This month at our school there has been a door decorating contest. Since our class seems to always be doing 10,000 things at once–all fun and motivating, of course!–I chose not to participate in this project. It was running for the last two weeks and the classes on both sides of us (Hi, Ms. Turken and Mrs. Appelbaum!) have been creating amazing displays, and no one in my class has really said anything. A couple of friends inquired in passing, but were fine with my answer of “We are doing so many other things right now!” It wasn’t until the last few days of the contest when someone finally asked me about it and wasn’t so happy with my answer….instead of “ok,” he asked, “What if I do it?” I am almost always on board with kiddos taking the lead on things, so I was willing to play the game with him. I told him he could TOTALLY do it, if he was in charge of the whole thing and that the only time I had to give them to work was recess. I have to admit I was a little surprised, but he was instantly on board. This was Friday, so he was given the weekend “homework” of figuring out the theme, the plan and the ideas for how the rest of the class could help get it done.
I have to be honest that I was expecting him to come back on Monday having changed his mind, but instead he had a pretty well developed plan and excitement to include his classmates. We made plans for who would come to join us at lunch and recess, and almost the whole class wanted to help!!
We only had from Monday until Thursday after lunch to complete our BIG job, so on the first day we brought our lunches up and worked for as much of our 40 minute lunch period as we could. By the end of that day, we had the background up and a great plan for what we would do the next day. Oh, and we ate our lunches. LOL
Can you tell our theme just by this picture?
Well, if you know my friend who planned it, that would be an easy give-away, too, but I’ll just tell you that we had the theme of teamwork, shown through a football game. We have a HUGE rival down the road in Webster Groves, so that’s the reason for the red and orange end zones. Our rough-draft plan looked like this:
On this first day we had about 16 kiddos working and not many jobs, so I worked it out with one friend to be our photographer. I needed pictures to document our work and he wanted to help, so bingo! I am super happy I did it, now, too, because it’s so great to get a kids-eye-view on what we’re doing. Obviously he took very different pictures than I would have (and I’m even in some of them! Thanks for being kind–LOL), and it makes me think I should hand over the iPhone more often! Check out the work we did on our first day. Oh, and I didn’t edit them at all. I kind of thought it was very organic and “real” with his fingers were in some of them. I also love that you can see conversations happening in many of them, as well as how messy it is working with 2nd graders; I think often I try to crop and edit our life into just the right picture. But you know, honestly sometimes we just watch. And sometimes we leave big piles of paper laying around, and often it takes 6 people to do the job of 1 person. But no matter what, we work together, solve problems together and have fun with each other.
Our second stop in the process was to create the field, with yard lines, names and goalposts. Some friends started on bleachers and a crowd, but we quickly had to scrap that part for time’s sake. Next decide about teams, then create football player and cheerleader versions of us to play the game. For this job, I did give them some class time, as there really wouldn’t have been enough with just recesses to make that part happen. We divided in half, created the parameters (7 inches tall), and even decided that we should have a mascot (Remember my photographer friend? He was cast as Pioneer Pete!). Again, here’s what it looked like while we were working, from a kids’-eye-view of the room:
Once we were all said and done, our entry into the door decorating contest looked like this:
I was SUPER impressed with how quickly it came together, with how well everyone worked together towards a common goal, and how willing my friend was to lead us all to this great product! On Tuesday at the end of the day, as we were having our closing circle, more than one kiddo thanked him for being a bold leader. What a great way to end the day! Way to go, Rm. 202 friends!!