One of the hallmarks of Montessori education is the level of independence it fosters in children. Self-guided, self-selected work leads learners to develop intrinsic motivation. Students who are motivated to pursue their interests and passions have a tendency to create amazing things.
A Month of Creations
At Kingsley, January is a special month for these creators. Starting on the first day of January, the Create-A-Day Challenge begins. The premise is simple, but following through takes dedication and a whole lot of creativity.
Each participant chooses a specific, creative endeavor that they want to pursue. The possibilities are truly endless. It could be an ongoing project, to finish a painting or a book; or it could be a series of shorter exercises, like taking a photo each day, or playing a different song on an instrument.
The challenge though, is to pursue your creative interest every day of January.
This year, we were lucky enough to have great participation not only from our student body, but from faculty and staff as well! Students and adults signed up at the beginning of the month, marking down their intended creative exploit (or pledging to come up with one quickly) as a reminder and motivator throughout the month. Ideas varied across the spectrum of creative thought—writing, visual art, music, athletics, and more. Some participants decided to build their skills in fields that they have experience and ability in, while others decided to vault into new undertakings completely.
How it's Done
Create-A-Day Challenge participants are tasked with tracking their progress throughout the month, and, if they so choose, developing an exhibit to showcase their work. At the end of the month, participants are given the opportunity to display their work at the Create-A-Day Challenge Exhibition. Students, teachers, parents, and community members come out to show their support, display their creative work, learn about other creative interests, and have a fun time.
The students, especially, enjoyed this opportunity to teach others about their passions and interests, and to learn about their classmates in a new, deep way. The communal, cooperative, non-competitive nature of the Create-A-Day Challenge Exhibition is hugely motivating for students. Participants of all ages were happy to share their ideas, their development throughout the month, and their goals going forward. We're interested to see how these new and growing interests bloom over their years at Kingsley!
The Create-A-Day Challenge and Exhibition are spearheaded by Kingsley's Arts Department Coordinator Emily Valenza, with the help of various members of the Arts Department. A big thank you goes out to Ms. Valenza, the Arts Department, Create-A-Day participants, and the many volunteers who helped make this event a success!