Two months into the school year. While Envision Science Academy starts a little earlier than most traditional schools, the 190 day schedule also gives us extra time to reteach content, address misconceptions and build culture in our classrooms.
Funny thing about my Kenan Fellowship experience. While a majority on my training and research focuses on infusing my classroom with STEM connections, the key concepts I keep returning to from my fellowship experience revolve around culture, communication and team-building.
How can I expect students to work together, if they don’t know the names of their groupmates? What good is identifying a problem, if we do not teach students how to effectively communicate and collaborate to an agreed upon solution? How can students learn from each other, if they are only speaking their thoughts and then not actively listening to the response from their peers?
These soft skills are what we have spent the most time on early in the school year. The Kenan Fellowship taught me some great team-building activities. I played a name game where every student had an adjective and action that went with their name.
The adjective had to start with the same letter as your first name. For example: Pianist Peter or Hustlin’ Hunter. The movements students came up with to express themselves were both hilarious and memorable. It really helped everyone learn something new about their classmates and bring us together as a group.