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Flying Paper Airplanes

Last Thursday we celebrated the one-year anniversary and grand re-opening of The Curve.  We marked the occasion with a variety of top-notch after school snacks.  We also flew paper airplanes.  We had contests for design and distance.  We eventually upped the ante by flying the airplanes into a circle of desks.  The real competition started when we tried to see who could land one of the airplanes on a round, high-top table from 15 or so feet.

Tension rose as we failed again and again to land a plane.  We hit the table.  We ran planes across the table, but we could not get one to stop and stay put on top of the table.  There were remarkably high levels of collaboration and play, as we designed and tested lots of versions and possibilities.  We laughed a lot.  Finally, one person and one plane succeeded in our final test.  I have not celebrated a colleague as hard as I did in that moment in a long time.  Too long.

What if we carved out time to play and celebrate with one another?  

How can we find opportunities for faculty and students to play, collaborate, and celebrate around low-stakes, accessible, and repeatable challenges?  What would happen if we practiced the collaboration and play outside of class before we got down to the purposeful, sometimes serious, play in our more formal learning moments?



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