Friday, January 8, 2016

Creating Magic: House Sorting Ceremony

"Ms. G. I was sleeping and then, I just...woke up and remembered- we are sorting into our houses today!

Those were the words from one of my students as he walked in this morning.  I had created excitement around this day ALL week.  I was even awarding pre-points that they were going to add to their score once they got sorted.  If you build something up, whether it's a flop or not, I tell ya- the kids will eat it up.

So what are the houses?

Back in October, I was lucky enough to attend the 2 day teacher training at The Ron Clark Academy.  It was amazing.  I really wish I could go back but unfortunately, I had to pay for all of the travel/hotel rooms and that got expensive (I got a PD grant through Donor's Choose to cover the cost of the training).  Maybe one day I'll be able to go back for their tacky prom night.

I took away SO many things from the academy- one of them being their houses.  It may sound familiar if you know anything about Harry Potter!  At The Ron Clark Academy- when the kids come in as 5th graders, they get to spin the big wheel to get sorted into a house, are rushed up the stairs, thrown down the electric blue slide, and welcomed into the house that they'll spend the next few years being a part of.  The houses are competing for 2 very simple things.  1. The winning house gets to have the end of year banquet decorated in their color and everyone wears that house color. 2. Bragging rights for the next year.

I was already sold, but the fact that I'd only have to buy some colored decorations was a bonus!

At The Ron Clark Academy, they have 4 houses.  Justin is good at all that graphic design stuff and he made signs for 3 of the same 4 houses they use at RCA, so I stuck with those 3.

Here are our 3 houses:

Side note: Go Blue! 

This year, my kids are majorly into Harry Potter, so they were stoked about the whole idea.  They even asked if we had a magic sorting hat.  While we didn't have a magic hat, we did have "magic" balloons!  

This afternoon, we talked about each of the houses, what they stand for, and how the whole thing worked.  They, we turned off the lights, turned on the disco ball (Yes we have a totally awesome disco ball), blared some music, and popped some balloons!  This is the playlist I created for our ceremony:


After they figured out what house they were going to be a part of, everyone cheered them on, we snapped a picture, and celebrated! Kids were chanting their house name as classmates popped their balloons. Is.i.bin.di - is.i.bin.di.... REVEUR, REVEUR!! - C'mon Amistad!  They were loving it!

After everyone was sorted, we had a little 5 minute dance party. Did I ever mention how much this group likes to boogie? Yeah- the whip and nae nae? They never get sick of it.

Last- they got to write their name and stick it on their house poster.  I love the one girl who wrote "Roar like a lion!" to represent her new house, Isibindi.  

Right before we left, they added their points that they've earned all week and Isibindi is already in the lead!  

I can't wait to see where the rest of this house adventure takes us.  My hope is that by the 2017-2018 school year, I can get my whole school on board, but I'd love to start it even earlier! Send me your positive vibes! :)

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