You may or may not know that my students and I are huge fans of Kid President. I have used a few of his videos in my classroom. I recently saw his Awesome Year Challenge video and knew that I wanted to bring that concept to my AVID kids to start and possibly extend it to my Leadership class. I decided to make it into a year-long project. Kid Prez gives us 25 things we can do to make the year awesome for someone else. Some of them are not very practical (mail someone a corn dog), but some are effortless (smile, high five someone, free hugs). I made a chart with some of my favorite of Kid Prez's ideas and left spaces for my students to come up with their own.
On Tuesday, when they came into class, I told them I had an exciting project for our class. I showed them the Awesome Year Challenge video, and then I presented the chart I had made. I told them we would be keeping track of the good we were doing for others. It would not be for a grade and there was no pressure. Doing things for others should not be done for a reward. I encouraged them to go outside of their comfort zones. Smiling/high-fiving/hugging your bff doesn't count (unless they're having a really bad day and need a pick-me-up). I also made sure to point out that not everyone was okay with physical contact and that you shouldn't go around hugging strangers without their permission. I hung up the chart and some stickers next to it. Whenever they did something to make someone else's year awesome, they should put a sticker on the box. Our goal is to make so many awesome years that we cover the whole poster.
I then gave them time to discuss other things we could add with the people around them. And while they were doing that, I gave them--cupcakes for no reason!
We brainstormed our own things to add to the chart. After my 8th grade AVID class yesterday, the chart looked like this:
Anyone who tweets or instagrams about our project is using the hashtag #AVIDawesomeyear. We are having a great time. My heart is full. My students are awesome. I can't wait to see what this looks like at the end of the year!