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Insights from the Intersection of Childhood and Education

Friday, July 26, 2013

Students Review the School Year

Color War during Lag B'Omer

Before we dive into preparing for the new school year, let's take a moment to look back on the old one. Every year, we give our students a questionnaire to get their honest opinion about the school year. It is interesting to see that out-of-the classroom activities are most often mentioned when they were asked,

What were the best things about this school year?

1. Laser Tag
2. Color War
3. Friends
4. Buddies

This isn't surprising since, after all, most fun is had in those kinds of activities. But, thankfully, some classroom projects were mentioned as well, such as baking Challah in Jewish Thought class or the Poetry Project in English class.

History Fair project on the Chicago Fire

Perhaps it is no surprise then that some of the things students listed as the worst things about this school year were the most academically challenging:

1. History Fair
2. Rube Goldberg Project

Of course answers like these warrant some reflection on the part of teachers and administration, which is why we hand out those questionnaires in the first place.

Both History Fair and the Rube Goldberg Project were undertaken for the first time, and figuring out deadlines and requirements for History Fair was especially challenging, even for teachers. A learning curve takes its toll on everyone, but all that knowledge gained on what to do and how to run History Fair will pay off big time next time we undertake it. After all, while school should be fun, it is primarily about learning, and that does entail taking on a few challenges.