Just after Valentine’s Day, my students participated in a school-wide contest in which they were to design a poster on the theme of love and friendship. It was a collaborative project to which they all had to contribute – both their ideas and their artistic abilities.
Seeing as collaborative and cooperative skills are a still a work-in-progress in my class for a number of reasons (it being a 3-grade multilevel class is a major one), I anticipated this to be a notable challenge. I’m not going to lie, I expected tears to flow. I was prepared to break up a fist fight. And, I’d come to terms with the possibility that someone would get frustrated and rip up our poster paper before it was completed – because these things, until recently, have been a near-daily occurrence.
But, not only was the final product something my students can, and should be proud of, their poster won them 50$ in the contest.
I was inspired to write today’s post of awesome – winning a prize – yesterday afternoon, as I threw a celebratory pizza party for my students (the supplies for which we bought with their 50$).
Winning a prize is awesome enough for its excitement factor alone. I’m sure everybody enjoys winning a prize. But in this particular case, the prize that my students won means so much more.
It means that my students have grown tremendously since we returned after the Christmas holiday (this, I’m afraid, cannot truly be portrayed to someone who’s never seen my class in action). My students, who once, even on a good day, could barely even work together enough to play a game of BINGO, participated in this project with hardly a hiccup.
It also means that over the past several months, I’ve learned enough about my students and about teaching to structure the project in such a way that would work for them – each contributed his or her own ideas and each contributed artistically and, in retrospect, the whole endeavour ran rather smoothly (thanks, also, to my Inuit colleague Mary).
And, it means that my students are now all the more ready to do some of the projects that I really want to do with them – one being a performance of “The Three Little Pigs” (a play we’ve been working on through the AIM language learning program that’s being introduced in Nunavik), which I hope to eventually record so that I can take them to the radio station to play on the FM for the people of the village to hear.
Congratulations A, H, G, J, N, M, T and E!