Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Covington-Harper and Enterprise Elementary Schools joined schools around the world for Rock Your School Day. Complete with engaging learning activities and rock music-themed decorations, the school-wide events were also a morale boost for both students and staff.
On Rock Your School Day, Covington-Harper Elementary teachers and parent volunteers transformed the entire school for the event. Students were welcomed with positive messages from parents written in chalk on the front sidewalk and morale- boosting messages from teachers on the windows throughout the main entrance and cafeteria. The hallways and classrooms were decorated from floor to ceiling, and teachers incorporated the Rock Your School Day theme into student lessons.
Jennifer Nichols, music teacher, said, “Learning activities were elevated to include exciting and engaging features such as activities using glow-in-the-dark materials, props, and costumes. Parents also volunteered to cut out materials for learning activities at home to help teachers prepare for the big day.”
The event was not just centered on students. For several mornings leading up to Rock Your School Day, staff members visited teachers in their classrooms with a decorated cart, complete with fun, energetic music, to deliver treats. Each day the treat had a correlating message. For example, a wrapped gift arrived with the message “Make your world bright.” The gift was a disco light ball.
A student said, “We had reading groups with the disco light because we were “rocking” our reading.”
At Enterprise Elementary each grade level was assigned a decade from the 1950s through the 2000s. The decorations in the hallways included memorabilia, such as movies, books, and popular quotes from that decade. The reading and math lessons also incorporated the Rock Your School Day theme.
A fourth grade student said, “Making friendship bracelets in math while practicing our multiplication was my favorite activity.” Creating and sharing friendship bracelets were popular among children starting in the 1970s and into the 1990s.
Students and staff at Enterprise also wore costumes. It was a history lesson in fashion for a second grader who explained, “My outfit was a glow-in-the-dark skirt, black tights, a shirt, and my hair was in a ponytail, because my teacher told me that in the 1980s, they liked to wear skirts.” Many students also enjoyed seeing elementary school photos of their teachers.
This past summer, several staff members from Enterprise Elementary attended the Get Your Teach On National Conference in Orlando, Florida. The Rock Your School Day movement was one of the initiatives they brought back to their school.
Principal Kelly Nickerson said, “The purpose of the event is to focus on student engagement and building classroom and school community.”
At both schools, teachers and staff hope the captivating school-wide initiative not only created a memorable day of building relationships and creating a sense of community for students, but also sparked an excitement for learning and encouraged students to “rock” every school day.