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  1. 1. Watertown Middle School Grade 7 Edventure Program <ul><li>Working with 7 th graders on important life skills: </li></ul><ul><li>Building Community </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback & Tolerance </li></ul><ul><li>Goal Setting </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Problem Solving </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Communication & Cooperation </li></ul>
  2. 2. “X Block” = Teacher-led Monthly In-School Small Group Activities
  3. 3. <ul><li>In the X Block, “I ’m interacting with people I don’t usually… and we have been working well together.” </li></ul><ul><li>-David L. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ I really enjoyed X-Block!!! I loved the activities because they are so creative and indeed really use teamwork. I learned teamwork isn’t just a word used in groups, but really something you need and should have.” – Melissa L. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>“ I absolutely love x-block groups! I have learned so much from participating in the fun activities. I think I have improved my listening skills greatly. I definitely want to continue doing X-block groups through 8 th grade. I also learned that encouraging people is essential to having a successful activity. “ – James G. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think X-block is fun to do because after a while you want to keep doing it. X-block has taught me that I have tor try my best no matter how hard or easy it is. X-block teaches people to listen to one another, try their best, and don’t get mad if people mess up or you mess up, keep your own opinions to yourself and don’t blame other people.” – Alyssa P. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>“ During the activities of X-block, my group and I have been able to work together better. Every time we try something we always have a chance to fix something we did wrong and learn from it, to do better next time and come up with good ideas to get through it.” - Meri </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>“ I am really proud of my team because we made each other feel comfortable with each other while we were up in the air doing high ropes.” - Dede </li></ul><ul><li>“ I was proud of climbing more than I expected. I didn’t think I could go that far, but I did! I can take it into a classroom by listening and putting trust into my teammates. At UNH everyone worked together and I can try to bring this into school.” – Stephen </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>“ I am most proud of my ability to be a follower. By nature, I am a leader. Throughout the year and yesterday at UNH I have been working on stepping back and following others and yesterday, while I wasn’t perfect, I definitely tried and I think it showed. At UNH and X-Block, I’ve learned a lot about teamwork. This will help me in the classroom because I’ll be able to work better and groups and not always need to take the lead.” – Becca </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>“ I am most proud of our achievements in believing and cheering on each other. In the beginning we screamed at each other. Now we cheer on. I think I can relate this in the classroom by cheering on good work and never doubting myself.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Ashley </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>“ One thing I’m proud of from my UNH field trip and X-block this year would be how we worked as a team. In the beginning we didn’t listen to each other and only did what we wanted. But this previous trip, we worked well together! We listened to each other and got the task done.” – Kara M. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>“ I am most proud of the way I acted and treated people. I had a positive attitude and was calm. When I was doing the challenges, I had fun. From UNH, they taught and showed me a lot of how people should act. Some things were: treat people with respect, help people and never leave anyone out.” –Melissa C. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>“ I am most proud of taking a step outside my comfort zone by trusting people in my group with my safety. One thing that I learned from X-block this year is that you need to be open to changes. I can bring this to the classroom by welcoming new and different ideas.” – James G. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>“ I am proud that I conquered my fear of heights from going on some of those places in UNH. I am happy because I didn’t like heights that much until I tried the multi-wire and it was really fun! I can take the teamwork and listening skills that we had in x-block to the classroom because we have to listen to people’s ideas. Also, we have to work as a team in class.” </li></ul><ul><li> – Joey </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>“ I really liked doing the problem solving challenges in school and at UNH. Its fun because you can get to bond with the people in your group and have a fun experience with them.” – Kelly H. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I am proud of the time that I was in x-block because we did a really good job and we learned a lot. When we were trying to touch the numbers in order one at a time, we were all paying attention to everybody else and our leader.” – Zach M. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>“ The most proud thing in the UNH that our group is to listen more to other people we weren’t the ‘big time leaders’ and so we got to have more ideas and some of them actually worked.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Marisa R. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I am very proud of the way my group and I communicated throughout the time we’ve had together and at UNH. I can bring my communication skills to class by sharing how I feel about something that may be happening in a group project or in class overall.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Shannon C. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>“ What I am most proud of was the challenge I took at UNH. When we had to climb across the log, I was scared to do it. On my turn, I climbed up the tree and stepped onto the log. I was immediately terrified when I looked down. I was so high. I wanted to come down, but hearing my group encourage me and cheer me on made me want to walk across. Eventually I gave in and walked through I was still petrified. I am terrified of heights and the fact that I walked across the log with my legs shaking in fear made me very proud of myself. </li></ul><ul><li>I learned that when working in a team, everyone’ job is very important. You can’t do your task without everyone’s participation. You all have to trust each other and believe in one another, or you will not accomplish anything.” </li></ul><ul><li> – Adrine H. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>“ I am really proud that I actually reached the top of the log in an element. I can take what I have learned from UNH and apply it to the classroom by encouraging my classmates and also by taking risks like trying new things.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>– Melissa L. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ I am really proud of my group for supporting each other and succeeding. In past X-Blocks, our teamwork wasn’t working well; we couldn’t complete challenges, etc. But last UNH trip, we worked well together. I think I could support and cheer people along in the classroom, just like people did for me and like what I did for other people in UNH.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>– Danny </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Learnings & Connections to School 2003-2011 “ One thing I learned at UNH [Browne Center] was that you can do whatever you want if you really try and put a lot of hard work into it… like when we did the ropes course, at first I was a little nervous about the ropes course, but when I got to the last rope I felt so much better and felt like I accomplished a lot.”
