The following activities provide dynamic opportunities to practice skills learned in the classroom. While participating in these activities, classmates bond together by cooperating, sharing, and caring.
One hour a day Discovery students work together to create a project that is symbolic of their experience in Discovery. Past projects include a quilt, stained glass window, sculpture, etc.. At the end of the six-week session, the class presents their gift to the entire school.
Each morning the entire class takes 30 minutes to check in with one another. Students are asked to share four responses: name, number (scaling wellbeing 1-10), how they are feeling (students must identify an emotion), and respond to the prompt of the day (e.g., what was something positive you did in the last 24 hours?). Daily topics vary and are progressive in developing appropriate disclosure.
Every day student’s have 30-40 minutes of group activity. Activities range from traditional games like volleyball to teambuilding games like “Willow in the Wind.” Daily Activity emphasizes participation, cooperation, and team building.
Every third week of the six-week course of study, the class participates in a challenge ropes course event. It is a day of adventure learning that reinforces the skills students have been learning and practicing in class. This activity cements the group and is mandatory for all students in the class. The entire day is “Challenge by Choice,” but all students must be present and at least participate as a member of the support team. Trust, appropriate risk taking, team building, and comfort zones are all processed before, during, and after the event.
Students are asked to write a story of their life. The teacher is the only audience and confidentiality is established early, except for legal issues and ethical issues (e.g., injury to self or others, abuse, etc.).
6Graduation, Gifts And Certificates Of Completion
The final day of the class is graduation. Students exchange gifts with their secret classmates. No money is necessary, but rather a personal gift that demonstrates a student’s understanding of a fellow student. Students draw names and give their designated classmate a poem, a drawing, a handmade card, or some other personal handmade gift. Over the years, this exchange between students has been a very special prelude to the Certificate of Completion. Finally, there is an informal graduation in the classroom; every student is asked to come to the front of the class to receive his or her Certificate of Completion and to share a memory of Discovery.