By Mikio Shioya and Syd Shannon
Cool, muddy days are giving way to warmer weather! Students in grades 1–4 are outside and blossoming, right alongside the flowers, at our spring Obstacle Course Club. Jump here, side-step there, slow down and balance on this…. The hustle and buzz as students create and navigate the obstacles is in itself a lesson. Mr. Shioya has brought the opportunity for students to work as a team, communicate across grades, and negotiate obstacles in our everyday environment.
The club starts with students gathering large found objects and chatting freely about their ideas and experiences with the materials. “This one is heavy, I can lift it alone,” and “Ew, it’s wet and slippery—maybe be careful on this one.” The chatter slows as students do some heavy lifting while navigating people and paths with care. Then comes the compromising on where and how to build. Is it too muddy? Then, how do we go over or around the mud? Is this too challenging? How can it be modified for everyone? The joy, concern, and sometimes exhaustion on their faces as they navigate their do-it-yourself obstacles speaks volumes about the lessons learned each day.
This Obstacle Course Club filled quickly this spring, but if you missed it we will be bringing it back next school year!