Hundreds of excited Denison ISD elementary students and teachers kicked off Denison’s first-ever “Rock Your School Day” event with curriculum-driven activities that had students glowing, shining, and reveling in the spotlight.
At Mayes Elementary school, second and third graders walked down “surprise” hallways and into classrooms that had been transformed into glowing environments using black lights, seemingly endless strands of glow-tubing and other glow-in-the-dark items.
According to Mayes teacher Jana Wood, the event is encouraged and supported by the “Get Your Teach On” Conference that a lot of Denison educators attended this past summer, along with thousands of others throughout the world.
“This was one of the BEST conferences ever in terms of generating a huge movement to inspire a love for learning in all children,” said Wood. “Everything we did for “Rock Your School Day” was TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) driven, which means that the kids were learning curriculum-based material throughout the day, even though they may not have realized it. To them, they were having fun. But as educators, we knew they were also learning. It’s the kind of learning that will make them want to learn more.”
Across town at Houston Elementary, teachers and staff rolled out the Red Carpet to greet students as they arrived for school, welcoming them like Rock Stars with music, paparazzi, flashing lights and photo ops.
“In addition to totally glowing classrooms, we also designated and decorated a special “glow room,” that was completely blacked out and decorated with black lights and tons of glow items,” said Kelly Myers, one of five Houston teachers who attended the “Get Your Teach On” conference this summer. “At the end of the day, our students received VIP backstage passes that granted them entry to the “Houston Rocks Dance Party, where everyone, including teachers, jammed to Kidz Bop music while the dance videos played on the big screen. Although it sounds like a ton of fun, our students remained actively engaged in learning throughout the day. We want our Houston Bulldogs to know that they can learn while also having a Rockin’ fun day!”
Hope King, Co-Founder of Get Your Teach On, says their mission is to engage as many teachers as possible who in turn will engage and inspire literally millions of students across the globe. “It all starts with us. If educators feel inspired, we can be the difference in a child’s life. We can help instill the joy of life-long learning in all our students.”
Ready take the ROCK YOUR SCHOOL! craziness to another level, Mayes Elementary teachers sported neon t-shirts and turned an entire hallway on campus into a “glow hall” complete with black lights, disco lights and walls covered in black plastic to challenge students throughout the day with highly engaging and rigorous lessons, including some special Glow Games!
On Thursday, September 19, Houston Elementary students were treated like stars as they walked the “red carpet” and were greeted with high-fives, applause and cheers before entering the building on Rock Your School day. The international organization known as Get Your Teach On promoted their annual ROCK YOUR SCHOOL! Day and encouraged thousands of educators around the world to join the movement and create an outside-the-box educational experience for their students.
Celebrating their “Houston Rocks” theme, teachers at Houston Elementary flashed back to days gone by and dressed like it was the 1980s all over again. Wigs, tie-dyed clothes, headbands and side-ponytails transported students into another time and place and teachers showed students that learning can be fun and certainly out of the ordinary.
Despite the fact that some of the Houston Elementary students weren’t sure what to think of their teachers all dressed up in ‘80s and ‘90s clothes and playing loud music, teachers held their hands and walked them into the building that was decorated and filled with a sense of excitement for all of the Rock Your School fun.
Mayes Elementary kindergarten teacher Sina Chambless’ class was ready to jam as they ‘played’ their inflatable guitars and ‘sang’ into their inflatable microphones during ROCK YOUR SCHOOL day on September 19. “We love to learn, and we love to have fun. It’s so great to be able to both at the same time and create very special learning moments for these little ones,” Chambless said.