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Synergy Success Stories


This week students presented their synergy projects to a panel of teachers that didn't know their projects. We had 37 projects greenlighted to continue, 18 that need some more organization before they continue, and 15 that were discontinued. 

We have seen some amazing efforts on this, *|FNAME|*, and it is amazing. 

I did some audio interviews with the top 8 synergy projects. What they have in common is that they all learned things that are the things that you said in a survey you really want your kids to learn: teamwork, collaboration, perseverance, grit, patience, overcoming challenges. These are presented in no particular order:

  1. Chess Club - This isn't your grandpa's chess club. These students are not only learning chess themselves, but they have partnered with Ladd elementary to teach chess to someone else. 

  2. Ed Videos - These students are creating educational videos to teach other students how to do stuff. Their target is 1-3 graders who will listen to something because it is not from an adult! 

  3. Tanana Step Crew - These students have expanded from their original start last year and are working on making bigger strides in their performances, and are actually performing in North Pole on Saturday. 

  4. Yurt - Students are creating a Yurt. They're following a plan and trying to create something cool. They've got it standing already.

  5. Drama - These students are creating short films about topics they are learning about in other classes. 

  6. SOS - Signs of Suicide helps students know how to talk about suicide in a safe and healthy way that gets kids help they need. In the past, this has been an after-school or during lunch group. With synergy, more students have access to participate because it is during the day. This group also has students who are part of TATU, Teens Against Tobacco Use. 

  7. Tanana Team Leaders - These students share their love of cheer, volleyball, and soccer with students at Ladd. The students come over on Thursday to learn about these sports. 

  8. Minty Business - These students are in the slow process of creating a candy business, starting with their own recipe for making butter mints. 

This is just 8 of the great projects that are engaging kids in something they can be passionate about and gives them an opportunity to learn without limitations. 

Synergy groups. Green means move forward, Yellow means needs more work, Orange means discontinued. 

This is why I do what I do [MUST WATCH VIDEO]

Middle school students came up with an idea, made plans, collaborated with the elementary school, worked with other teachers and a principal, and then taught volleyball, cheer, and soccer to 2nd and 3rd graders at a very highly proficient level.

This is the power of our Synergy program.

If adults would have organized all this, there is no way it would have been as successful.

I'm so impressed. Check the video below.

What is Synergy?

What is Synergy?

You'd probably call it project based learning. And that would be pretty accurate. But it's not exacly that.

Synergy is a time for students to learn without limitations. Synergy is a time when students bring all their skills and knowledge together to do something that leaves an impact.

I made a little video to explain it to my students, and I'd like to share it here.

What makes synergy so awesome? It's all driven by kids. They come up with the ideas. They do the work. Teachers are very much guides on the side supporting them. It's so exciting to see what kids are creating.

I'm working on a list that shows everything that kids are doing in Synergy, but it isn't quite done, yet. Kids are writing novels, making scale models of battleships, organizing a step team, finding ways help homeless youth, raising awareness about LGBT issues, decorating our school, writing uplifting messages on origami to give to others, upcycling, organizing after-school programs (sports and chess) for a neighboring school, creating a smoothie company, a locker decorations company, a vinyl decal company, and so much more.

I can't believe what I get to witness every week with these kids. Stay tuned for more to come about this exciting chapter in our school.