[I’ve been fairly quiet here during the pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy. I thought that I would share a little of what I’ve been doing for the past year…]
My very last face-to-face engagement with schools before the pandemic was for the 5Sigma EduCon at Anastasis Academy. Kelly Tenkely is the Founder and Executive Director of this very innovative private K-8 school in Centennial, Colorado. Michelle Baldwin teaches there, so I have two good friends at Anastasis and always love visiting the school. Their students are doing absolutely incredible work.
The conference was a blast. I told Kelly that I wanted to try something different for my ‘keynote’ on Saturday morning. Instead of standing and delivering, I put attendees into small groups and sent them on a scavenger hunt around the school. Each group was given a ‘mission packet’ with ‘top secret’ instructions. Inside the packet was:
- a Team Directive document with instructions (“You are an elite team of code crackers and problem solvers…”) and warnings to beware misdirection from other groups,
- a Mission Checklist on which they could mark their completion of each mission,
- a Code Card for deciphering clues to their next mission,
- a packet of stickers that designated their team (e.g., Team Zebra, Team Tiger), and
- an initial coded clue that, when deciphered, sent them to their first destination within the school.
At each destination, there was an envelope with their team logo on it. Inside each team’s envelope was a Mission Document that explained the conversation station at that location (i.e., their ‘mission;’ an example is below), a sticker for their Mission Checklist, and a clue to their next destination. As you can see if you follow the link on the Mission Document below, the goals were to spark rich discussion and for each team to complete all six conversations.
We had about 90 minutes total for the keynote session, and teams were created randomly to spark learning across different school systems. Instead of them sitting and listening to me for that time, they got a little exercise, laughed a lot, and had some amazing dialogues. I am appreciative of Kelly’s willingness to let me try something different. Our time together was super fun and everyone really enjoyed their six conversations. Thank you, Kelly!