We have been back in school a few weeks and I have to say that I have gotten to know my kiddos pretty well already, thanks to a bunch of projects that we have done! The first one was centered around the challenges that the students would be facing for the upcoming school year. They are so nervous and excited about finally getting to 5th grade, that filling out a circle map of things they felt would be challenging for the year was a good way to ease their fears!
I decided to try and motivate the kids by telling them they would be doing a project that would allow them to brainstorm ways for facing their fears. They would now become "mountain climbers". I presented 4 inspirational quotes to the kids that were centered around overcoming challenges and mountains. They chose the one that "spoke" to them the most and they recorded it on the flappy piece of paper seen in the sample above. On the inside of the flap, they wrote what the quote meant to them. Next, The kids then each got a mountain shaped writing template. They referred to the circle map and chose 3 challenges to write about. They wrote details about HOW they were planning on overcoming their fears and challenges for the upcoming year.
Next, I took the students photos and they had a blast posing like they were climbing up a mountain, I even got to get in on the fun! (see below) I printed them out at home on my color printer (alot of ink but it was worth it!) and the kids LOVED getting their hands on them to cut them out! They even designed their own personal walking sticks, backpacks, and hats on a separate sheet of paper that they glued on to their pictures. They thought that it was SO much fun to "customize" their backpacks. :)
At the end of the year, I plan on students having students reflect on their challenges to see if they stepped up to the plate and met their goals. Hopefully, they will see a lot of growth and success. The entire bulletin board looked like this. To get a copy of ALL of the materials used in this project (minus) the pictures of course, click here. I would love to see your bulletin board in action! Send a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org.