I absolutely love to put kids in charge of a project and let them go. I’m basically a lazy person, so any time I can watch someone else work, it’s a good day!
Recently, my gifted and talented kids needed a project to keep them busy (our computer lab was out of commission due to a water main break). I had run out of ideas, so I asked them what they would like to do. They immediately suggested something with teaching kids about healthy living. It occurred to me that our school was going to participate in ACES May 1 (All Children Exercising Simultaneously), so I told them about that. The current plan was to have the entire building go up to the high school track and walk for 30 minutes.
Naturally, my students couldn’t let that be all we would do. They jumped on the idea and started coming up with activities.
As the process evolved, they split into groups and each group generated some ideas for what they would like to do. The only requirements were that all of our students (5th graders through 8th graders) had to be able to participate and it needed to be something that would engage them. The kids were very adamant about not having students sit and listen.
One group thought a Family Feud style game show would be a fun way to teach/review healthy habits. Another wanted to hold a school wide capture the flag game, and a third wanted to create stations for students to work through that would get them up and moving. They even want to create a special invitation to hand out to all the students to get them fired up about the day.
It’s been so gratifying to watch the students take on the leadership role. I’ve found that with just a little guidance (a suggestion here, a nudge there) they can come up with amazing ideas. The only issue they have is the follow-through. That’s where I come in. I keep them steered towards completion. I love that my students think it’s a privilege to do my job.
As we get closer, I’ll post how everything went. Here’s hoping it goes well!
What tasks/projects can you turn over to your students?