Partnered with the Lower School Counselor, we discussed typical aspects of childhood development for Kindergarteners through Grade 2. We outlined how we merged our Social Emotional Learning curriculum (Toolbox) with the Digital Citizenship curriculum (Common Sense Media), as well as how we use technology and making at Hamlin to support both curriculum goals and social/emotional development. To highlight this last piece, I surprised the parents by giving them a design directive:
Your team: the parents sitting at your table (3-4 people)
Your challenge: In teams, using the materials provided, create the biggest free-standing structure you can in 25 minutes.
View the slides:
This directive was taken directly from my art therapy training. It’s designed to highlight group dynamics, i.e.: the way the group works together, while including engineering/making. The results were great! Because the parents groups were random (who they happened to be sitting next to during the presentation), many team members had not met each other prior to the challenge. Parents definitely had a lot of fun, and we processed the various interpersonal issues that emerged. By the end of the presentation parents experientially understood how our technology and social emotional programs are intentionally developed and the power of creating as a group.