In this first week, Orange Band spent a lot of time exploring and defining the community that we will create and foster throughout this year. We welcomed the new year (and four brand new families to Brightworks) by taking stock of our band space (more on that in a bit) and introducing all of the facets that make up each of the individuals in our Band! Our first day together found kiddos sharing about themselves – creating personal timelines and histories, and interrogating how we are perceived, as compared to how we perceive ourselves. This activity followed a discussion about intersectionality and the many identity markers that make up who we are–in our families and in our communities.
Our first day together also brought on our first group work challenge–the Marshmallow Challenge, to be precise! After watching Angela Lee Duckworth’s TEDTalk on Perseverance, Orange Band put their grit, and communication skills, to the test!
The two teams worked furiously and the highest structure beat out the other tower by less than an inch!
The characteristics of grit and perseverance came into play later in the week, when Orange Band members tried their hand at our first math provocation, or “vitamin”: a math situation that students work through using a Build It, Draw It, Solve It process. Whether the tasks themselves (to build, draw, or solve) are more or less successful is less important than the struggle students engage in trying to make sense of the math–as well as the understandings that come out of that struggle!
In thinking about how such diverse and unique learners will share space and time together, we focused on two aspects that we were lacking so far: Band Agreements and a Communal Table.
Throughout the week, our Working Band Agreements were tweaked and added to, as we built from the experiences of the week. By the end of the week, the Orange Band felt *pretty* solid about the band agreements–but reserve the right to keep on tweaking as the weeks progress! So far, Orange Band has decided on the following:
- Listen to each other with respect and attention
- Learn from mistakes and failures (or try to!)
- Band members ask each other for help and clarification
- Band members check in with each to see if they need help or clarification
- Respect other people’s ideas and belongings – use appreciations, not put downs (including ourselves!)
- Respect the band space and Brightworks
Second on Orange Band’s plate was to design and be ready to build a communal table. This structure will be an integral part of our band space, and Orange Banders were chock full of ideas of what it could look like. Students presented individual ideas and sketches for the table, and later in the week partnered up with another band member to create a second iteration cradboard prototype. The need to compromise, take into consideration constraints, and weigh viability were all on the proverbial “table” (pun intended!!).
And, lest we forget, we also began to explore the theme of this first arc: the Movement of Things, By-Air!
Inspired by Wednesday’s Morning Circle wind tunnel demos, messages zinging through space to and from other bands (by air), and the scent of popcorn (in the air) courtesy of the Teal Band, the Orange Band took a trip to a place of lofty heights and LOTS of opportunities to see the movement of things by air: Bernal Heights Park!
From slow-moving fog engulfing the slopes of San Francisco, to birds in flight, leaves, and the trees, themselves, we were surrounded by all things moved by air. Our trip came on only the fourth day together, but the previous three days of community building, friendship forging, and, yes, struggles, combined for a band that traveled together that Friday like one that had been together for eons.
Whew! What a week it has been! So much to celebrate, and less than five days in. The mind reels at what this group will tackle next week!