LT Lindsay Foster won a TXGOO grant and purchased GooseChase to use for our district. She had a great idea for using it to help bring our teachers and administrators together with team building activities and general silliness. We couldn’t have imagined how well it was going to work! Here’s how we rolled it out…
We started sending teasers to our teachers’ email accounts telling them to get ready for the Goose! We included a link to our website where they could find instructions on how to download the app, join a team, and some preparatory rules for the big event…a 6-day challenge culminating at Convocation!
Teams started signing up and the excitement started building!! We had over 200 challenges for participants to choose from – releasing new challenges daily to keep it interesting! Some items were silly and some were more thoughtful regarding goals, team-building, and district strategies. We even used the GPS function to send teachers to local businesses and venues…so they got to know our town a little better!
It was a HUGE success! Can’t wait to work with Lindsay to put together a presentation on this and share it with others…but for now…let’s share some of the amazing artifacts from the chase! (Please note: This is just a small collection of artifacts…we had 40 teams…so I couldn’t possibly include it all here)
As Seen On TV – Teachers had to create an ad relating to their school and market it like an “As Seen on TV” commercial!
Avengers Assemble – team members had to assemble Avenger style (extra points for costumes and props)
BISD Backs the Blue – GPS challenge to take a photo showing you “Back the Blue” in front of the local police department (extra points were awarded for having an officer in the picture)
Captain’s Log – That’s right…get your team to act out a typical Star-Trek scene!! Extra points for costumes and props!
What’s a GooseChase without Duck Duck Goose?
The Best of the Best – What summer PD did you just LOVE?
3 day reading camp at Region 11. It was three days packed full of information and takeaways for the classroom!
- Chromebook preppers academy. It gave me more tools to find cool things to do in my class for projects and assessments.
- Our Academy at Nola Dunn retreat on August 3 was awesome! What a great day to spend recharging for the new school year with our work family! #AANDlearns
- The best PD I attended was Autism 360. It really helped me figure out what I needed my classroom to be like for my students and I to be out best selves!
- The best PD I went to this summer was on ramps training at UT Austin it was the most challenging math experience I’ve had in a long time
- BreakoutEDU Academy was a treat this year! The workshop was engaging and allowed teachers to problem solve and collaborate creatively…in other words I never felt “bored”…I cannot wait to share this with my students. They are going to LOVE it!
- Technology ELA training! Lots of great stuff I can easily take back and use in my middle school ELA class! It was more than just theory; it gave me real life application!
- Growth Mindsets in the Math Classroom with Seth Hickman! Everything he presents is awesome!
- AP Institute! Professor was amazing and I came out with a ton of ideas and starts to implement in my classroom this year!
- Teachers Leading Teachers: ELAINE Tricks of the Trade was fantastic! I got great info on extensions and ways to get things done much faster and easier. Best training of the summer!
- Numeracy for 5th grade. Now I know how to use money and a clock to add and subtract fraction. All I dream about is problem strings. Shout out to Kathy and Seth!
- Texas Assistive Technology Network- Love seeing what tools all students could benefit from!
No Tired Like Back To School First Week Tired! Take a photo of your tired team on a mattress…in a public place!
Free Advice – Our teachers were asked to give advice to new teachers in the district!
- Relax, don’t worry about the 10,000 things you have to do do what you can and leave the rest of it for tomorrow. It’s not the end of the world. Have fun!
- Try not to get overwhelmed by everything in the next couple of weeks. Remember you were hired for a reason and YOU will be the expert of your kids. Breathe and take care of yourself so you can take care of your kids! BISD is an amazing place with great people to help you be your best!
- Dear New BISD Teacher,
Get ready for your new school year by preparing ahead. That means your lessons, teaching materials, grocery lists, to-do lists, clothes, etc. You should plan at least a week in advance in order not to lose your mind. Procrastination never works out.I know this from experience.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! From curriculum to technology integration to whatever there is someone in BISD who is ready, willing, and eager to help you!
Set the bar high, utilize and cherish every moment, build relationships, lean on fellow educators, support ALL students, find a way, live by the “whatever it takes” motto, inspire, make a difference everyday, breath, relax, know your not alone in this journey, be yourself, be real, and have fun!!!!!
- Dear Kaden – the BHS math dept is the best about helping each other. If you ever get stuck on what to do, just ask one of us. We would love to help you out. Share everything in Google Drive, and you’ll have access to all we have done.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Remember that you are surrounded by loving people who have been in your shoes and want to see you succeed. Have a great year and welcome to the family!
- My advice is to do your best for your students, be flexible, a team player and never be afraid to ask for help or advice.
- Keep notes & pictures from students to reread on the rough days! Their sweet words will brighten even the darkest days and remind you why you became a teacher.
- Three key pieces of advice:
- 1) If you don’t know, just ask!
- 2) We are more than just a bunch of schools in a district. We’re a close-knit community, and we’re glad you’ve joined the party.
- 3) Don’t be surprised when Burleson starts to feel like home!
- From STEAM’s new teacher orientation, FROM a new teacher’s notes from a session on having a successful year with their mentor: “Trust your students. Communication is key. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And take your ID everywhere to get BISD discounts because our community rocks!”
- Choose one thing a year that you want to work on or implement, and perfect that. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to implement too many ideas.
The Siren Calls – Go get a cuppa at Starbucks!
Can we just take a minute to applaud Jason Hahn’s dedication? For our “Where’s Waldo?” challenge…he went to staff development…as Waldo. Can YOU find him?
Goals Driven – We asked our teachers to set a goal (or two) for themselves
- My goals are to learn how to incorporate more technology in the classroom, create a comforting atmosphere for my students where they feel safe to try new things and grow in new ways.
- Provide academic, emotional and social supports to our students so that they can be successful in their high school and college classes as well as on STAAR and TSI. Make a point of having one on one conversations with students daily so they know we are happy they are at BCHS and they matter!
- Challenge students with collaborative learning. Maintain a growth mindset. Use the Chromebooks to help students learn technology.
- build authentic relationships with my students
- To make as many cross curricular connections through the medium of music!
- Every student reading on grade level! Relationships created with every student. Creating a safe and loving environment for all our littles! Being the best Brock Tiger teachers we can be. Inspiring all of our students!
Name That Tune – Time for some Carpool Karaoke with your team! Let’s jam!
HMS Principal Ben Renner driving this car of song birds!
Mad respect for this team – they got their mascot AND their principal involved!
Six Word Sentences – We dug into our SOS Strategies and asked teachers for a six word story on how they felt as they returned to school
- So excited to be teaching PANTHERS!
- Ready to get this party started!
- Focused, energized and ready to roll!
- Awesome opportunity to build positive relationships.
- I’m excited beyond measure to influence!
Convocation Concessions – that’s right…teachers had to hawk concessions at convocation…like they were at a ballpark!
Convo-Sation – Share one AHA moment or take-a-way from Dr. Adolf Brown, our Convocation Keynote Speaker
- “Look into the mirror. Make room for the better you!” Advice given by a grandfather with a third grade education.
- All means all. Every day. Every classroom. No excuses. No exceptions
- Genetics may hold the gun, but environment pulls the trigger! #thetreeisintheseed
- “Education is the one thing in life that once you get it, it’s yours.” #realtalk
- “Your past may be dirty but your future is spotless” @docspeaks
- If you’re called, you will be equipped! If you knew what was in everyone else’s backpacks, you’d want yours back! Be better today than you were yesterday! #fun #fair #firm #faith #realtalk #balconyPeople
We worked with our Communications Department to arrange for The Electric Slide to be played during convocation…and any GoogleChasers who participated got big points!
Birds of a Feather – Teams were asked to wear an orange bandanna or other orange gear to help others at convocation identify them as GooseChasers (we wanted people to see how wide-spread the game had become and get to say hello to their fellow Chasers!).
Congratulations to the Husky Squad – for winning the BISD Back to School GooseChase! They got GooseChase for their campus (as did all top 3 finishers) and they get to keep the GooseChase trophy to display on their campus until next year’s event!
And our second place winners were the CHS Gilmore Girls
And in third…the BHS Pi-Rates!
A big shout out to our top 10 teams – and ALL of the teams who participated!
