Monday, 7 October 2013

Caine's Cardboard Challenge- Fun and Learning...

A Global Day of Play.

Wow. What an engaging day of fun and learning at Glendale Sciences and Technology School last Friday during Caine's Cardboard Challenge. Kudos to staff, students and parents for taking a giant leap off the cliff to collaborate on providing such a unique learning opportunity. We observed projects that included so many curricular links across the grades...

Science- Building Things (from scratch in such creative ways)/Problem Solving/Devices with Moving Parts/Structures and Forces/Mechanical Systems
Math- Shape and Space/Patterns and Relations (in 3D as opposed to off the flat page)/ Geometry/Measurement/Working with Numbers
Social Studies- Building School and Community/Democratic Decision Making (having a voice in the project/process)
Art- Composition/Using Mixed Media
Health- Interacting with Others/Being Safe and Responsible/Making Decisions/Setting Goals
PE- Leadership/Fair Play/Teamwork/Cooperation
LA- Drawing Conclusions/Communicating/Formulating Ideas/Exploring Thoughts and Ideas/Manage Ideas and Information/Viewing/Listening
Creativity- Working toward the school of 2016, this element of curriculum was perhaps the most involved yesterday... Taking a concept (Caine's Arcade) and reconstituting it into something self-generated/Engaged kids working creatively together toward a shared goal with no micro-managed directions or instructions... just a simple framework/Extending beyond the supplied materials to add depth and sophistication to a project (thinking outside the box... pardon the pun:)

There was even more though...
Visceral Learning- Kids saw each others projects and how much fun they were all having/ felt what it was like to saw something, cut something, attach something, create something/ heard the sound of fun as the day whizzed by, the saw in the shop for the first time, encouraging words from each other and the adults hovering close by/ smelled and tasted... bubble gum from homemade gumball machines, water from cardboard mugs, the smell of a whole lot of cardboard, the taste of packing tape as they ripped through it with their teeth:)... multi-sensory learning was happening in every direction!

Team-Building- There were no kids sent to the office yesterday/ Kids from different grades learned together, and learned more about each other/ Staff members in some cases saw the CTS shop for the first time/ Grade 8 kids took responsibility for the clean-up... with no complaints/ Everyone stepped out of their comfort zone to tackle a project that was pretty near impossible to accurately predict what was going to transpire- We all took risks yesterday, and that's a very good thing!

Parent Involvement- We had at least 20 parents participate during the event, most stayed all day! Overheard from one... "I love this school! This is one of the most engaging things I have ever seen happen at school. My boys talked about this for weeks. Things like this never happened when I was in school. If my husband had opportunities like this in school he probably wouldn't have had such a hard time."

One thing I know for sure is that our students are going to remember their first cardboard challenge for a long, long time. Once again, a huge thanks to all for participating in what will be talked about  for a very long time as an epic day of holistic, visceral fun and learning at Glendale Sciences and Technology School.

"If your having fun and not learning, that's bad; if you're learning and not having fun, that's worse; if you're learning and having fun... that's our school!"