Cardboard Challenge 2015

Right before the school year started, I attended and presented at our schools professional development day: Rebel U. I presented on providing opportunities for creativity in the classroom--hoping to inspire other teachers to let students PLAY this year :) During my session, we watched and discussed the Caine's Arcade video and the Cardboard Challenge.

A few days later, our awesome Tech Integration Specialist, Sarah Wood, and one of our wonderful high school/middle school Spanish/English teachers, Rosana Tocco, approached me with the idea of our two classes working together to create a cardboard arcade! I was SO excited and completely on board with the idea. Our district is small enough for Rosana's class to walk to the elementary school and back in one class period (it's pretty awesome). So, our plan was to have our kids collaborate a few times and then display our projects for the school to see. As we continued to work out the details, we came up with the idea of our classes hosting a cardboard arcade for the school. Knowing how supportive our administration is (kudos to our principal, Peter Geerling, and superintendent, David Britten), we decided to take the Cardboard Challenge school wide (that means over 400 students would have the opportunity to create a passion project--woohoo!).

Students spent four weeks working on their projects during art time. Rosana's class came to work with us about five times for roughly 35 minutes at a time. The interactions between the older and younger students was rewarding to see. The older students had the opportunity to act as mentors for my little guys and develop a sense of leadership, and my students were able to create an amazing project in a small amount of the time with the assistance of the older students. What Rosana and her class never got to see was the excitement on my students' faces when I said "the high schoolers are coming today." They really loved and looked up to the big kids :) We truly became a little family of learners and problem solvers. I am really, really going to miss getting together with Rosana and her class! We will have to start brainstorming for the next project :)

On Friday, the four weeks were up and we had a BLAST at The Godfrey Lee Early Childhood Center Cardboard Carnival! Teachers took their classes on a gallery walk through the school to see each individual student's project. As I walked around with my class, I witnessed my students asking questions, complimenting and "ooh-ing" and "ahh-ing" at the projects they saw. I witnessed other students explaining to my students where they came up with their ideas and how they put their projects together. I witnessed so much pride and happiness in each and every student! It was AMAZING! Check out some projects below.
After the gallery walk, grade levels met my class and Rosana's class in the gym to play the cardboard arcade games. Rosana and I sat back and watched our kids take charge and run their own carnival. Her students brought in hundreds of dollar store prizes...and GOLDFISH--yes, real, live goldfish (I am pretty positive every student who came to the carnival left with a prize). They passed out tickets to students who played the games and the students then took those tickets to the prize table (with huge smiles on their faces).
The atmosphere in the gym was incredible--excitement, ownership and a little bit of nervousness. I have to admit I was super nervous about how the day would go...and that is why we, as teachers, need to follow the advice we encourage our students with: take chances. I am hoping the Cardboard Carnival at the ECC is an annual event and I cannot wait to see what we come up with next year!

I also cannot forget to add that we were all able to participate in this awesome afternoon because we were fed a delicious lunch from some of our wonderful parent volunteers. Homemade tacos :) I love, love, love our school!

1 comment:

  1. Great capture of how this all went down. You are a remarkable teacher, Deidre!