One of the things we like to do is get creative. To get creative we need people to get our of their shells. The whole day is pretty uncomfortable for those that have never attended an edcamp. This event really pushes them over the edge.
After lunch, typically there is a lull. It's not anyone's fault, it just happens. Blame it on circadian rhythms, the ebb and flow of the day, the lack of coffee, or the cycles of the moon, regardless, there's a lull.
To combat this lull, to build community, to meet new people, we needed an activity. We came up with an activity we affectionately call "Things you can't do with kids in the building." I know, long name.
We gave every person a sign off sheet (see below) and a MAP of the school:
The idea is get people up, moving, doing things they normally wouldn't in their "professional day." The ideas below are accompanied by images if we were able to catch them. These images are from over the last two years of EdcampSTL. The stations we used included:
- Running in the halls - Super easy station and fun for everyone! Gets the blood pumping!
- Screaming in the library - Wish I had a video of this. People had a blast since they never get a chance to do it. We really wanted to get a person in a white wig and bifocals (old-school librarian style) shhhhing people after they screamed. That would have been great!
- Sliding down the rails - We all want to do it, it's great to give people permission to play!
- Bouncing balls in the hall - How many times have you said for students to not bounce the balls in the hallway, it's freeing to let go of that!
- Throwing food in the cafeteria - The one station people talk about every year. It's a classic. Both years we used mashed potatoes. We forgot about having people wipe their hands after throwing them, oops! We got smart and picked up an apparatus from the dollar spot to keep people's hands clean!
- Throwing paper airplanes - Toby is the king. People came up with creative airplanes and we learned who's a perfectionist. :-)
- Texting in school - Really easy station. We used poll everywhere to gather information to show teachers how they can use student's devices in the classroom.
- Rolling chairs in the hallway - Awesome! Be careful though, we broke two chairs and had to replace them :-)
- Playing with bouncey balls - I forgot the name of the game. We had cups and the bouncey balls had to make it into the cup. The only trick was there were directions of different tasks on cards. It was awesome. I do remember we purchased the game at urban outfitters. No it wasn't beer pong!
- Book Bowling - This was awesome! We built "pins" out of shoeboxes and then used books to knock them down. Very fun! I wanted to do a station called "Angry Books" Which we built a structure and then flung the books like angry birds, it just took too long to set up each time.
- Bullying in the stairwell - Fun one! We came up with insults (see planning documents below) and people picked them out of a hat and read them to each other. It was all in good fun! Even the team from Mentor Mob appreciated it!
- Dance walking - Interesting. I really wanted video taken of this and then made into a promo for EdcampSTL. I'm not sure what happened to the video. Anyway, this was our inspiration:
- Acting up - We had a room where people could do anything they wanted. Most just stood on the table. That's a big thing for people. I guess they wanted to reenact the scene in Dead Poets Society:
Here's the planning document we used from last year: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xRFvhkvrB569MM4GlbJGhlhcGdGFgXVK0NfEaYSqrys/edit
And some brainstorming done here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bWXmmsKaS6JG2PicoaNmWE_J00XqCMmAaEWJKvIF9ns/edit
At each station is a volunteer that signs off on their form, these submissions are used to win a prize, yet another incentive to get people moving. Here's the form for 2012:
This is the one we used in 2013: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bwz1J6fj2c9rUUlMQXFpUllKYl9neHlZN0tvNGlIUTFLWjZj/edit
Steal this idea! Bring play, unprofessionalism and creativity to your school or team. With play and creativity we can accomplish anything!