So after all of this….did we make a difference? Was this goofy GooseChase valuable? Did it impact anyone? Let our teacher’s tell you..
- Being new, this GooseChase has been life changing. It has encircled me with a group of teachers and created lasting memories that a new teacher doesn’t have coming into a school. The laughter and tears that I wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise. Thank you for helping me find my tribe!
- This has been such a fun team building and competitive adventure. With 3 new people on our team it has really helped with getting to know each other and the different strengths and personalities. With being a veteran teacher it made the PD and back to work fun. I was addicted to the GooseChase!
- At first I cried, “not ANOTHER thing to do!” Soon I was buying in & even recording myself reading. It turned into funny moments with my teammates and I took risks outside of my comfort zone. We all brought something to the game. I’m already brainstorming how to use it with students.
- We are a small staff with only one returning teacher from last year. This GooseChase allowed us to get to know each other and bond in a way that just a regular week of inservice never could have. We’ve made great memories together and started our year off in such a positive way! Panther Pride!
- This has been so much fun. Our team really came together and some of our quieter (Carolyn!) really came out of her comfort zone to wear the props for the videos. We have never laughed so much in the week before school. Thanks for sharing this game.
- During a time that is normally so stressful, preparing for the school year, we have found joy! I have never laughed this much the first week back to work from vacation ever! (Although, now we do need extra time to work in our rooms. 😂)
- This has been a great way to get back into school. We have had a lot of fun getting to know each other better and learn new things. I am excited to learn how to integrate this into my classes!
- It has been a fun way to implement team bonding. We have definitely laughed so hard that we cried! Our competitive nature has shown itself…we want to win…or at least not come in last 😉 This is a great way to start the year! Thanks to the technology department for coming up with this great idea!
- GooseChase has been an incredible team building activity. The variety of the challenges allows teams to maximize small segments of time to stay engaged with each other, have fun and complete challenges. It has created an excited vibe on campus
- This has been a wonderful team building experience that brought people from all aspects of school life together for a common cause. Also, BISD employees were able to interact with our district community in fun and energetic and positive ways.
- My team has had so much fun! We have laughed, giggled and maybe even snorted a few times. We’ve been a little sleep deprived on occasion and maybe, possibly locked the keys in the car. That might have resulted in a few tears. Overall, it’s been a wonderful experience!!!
- As someone who is brand new to the district and the school, Goosechase has been such a fun way to get to know people on my campus. It can be awkward to move somewhere that you don’t know anyone, but the gamification fosters team building. And it’s FUN!!
- The #goosechase has brought joy and excitement for me! I love to do crazy things and this is right up my alley! I love seeing other teachers from other schools getting involved too! For my team, I have helped them open up some and made them laugh. They love my enthusiasm and crazy videos! Thank you!
- GooseChase has helped cultivate team building all week! I don’t believe my team would have bonded as well as we have without it!
- This has been an amazing team building activity for us!! We are starting the year off on a positive note with lots of great memories! My very favorite part, is the fact we brought (almost) our entire campus together to help us complete a challenge and every single person had a smile on their face!
- I’m new to BISD. Everyone has been welcoming and kind, but the enthusiasm and determination of my team has already fostered real connections between us, our campus, and the district. We’ve been collaborating on the missions, so we’re all primed to collaborate for student learning. #STEAMlearns
- This GooseChase has been fantastic. Our teams, campuses, and entire district has come together in this gigantic team building activity. Not only have coworkers been involved, but also children, families, spouses, etc. We LOVE GooseChase and we LOVE BISD! #laughedsohardmyfacehurt
- The best team building during professional development we have ever had! I’ve peed my pants several times 😂
- GooseChase has been a fantastic experience for our team. We’ve bonded, LAUGHED, learned personalities, met families & pushed each other’s limits (in healthy ways..mostly!). We’ve thought creatively, learned through play & used technology to leverage advantage. All hands have been on deck & on board!
- We have laughed until we alnost cried. We have learned who is up for crazy pranks, who is competative,, who is creative, and it has added a component of fun to the beginning of the school year. it has helped integrate our newest related service team member.
- This #goosechase has helped us to become more acquainted with one another from a different perspective. We have laughed together and combined our creative strengths to achieve.