What are Badges?
When you think of badging, you should think of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America. Children who are involved with these organizations earn merit badges when they accomplish a skill or goal. I am building our creative time around the same idea but have created my own categories. I chose a variety badging categories that I hope will allow kids to shine in their comfort areas while also challenging them to earn badges in other areas.
My interest was sparked in badging by Doug Kiang. Doug is an Edustar teacher at my school who as an innovative and inspiring approach to teaching. I really liked what I heard about badging when he me with myself and some other teachers about starting a badging system in our school.
I am also modeling my approach after a pretty awesome website. Please visit diy.org to see worldwide badging in action.
The "When" and "Why"?
We have had a structured "creative time" at the end of each day all year. It is essentially the final 30-40 minutes of school each day. I would generally give kids an extra free time period or a third recess, but I really wanted to challenge the students in my class to be creative thinkers. I also am a huge advocate for accountability and bravery. During creative time all kids can create something. I want to promote thoughtfulness and pride by having children "showcase" their creation in front of their peers. As the children were awarded badges this week, the smiles were huge and the energy in our class was motivated and positive. We have had kids perform a song on the piano, created a "stuffed animal" out of things in our creative space, and also create a hanging angel name tag reminder this week. I am very excited to see where this goes!!
Thank you for reading and for being on this journey of learning with my and The Bees!
The gallery below will show you show images of our badging system.