  19. 19. <ul><ul><ul><li>“ What I learned at UNH [Browne Center] was that you sometimes need teamwork to succeed in things. It relates to school by working in groups and getting our work done.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-- Joey </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><ul><ul><li>“ I learned that in groups you need to help your group member -- especially if they are scared. In school, when we are working in groups, we help our group members if they’re confused.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-- Brendan </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. “ When we went to UNH [Browne Center] , I learned that we should trust one another more. We should also get to know one another more. This applies to school because now I feel more connected to more of the kids.” -- Jadzia
  22. 22. <ul><ul><ul><li>“ I learned that encouragement was a big part in the field trip… because you had to push yourself to achieve pride and more confidence… and you need that towards school so you can be have the courage to do some things with more confidence.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-- George </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><ul><ul><li>“ At UNH [Browne Center], I learned that it’s OK to be at your freak-out point… and this applies to school because it’s OK to feel that way at school, too! (… but not all the time!) I had a great time and would like to go there again.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> -- Arielle </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><ul><ul><li>“ I learned how to step out of my ‘comfort zone’… and make it even bigger when I climbed up the tree. I was scared and shaking, but taking one extra step… it felt good and what really helped was hearing my friends cheer me on. But it was scary and I had to trust them a lot. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It relates to school because we should step out of our ‘comfort zones’ in school. For example, if you don’t speak too much, you can say a speech or do an oral report and you have to trust yourself and your friends to back you up.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-– Lena </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><ul><ul><li>“ I think that the UNH [Browne Center] trip was a good experience to face your fears and just have fun.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-- Chris </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Teacher-Facilitator Reflections “… We often just assume that students know how to work in groups. We tell them to work in groups without any explanation or modeling of how to do this effectively. The truth is they need to be shown how to interact, voice their opinion respectfully, and come to agreement to solve a problem. This is not something we are born with. The Edventure program gives students an opportunity to learn and practice these skills, which they can then apply in their classes and in the rest of their lives. “ The Edventure program is probably one of the most important things students will do while in middle school. While it's often easy to get caught up in academics and MCAS and grades, it's this development of sound interpersonal skills and team building that will help students be successful in life. Things like teasing, hazing, and bullying probably would not be issues if every student went through a program like this one in every grade.” Jim Kirkcaldy, Instructional Assistant, Watertown Middle School
  27. 27. One of the biggest changes I noticed was how outgoing and comfortable our group got with each other. At the beginning of the year they were shy and not very confident in their leadership skills. Since we have been meeting, we have students who are unafraid to voice their opinions, dissent with the group and also we see more whole hearted group cooperation once a path or goal has been decided upon. Toni M. Carlson Educational Technology Watertown Middle School
  28. 28. “ In my Edventure group, I have seen students who feel free in this small, safe environment to &quot;come out of their shells&quot; a little more than they would in a regular classroom setting and emerge as real leaders. I have a student who is painfully shy in class and dreads any type of presentation that she may need to make in class. In our X-Block group, however, she seems to be in her comfort zone and approaches the activities as a leader who expresses her voice to the group. It has been nice to see this different aspect of her personality and has also given our teacher-student relationship a new dimension since we are able to work together in a regular classroom setting, and also in our X-Block group. “ Also, it is nice during the field trip for the students to see teachers demonstrating the &quot;challenge by choice&quot; attitude by taking risks themselves. I had never done a ropes course before, but was encouraged to try it. It allowed me to be more empathetic to the kids, and allowed them to see me take on a challenge that was new for me.” Chris Cochran, Teacher of English & Reading, Grades 7 & 8 Watertown Middle School
  29. 29. For more photos, see: http://wmsgr7humanities.blogspot.com/ For more information, contact Kerri Lorigan at Klorigan@Watertown.k12.ma.us