With 31 new students this year in 9th Grade, Danielle Blette, the 9th Grade Level Dean and the council have made it their goal to plan interactive activities for every class meeting to give 9th graders a chance to get to know each other in a fun setting, and to foster a community within the 9th Grade.
At every class meeting, 9th graders have had the opportunity to get to know each other through a series of fun games and activities. Each activity creates a situation where 9th graders are able to talk to classmates who they may not see regularly in class, or to meet people they don’t know yet.
Blette and council have been tirelessly planning these activities since the summer, with the goal of creating community within the 9th Grade.
“We recognize that it’s hard for those 31 new students to come in and be part of a community that’s already established, so we didn’t want to necessarily integrate the 9th graders into a community, we wanted to create a new community of a new 9th Grade,” Blette said.
Additionally, the council wants class meeting to feel like a space where students could relax and have fun together.
“The council decided that interactive activities were the easiest way to integrate the new students in a non-boring way,” 9th grade Arts Representative Dalton’24 said. “Everyone is fed up with Zoom calls and having speakers who talk at you. We wanted class meetings to feel community-oriented and to be a stress-free environment.”
So far, there have been many different activities, including a cooking competition, a speed dating activity, a class wide game of Among Us and several other group video games. It seems that the speed dating activity was overwhelmingly the most popular amongst the 9th Grade class, and even received such positive feedback that it was played a second time with a Halloween theme.
During the speed dating activity, the 9th graders were paired with one other person and sent into a breakout room where they were prompted by a discussion question prepared by council. After a couple minutes, the students returned back to the main Zoom room where they were sent into another breakout room with a different partner and a different question. When asked why she believed this activity was the most popular, Blette said, “I think people really liked that because… people weren’t talking for too long with each other but they still also were able to see people who they wouldn’t normally see in a class time.”
In this second semester, Blette and council plan to continue conducting interactive activities to bond the class as well as working towards planning the Colors Presentation, a longstanding Marlborough tradition. The Colors Presentation requires great amounts of planning and the process has already begun with different committees meeting to discuss the colors and song that will follow the Class of 2024 for the rest of their time at Marlborough.