I had an amazing day today with the girls, and I just can't believe how much fun Middle School actually is. The girls were engaged, interested and active, and everything seemed so alive! Throughout the craziness and chaos, they were creative, insightful and amazingly considerate of each other.
We started off the day with a fun activity: we sat on the ground, and I passed around some stickers, saying they could get as many as they wanted from the sheet -- but there would be a penalty for getting too many! Most of the girls got one or two, but some girls got more... one brave soul got more than 20 stickers.
Well... as it turns out, they had to share one fact about themselves per sticker picked. To make it even more interesting, they also had to do a dance once for every five stickers while I played one of my drums. This is where I was so pleasantly surprised... everyone was willing to interact and share, and the girls put their whole hearts into their little skit dances. It is so wonderful to see youth with such confidence and embracing fun and learning!
I shared some things about me, and then it was time for French. After French, the girls came in, grabbed a red velvet cupcake and went to recess, and we had our first assembly of the year, where we discussed the Terry Fox run, some sports and clubs, and a little presentation about respect. The science blocks were right after this, and then it was already time for lunch. When the girls returned, I gave the girls some time to decorate their lockers (they look fabulous! Photos coming soon) and it was time to start our Math Feelings activity: the girls wrote down their feelings about math, so we could seal these and read them next year. They had to make it at least a paragraph so it would be fun to read after all this time. They gave it a good shot, and we sealed it in a box with yellow duct tape.
We had fun trying to figure out what type of day it was today. This is a pattern-making, creativity-enhancing way of looking at numbers. Some of the girls aren't quite convinced by this activity, but since we will be making this all year long, they will come around. :)
Our final activity for the day was the first half of our development of a community of learners and explorers. This will probably be a three-part experience, but the first part went really well... in fact, they defined their community in a very insightful way:
I got their amazing ideas and transformed them into three posters defining our goals as a classroom.
Tomorrow, we will hopefully complete this exercise. I have a couple fun things planned to help them bond as groups and classmates. Our community will grow strong in no time!