grades

Students will rotate between Scrabble boards, competing against other students. Some meetings will be “general” Scrabble, some “theme” Scrabble (Spanish Scrabble, First Name Scrabble, Sport Scrabble, Music Scrabble, etc.). Scrabble Scramble meets Jan. through March.

Tap Tape Trivia – 8th grade

8th graders meet before school to practice their trivia skills using the triathlon “slap tapes”. Meetings are held once/week before school in Oct. and Nov. Each week the focus is on a specific topic – math, music, current events, etc.

Quiz Bowl – Five 8th graders are invited to compete on the St. Ambrose Quiz Bowl Team. This team attends the Quiz Bowl competition in Dec. sponsored by area high schools. Students are selected based on grades and performance at the “tap tape mornings”.

Math Masters – 6th grade

This is a program for students interested in challenging math. Participants work independently on math problems from the Math Masters curriculum from Dec. through March. At this time, a qualifying test is be given. The top scoring students work further and may be invited to compete on a St. Ambrose team at the regional meets in March (6th ) and May (5th ).

Minnesota Junior High Math League – 6th, 7th and 8th grades

The purpose of the MNJHML is to encourage students to participate in math contests, serve as a “farm club” for the MSHSML, enable students to meet mathletes from other schools, and to provide recognition for students excelling in mathematics.

Lego League

LEGO® League introduces science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to children grades 3rd-8th through fun, exciting hands-on learning. Participants gain real-world problem solving experience through a guided, global robotics program, helping today’s students and teachers build a better future together.

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement programs equip students with the skills needed to succeed in school and in life. We teach them how to manage money, how to prepare for a successful career, and how to start businesses that create jobs. JA empowers students to make a connection between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world, thereby enhancing the relevance of their classroom learning.

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