Learning can be noisy.
So all the ruckus Thursday at Sterling Elementary School was a good sign, as the school’s teachers and staff spent the entire school day keeping students engaged in hands-on activities meant to make the students fall in love with learning.
The school participated Thursday in a national initiative called “Rock Your School,” which aims to have students completely engaged for one entire day at school.
“I think it’s a hit,” said Alicia Hinson, a third-grade teacher at Sterling who helped lead the effort to bring this event to the school. “The kids are having a blast.”
Students spent little to no time doing quiet desk work that day. Instead, they were leaping up and down in the hallway, aiming to slap sticky-notes as high as possible on the hall walls and learning about the scientific principals of gravity. They were also playing with glow-in-the-dark slime, making mixtures with highlighters and bubble juice, creating neon art projects and more.
“The whole day is supposed to be engaging activities,” said Cathy Pittman, science and social studies coordinator for Glynn County Schools. “And they’re doing it in every subject — reading, math, science and social studies.”
An organization called Get Your Teach On offers advice to teachers on how to incorporate these ideas into their classroom activities.
Through this resource, teachers at Sterling Elementary were able to create a day of engaging activities, all of which centered on the school’s theme for the day of “GLOW” — Growing and Learning Our Way.
“When kids leave, they love Sterling and they love learning,” said Leah Ellingsen, instructional specialist at Sterling Elementary. “So it’s not changing any of the standards or any of your ideas you had for today, but making it hands-on and fun.”
Teachers also created “room transformations” overnight at the school, through which the decor of a classroom is completely changed for a day but class operations are able to run as normal.
“Kids are just falling in love with the idea of learning and being at school,” Hinson said. “And teachers are remembering that this is a fun job too … We are having a blast.”