Last Friday afternoon the new students came into our class. To welcome the new students we made up fun interactive games. We call these games the Belonging Project, and Division 16 does them every year.
Before the new students arrived, last year’s Division 16 students were working hard to think of games that would introduce the new students to ourselves and each other and help them feel like they belonged in the classroom and to socialize. Before we started inventing the games, we did some thinking about what Belonging means.
Here are some of our thoughts:
Belonging is important because if you didn’t feel that you belonged, then you might feel left out. When you feel like you belong, you feel like you always have people to help you when you fall and they’re always there with you. If you’re not belonging, you can feel more shy and timid and you might not participate as much. When you belong, you might feel more courageous to do things and become better at presentations.
So far, they have been fun. We have done a group puzzle that showed the values of our community like respect and belonging and that everyone is equal. We also did a name unscramble that got us to meet pretty much everyone in the class. We also did a “pass one on” game, which we really liked because I trusted my partner and got to know him a lot better than I did before that game.
We have two groups left to share their belonging project. It’s definitely helping the new kids to get more used to being in the class and feeling more like a regular person. Last year, students really enjoyed it too. When I came in last year, I felt like Division 16 was a very serious class, and I wasn’t really sure how I would fit in with the rest of the students because my brother had been in the class and what I learned from him was that the class was one of the harder classes in the school, but after the belonging project I felt ready for the challenge of the harder work. I’m not as afraid!
the engineer and Baconguy