This article was written by the Penbay Pilot and submitted to the DOE by Debra McIntyre, Assistant Superintendent of MSAD28/FiveTown CSD.
During the first six weeks at Camden Rockport Elementary School, staff and students practice the School Community Building Model and work to build routines. This includes setting norms, understanding class rules and behaviors, and learning how to get along so the basics are in place to support the hard work and learning for the year.
On October 10, CRES students celebrated the culmination of those six weeks by participating in the team and community building Dory Day event which included a school wide BBQ.
Dory Day was created three years ago by Eric Martin, the Physical Education and Health teacher, to build community and develop team-building skills in the elementary school students.
“It takes a team to pull it together and I am grateful for the support of teachers, the kitchen staff, and the Community Committee to coordinate scheduling. The kids were motivated by the day and learned that it is OK to make mistakes and how to work from those mistakes together,” said Martin, in a news release.
The day featured a rotating schedule that started with an assembly followed by three activity stations. Each activity was designed to challenge groups to cooperate and work together to accomplish a task. Homeroom teachers were part of a team while specials teachers and support staff facilitated the station activity.
Kindergarten, First and Second grades started Dory Day with a morning assembly in the gym where they sang the school song, explored the meaning of teamwork, viewed a CRES video on grit which explained the value of practice and resilience, and reviewed the activity stations. The assembly ended with a cheer created from the school mission: Be Kind. Work Hard. Keep Learning. Students then participated in three team building exercises including Musical chairs, Cross the River, Walking Planks, and Team Ball Roll. Afterwards, they joined the school wide BBQ for a hard-earned meal.
Multi-age, Third and Fourth grades started their team building activities after lunch with an assembly that included the same topics as the younger grades as well as a discussion of the benefits of teamwork. They then participated in three activities.
After each activity, students reflected on the activity to enhance student understanding of team building. For example: What was challenging? What made the activity a team-building activity? Did anybody have to use grit? Why are there rules?
Grades three and four were asked additional questions to help identify how they cooperated, how they helped the group be successful, why it is important to listen, and how to work with someone who does things differently than you.
Dory Day reinforces the district and school mission of: Be Kind. Work Hard. Keep Learning.
CRES students continually work on these concepts and are looking forward to working together for the rest of the school year.