Grant Students Learn Problem-Solving Through Life-Sized Games

     Published on 5/14/18   Tagged under:    District News    Grant Middle School   

This is a photo of Grant students playing team building games.A group of Grant eighth graders sit in a half circle, reading through scenarios that they are faced with regularly: someone copied your schoolwork, someone told your secret, someone is bragging or spreading a rumor about you.
As part of a grant written by Grant English as a New Language (ENL) teacher Tiffany Duquette and funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation, this activity is intended to help students develop collaborative, problem-solving and language skills.
“We’re learning how to solve problems without fighting,” Omar Rashid said. “It’s helped me a lot by showing me what to do if someone is mean to me. I used to fight, but now I know to tell a teacher.”
Students work to identify the problem in each scenario, talk through the best way to respond and come up with possible solutions. The general message: be kind, respect yourself and each other, and use your words to solve a problem in a positive way.
After working through scenarios, students head to the gym where they put their new skills into practice with fun, life-sized games such as Jenga, Dominoes, Checkers and Connect Four.
“I like the games because when I lose, now I tell someone ‘good game’ instead of getting mad,” Omar added.
Ms. Duquette said this is the ultimate goal of the project: for students to develop the skills they need to appropriately express themselves when they get frustrated.
“The grant has helped us address real life situations where the students often get flustered or easily angry so we can address the feelings and reactions they are having,” she said. “It is going well. The students are more reflective and they are thinking beyond themselves. They are still learning, but they are doing such a great job thinking about how they react, why they react that way, and how they can avoid creating additional conflicts with how they respond to a situation.”
In the future, Ms. Duquette said she hopes to expand the project to other grades. Thank you to the SCSD Educational Foundation for funding this great project to help improve the culture at Grant Middle School!