This summer our staff at Bear Creek had the privilege of working with George Couros for our pro-d day. We are very grateful to our Director of Instruction, Elisa Carlson (@EMSCarlson on Twitter) for bringing George Couros to our District and for helping us to have George speak at our school. George (@gcouros on twitter) shared many, many ideas and new ways of thinking about innovation and learning with us. One project that he shared with us was called Identity Day.
Our Principal, Carrie Burton (@CMBurtonsd36 on Twitter) and I talked at length about how fantastic this project is and how it would be a wonderful way to further build our community and understanding of each other at Bear Creek. After consulting with staff , Bear Creek decided that we would try to do our own Identity Day early in the school year. We chose November 21st, 2012. Upon reflection, it is probably a better idea to do Identity Day after report cards are done, but our staff has been fantastic and supportive in spite of how busy the days are right now!
We launched ID Day at an assembly in October using this video from Chris Wejr (@chriswejr on Twitter). His school did their own Identity Day project last year and are planning their second year event next month. At Chris’ suggestion, we will be tweeting to the hashtag #Identityday12. There is also lots of great information on his blog about Kent Elementary’s Identity Day project.
One week ago we sent home a quick reminder notice and ideas for those students who may be struggling with what to do for their project. Our staff has been fantastic about putting reminders in planner messages and talking about the event with their students.
As for the nitty gritty of the actual day, here is the organizational information and map that we distributed to staff at the beginning of this week:
We have struggled with how to best have each student view and be viewed because we are a large school with 20 divisions. The plan we have isn’t perfect and we already have ideas for next year if the staff is interested in doing the project again. (We would likely split it into two days; primary and intermediate to allow for more viewing time and for parents to come and view as well). We are learning together and will be looking forward to hearing suggestions and feedback from our staff and parents/school community.
I am grateful to my Vice Principal Tia Henriksen (@tiahenriksen on Twitter) for sharing her Identity Day project on photography (view it here) with everyone on her blog. She encouraged me to use the same platform: Animoto is a quick and painless way to make videos! Here is my project: Identity Day 2012.
Our Identity Day was a huge success! Here is the link to Tia’s video about Bear Creek’s Identity Day: