When the bell rang on Monday morning, my students quickly filed into the classroom with the usual excitement and energy that ten and eleven year olds can only exude. However, two girls particularly, were BEAMING! They couldn’t wait to tell me what they had done on the weekend! I listened. They told me that they an idea, to have a candy sale to raise money and were hoping to share the leftovers with their classmates. After little prompting, they went on to tell me how they had put their idea idea into action and had raised $130.00! I inquired what they had planned to do with all their loot and they proudly informed me that they were going to donate half to our local Humane Society and keep the other half for themselves! I smiled and shook my head, “Girls you’re MAD,” I yelled! They had just given me the perfect segue into introducing the M.A.D Project!
After settling into our morning routine, I announced to my students that two of their peers had clearly gone MAD! They shared their story with their classmates and they were clearly engaged, impressed and inspired! But they all couldn’t figure out why I thought they were MAD, the girls seemed pretty happy to them. With much drama I firmly stated, “No, the girls ARE M.A.D- MAKING A DIFFERENCE!” They two girls smiled widely and a buzz of conversations ensued. They were hooked!
The conversation continued after recess and our math problem evolved from the girls’ project. We discussed profit and expenses. The girls sold $130.00 worth of candy but their moms spent $42.00 to buy it. My students estimated and then figured out how much money the girls actually made in profit, how much they would each put in their pockets, how much they would donate to the Humane Society and what percent of the money collected was profit.
I didn’t speak much more about the M.A.D project all week, but knew I had planted a seed. Today, when I walked into the staffroom a large envelope was sitting in my mailbox. It was from Kim Cooper, the editor of Owl Magazine! My past year’s students’ (the Gritty Gators) K Cups 4 Classrooms initiative was featured in the October issue and she had sent me copies for each of them. Another perfect segue!
My students eagerly watched as I opened the package and turned to our story! I used the doc camera to project the article on our SMART Board and my students read it with great interest! They were now inspired to go M.A.D! I told them that we would complete several Make a Difference projects as a class this year but wanted them to start brainstorming their own ideas for a project. To get them further inspired, I played this ‘Cuddles for Cancer’ video highlighting a young girl’s desire to do good.
And so the brainstorming of ideas has begun….
Can’t wait to see how they’ll go M.A.D!