Just before Halloween, I presented my students with our first Destination Imagination instant challenge of the year:
Challenge: Carve a pumpkin and use it as a character in a performance.
Scenario: Your team will come up with a pumpkin design that represents a new super hero—a hero that helps people in our school community with a pressing issue.
During a DI challenge we use and develop the following core skills:
Identify and clarify problems.
Plan and manage time and responsibilities.
Explore a variety of solutions.
Analyze, synthesize, interpret, and evaluate information.
Use various media and technologies in different ways.
Share ideas and information to solve problems.
Listen carefully and respectfully to the ideas of others.
Encourage others to expand their ideas.
Use strategies, such as brainstorming, to generate ideas with the group.
Apply prior knowledge to develop new ideas.
Experiment with different solutions.
Take an active part in the challenge.
Be flexible and willing to compromise.
Share responsibility for completing the task.
Learn from other group members.
Students attacked the challenge with enthusiasm as you can see in the video below. We laughed a lot during the skits!
Huzzahnians, think back on this challenge and your group’s efforts. Describe the hero you created. Using the language of the four C’s, above, what were your strengths? Use specific examples from the challenge. What is a next step to work on to develop your skills. What suggestions do you have for me as a teacher to help you learn and grow at critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication?
Blog visitors, have you ever done a DI challenge? If so tell us about it. If not, what ways do you use creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication in your life and learning?
Our year is coming to an end. Not old exactly, just complete. Full of satisfying memories and great learning.
One treasured memory of the year is the writing, composing, and making a video/slideshow of our new school song. With the help of our talented music teacher, Jenn Forsland, and local (Juno Award nominated!) musician, Helen Austin, we wrote a song that we leave as a legacy to our school. We are pretty proud of it–please give it a listen. But a warning: it is a bit of an earworm:
“When I grow up, I want to be a….” Well, chances are you will “be” many things during your lifetime, by choice or by chance. The trades might be part of your future. Most people think of the building or construction trades first (carpentry, plumbing, electrical and so on), but people also earn a good living through satisfying hands-on work in the automotive trades, personal service (hairdressing, cosmetology), information technology, and as chefs. We learned more about the possibilities at Discover Trades and through our trip to Sandwick Technical Education Centre. Take a look at our video and read what some of our bloggers had to say about the experience, below.
Have you ever poured concrete to make a picnic table? How about wiring a light bulb? No? Well, now our class can say we have because we just went on a field trip to learn about future jobs we might want to have. We learned so much while we were there. (Elysa)
Sandwick [the career and training centre we visited] is a great place for kids to learn about the trades and take a big part in them. I think it provides a great opportunity for kids who like to learn with their hands and not just sitting in a desk all day. They give the kids what they need to do the job and what they have to practice to become a real master of the trades. (Kyle)
Mr. Grey [career and trades coordinator] was very informative and showed us a really good video on safety in the workplace. He also let us hang from the ceiling on a Fall Arrest. A fall arrest is a harness that you wear when working on a roof or any place that is high off the ground that breaks your fall so that you don’t hit the ground. We also did competitions where we had to hammer a nail in to a piece of wood, and put two pieces of metal together with a screw. (Melanie)
My group got to do construction and drywall. In construction we followed a plan for a little house. We then built one of the walls. After that we went on to drywall. In drywall we got to cut holes in the wall. We then learned how to fix it. Cut out a piece of drywall, the same size as the hole, then tape the remaining cracks, and apply the mud. Let it dry and paint over. Then your wall is as good as new! (Becky)
There many fun activities in each trades station. The one I enjoyed the most was a part of plumbing and it was soldering. Soldering is similar to welding but involves solder and a tiger torch. You melt the solder to where the parts of the pipes connect and it acts as a glue or like a weld. (Josh)
This experience has definitely given me a better idea of what the trades are, and what I want to do when I get older. If I were to do a trade, it would probably be hairdressing or cooking but I think that I would rather do something that involves going back to school because there is so many options. But it was still nice to learn about all of these things so I can do it if I need to, instead of hiring someone to do it for me. This has also changed the way I see buildings and even my own house. I know how it was built and the effort it took for that to happen. (Sophie)
If you could have one job, what would it be? I could tell you one thing it might be. It might be a trade. As I had said, there are a lot of trades out there. Pouring cement is a trade along with welding. Mainly anything you do with your hands is a trade. Well. Almost everything. I don’t think playing video games is a trade… Yet. (Chelsey)
So, have you begun to think about what you’ll do in the future? You’re likely to have more than one job in your lifetime–perhaps one will be a trade. After seeing the video and reading about the trades, would you consider the trades? What do you think your career path will look like?
Our school is fortunate to host StrongStart, a preschool parent and child early learning program, lead by the amazing Maureen Wagner. Our class has the privilege of being buddies with StrongStart and we look forward to our bi-weekly visits.
Supporting a young person in their learning, helping them to build confidence and trust in new experiences is a great way to Do Good.
For the books we created, we pretended to eat gingerbread cookies by tearing and gluing the parts of the cutout body into each page. So, while playing, we were working on fine motor and language skills.
Helping a buddy tear and glue
Then we read the books with our buddies.
Face to face or side by side
I especially love watching parents and grandparents enjoying the interactions between their children and these lovely 12 and 13 year old students. It’s like watching a community knit itself together.
Students, children and grandparents enjoying each other’s company.
Students, children and grandparents enjoying each other’s company
Helping a buddy tear and glue
We like to finish off with a song that makes everyone smile: Icky Sticky Bubble Gum: