Sunday, September 18, 2016

Team-building - Winton's High-flying start to the year!

As on all of our Middle School teams, Winton has begun the year with a focus on helping students begin to connect with their team and become part of a strong learning community.   One aspect of this work was a special field trip the team took to the Northern Lights Rock and Ice center in Essex.   Through full group, small group and individual challenges, the students are given the opportunity to learn to work together, to persevere through challenges, and accomplish tasks that at first can seem almost impossible.

The feedback I heard from students ranged from "that was awesome" to "it was wicked hot, but cool and a little scary" (total 6th grade comment) to even "that was the best day of my life!"   Here are a few pictures to give you a sense of what the day was like:

The Winton Team 2016-17
How fast can your group coordinate the number challenge? 
Solving the balance board - nicely done team
All geared up and ready to tackle the cargo net tower
A successful leap of faith! 
Nothing quite like a zip line through a shower on a hot afternoon!
A balance challenge
There are four different climbing walls to push yourself on
Crossing the chasm - balance and team challenge
The goal is two-fold, with common experiences we can help students come to recognize themselves as connected members of our teams - research shows that for middle schoolers few things are more important to success than positive connections with peers and adults.   We also see students learning that perhaps the limits they impose on themselves, those fears we all have - are things that can be overcome by pushing ourselves with the support of those around us.   Our hope is that the positive risk-taking on the zipline can transfer itself to making new friends or undertaking new challenges.  Time will tell - but it was a great start to the year.

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