Thursday, November 27, 2014

Our Milagro Tree

Do you decorate your classroom door or a bulletin board for the holidays? For a few years running, the organization for which I work held a door decorating contest. Now I'll admit to being just a weeeeee bit competitive. I wanted our project to win. Well, it didn't win, but the experience left an impression on me so lasting that I want to share it now, two years later.

I will admit that were I to do this again, I would bring the learners on board earlier and facilitate a more collaborative and democratic process from the very start, including the decision making process re how to decorate the door. But sometimes I am little miss instant gratification. Must do it NOW. The Friday night I decided to do this was one of those impulsive moments.

After much browsing through Google images using every keyword combination I could think of to render pictures of award-worthy decorations on classroom doors, I gave up. Later the same night, while drooling over yummy material possessions I neither need nor will ever actually purchase, I found this image.

That Monday morning I arrived at school with $3 worth of wooden dowels, a roll of aluminum foil, some red tissue paper, a sheet of silver bristol board, a package of 50 ornament hangers, and several pieces of thick cardboard dug out of my recycling bin.

The LINC 2/3 students who had been left in my care while their instructor attended a wedding on another continent joined me in cutting out symbols of peace and of our respective religions. With crinkled up red paper as a backdrop, we wrapped the "bones" of the tree and each little ornament in tin foil.

I wish I could share photos of the students of different faiths working together on our Milagro Tree.

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