No, wait, that’s not at all correct.
The problem is that I don’t know where to begin.
Almost a week ago I started to write about Think Make Learn Move, a whole school event that saw the students of Twelve Mile Coulee put into 150 mixed-grade teams. These teams were then given a challenge: To create a track at moves a marble at least 1.5m and meets the conditions of a randomly assigned Wildcard. The wildcards, if you were wondering, added new twists to their challenge, such as having to end higher than when it started, and ensured that each classroom was filled with unique devices.
To make things more complex, these teams were given no materials. Instead they had to EARN them by completing a wide variety of physical and academic challenges in exchange for tickets. Everything from the marbles to tape to cardboard tubes was housed in a central location that students could visit in order to exchange their tickets for the materials they required to complete their design.
Since I started writing this post, I’ve deleted my post several times.
Nothing I put down seemed to fully capture the spirit and energy of 900 students collaborating to complete a challenge. To complete this challenge not because there was a prize at the end, but because it was put in front of them. As you can imagine, the day was a blur for everyone.
In the end, once the tracks were tested, the mess cleaned up and the materials loaded into a City of Calgary recycling truck something interesting began to emerge as students approached their homeroom teachers to share their thoughts about the day.
According to those involved, Think Make Learn Move was a day full of focused and driven students celebrating both failures and successes. A morning for our youngest students to teach our oldest a thing or two about creativity. A time for sweating, laughing parents to work beside our students as they ‘worked the materials pit’ in order to find that ‘just right’ part a team thought they needed.
A moment in which an entire school came together to celebrate the powerful learning that occurred throughout the year.
A day that became, in the words of one student, ‘the best Friday ever!’
But, according to our students, it wasn’t hard enough.
Words fail me.