A close look and listen inside the busy workroom exposed students who were working together, sharing supplies, helping each other, discussing creative ideas and most of all - being excited and enthusiastic about their project.
Sikkema said the week before the holiday break she decided to do a weeklong Tree Farm project with different activities each day. Building the reindeer barns is just one of the projects. Students also made commercials for their tree farms, recording their ads using the green screen. Also on the agenda for the week were filling out a job application to work at the tree farm, creating a route for deliveries, creating a schedule of activities at the farm, calculating the farm’s profits and having a farm staff party.
Ethan Collige proudly displayed his fenced in pen for the reindeer made with craft sticks. “This is so much fun. We get to work together and make stuff. Everything’s better when you work together,” he said.
His partner Zoe Colby put the finishing touches on the barn where the reindeer could stay safe and warm. “I have to cut my door a little bigger for the antlers,” she said.
Brooklyn Bennetts glued pieces of cardboard together to make her barn stall. “I'm going to try to make a hay loft and have a cat and a dog and some hay,” she said.
In every corner of the room there were groups working, talking and creating together. “It’s fun and we can work with our friends and make what we want. I like to make stuff,” said Violet Oprea.
“It’s easier that there aren’t any directions. We get to make what we want and use our imaginations,” said Jessica Arnold.
Reindeer Jingle and Peppermint were getting a deluxe stall filled with hay by Aubrie Hosmer while Evan Mack, Levi Havard and Harrison Sanborn added a loft to their barn and engineered a popsicle stick ramp to get to it.
The creativity wasn’t just in building though. Teams took time out of their barn construction projects to record commercials they wrote for the tree farm.
“Grab a leaf and make a wreath!” said Oprea and Hayden Hall into their microphones made of cardboard tubes and topped with cotton balls.
“I think it’s really fun,” said Izyk Showers as he and Austin Ramsey practiced their commercial. “I’ve never gotten to make a commercial before.”
Sikkema said she loves seeing her students use their imagination and creativity. “They are loving this so much. I’m so impressed at how well they are all working together and so excited about it all.”