What happened today?

Identity Day
June 5, 2011, 8:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It was this time last year that one of my friends on Twitter shared pictures from an amazing day he had at his school in Alberta, Canada. I remember seeing the pictures and saying to myself that I wanted to do that next year. I was not alone. Many have taken to the idea that Groege Couros has shared and have implemented Identity Day at their school. I have read blog posts, watched George do a presentations on the impact the day had on his staff and students. I have also seen many educators from all over the globe take part in Identity Day! Reading all of these reflections still did not prepare me for the powerful impact the day would have on our class.

Our Identity Day took place on June third. It was the only assignment all year that was turned in on time by every single student. The students walked into the room excited to share what they had created. I loved seeing kids connect on this level. They were learning about each other. I had several gymnasts, motor-cross enthusiasts, animal lovers and we were even treated to a piano recital preview. It was a great day to be in room 300! We were all learning more about each other and we found out that we have a lot in common with each other. Since my class was the only class in the school to do this, we did get to share our paragraphs with each other. We put our desks in a circle and we watched and listened to each student. I did not make anyone present that did not want to, but most chose to share their passion with the rest of their friends. The students kept saying that this was the best day ever! My students loved learning about each other and they also thought it was cool that I brought in my own stuff to share.

As I reflect on the day I wonder if next year this would not be a good way to kick off the year. We learned so much about each other that it may be something to think about. I do think the reason many students felt comfortable sharing their passion is because we have been together for eight months. We do A LOT of work in groups, and it is my goal that we see each other as a team so we develop a relationship with each other. Relationships are the most important thing to build in my room. I believe we have to not only connect with our students, but we need to find a way to have our students connect with each other. That is where we build acceptance of others and that is what will help with all the bullying that takes place in our schools.

Identity Day shows how powerful social media is and how it can create the change in education we so desperately need. Thank you George Couros for always sharing your thoughts on education. You along with all my Twitter friends have made me a better teacher this year, and I am sure the learning will continue. Thanks for sharing the idea of Identity Day with our Twitter Family. If you have not tried to have an Identity Day of your own, I encourage you to do so next year.

This slideshow does not show the love and acceptance that filled our room that day, but it does show the cool projects and the tarantulas that paid a visit to our room!

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7 Comments so far
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What an awesome idea! I am putting that on my to do list for next year! Yeah for your kids! They are amazing!!

Comment by Mrs. B

It sounds like it was a fantastic day! I love how you tried this in your own classroom even though it wasn’t a full school event. Will any of the classes in your school be joining in on Identity Day next year? I wasn’t sure how a second Identity Day would look, but then one of my students was doing Show and Tell this week, and she mentioned that her hockey jersey would be part of next year’s Identity Day Project. I guess that this is something that the students want to continue … AMAZING!!

Great post, Kelly! I’m interested in seeing when you do Identity Day next year!


Comment by Aviva (@grade1)

Kelly 🙂 I love this post! This is not only because I see that your kids enjoyed the day, but that YOU enjoyed the day just as much. Doesn’t this just make for a better classroom?

Thanks so much for sharing!

Comment by George Couros

[…] our students do things not because we want them to do it, but because they want to do it.  Reading Kelly Alford’s post on Identity Day, one of her quotes really stuck out to me: Our Identity Day took place on June third. It was the […]

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Thanks everyone for the kind comments!
Thanks George for the idea! I am sooo glad you shared it with all of us!
Do you think the Mavs can do it? I sure hope they can:)

Comment by alford300

One of our classroom teachers did this with iMovie, the kids burned them onto DVDs and took them home. Parents gave rave reviews! Thanks for your post, I will be sharing this in my district.

Comment by Dave Zirkle

[…] our students do things not because we want them to do it, but because they want to do it.  Reading Kelly Alford’s post on Identity Day, one of her quotes really stuck out to me: Our Identity Day took place on June third. It was the […]

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