Glee and wide-eyed enthusiasm are…

Mini Grant SenseMaker Project Story or Micro-Narrative

  • Grant Project: The Obstacle Course That Leads to Serenity
  • Description: A project that is reoccurring
  • Role: I received a mini grant for an idea I had
  • Date submitted: 2021-05-13 12:00

Glee and wide-eyed enthusiasm are not typical descriptors of middle school students, but I can honestly say that’s what is seen on competition days. Five minutes of “fitness training” every class period has given most students the confidence and motivation to use their new skills to become class champions for the week. Even better, some participate to improve upon their personal best! When reluctant students state that they actually enjoyed competing I congratulate them for doing something outside their comfort zone. Having the students choose the events helps with “buy-in;” reflecting on what worked and didn’t strengthen critical thinking, persuasion, cooperation, and compromise which help improve the next iteration. Although many don’t like to complete the fitness homework log, I am frequently told about more time being spent being active than playing video games! Several students come into class excited for the “First5Fit!” workout, and the challenging behaviors have been reduced. On the days we have competitions, participation and performance on the weekly quiz increases for most students! This project has helped me as an educator as well as my own physical fitness and well-being. I have experienced growth in skills and confidence that I did not anticipate. Sharing the experience with my students has improved our relationship, which is key to student engagement. I look forward to continuing the practice as long as I am in the classroom!

How This Person Interpreted Their Story or Micro-Narrative

Note: Responses which fell closer to the middle (between two or three options) are shown as two dashes.
  • This project or activity has the capacity to impact the community:
  • This project impacts:
  • To have the biggest impact, this project needs support from: --
  • The mini grant project(s) in my story impact: Small groups
  • The story I shared shows the importance of: --
  • In my story, things went: Differently than I expected
  • Due to Covid, there have been restrictions on activities permitted in school. The hybrid (having some students in school and others still at home) has presented other challenges, particularly motivation from those at home. I was unaware that students would need training for physical fitness which became a focus so that they could be successful at the events, The original project plan was more than could be accomplished in one year without "Team" support and more funds (fitness equipment took priority over the garden), and went on to modify the project to make it work under the limited circumstances.
  • The story shows: More is needed
  • With this being my first project, I thought more could be accomplished... but I am encouraged to pursue more grants and continue to grow the program!