Return to Headlines

Days of Creativity: Unleashing Imagination and Collaboration at WI

Days of Creativity was a big treat for Washington Irving's students at daily recess last week. The Horseman PTA, along with teacher Michelle Devivo, brought in artist and art teacher Erin Greenberg who put on five days of lunchtime activities, each with wildly different themes, including faux Sushi, 'Giving tree,' Zen Tangle Drawing, Catapult creating, and a Plastic Cup Challenge. 

"I am thrilled that we were able to extend this delightful and educational program to my second home here at WI," Ms. Devivo said, adding, "The students loved it."

"Is this gonna be every week or just for this week?" asked one excited 4th grader hoping the answer was every week. Tranquil, energetic, reflective, and resourceful students enthusiastically tackled each day's tasks, sparking creativity, ingenuity, and anticipation for the following day's activity.

The week's kick-off was Silly Sushi, where students made faux Sushi out of corrugated cardboard and felt "I made some pretty crazy sushi," said Olivia. Yanille added, "Mine was wasabi raspberry, strawberry, and shark fin!" And Steven chimed in, "I made shrimp sushi because I love shrimp."

Tuesday brought "Giving Tree" to the playground. Students wrote notes of kindness and encouragement to their classmates, teachers, and staff. For every note they hung on the “Giving Tree,” they were allowed to take a message from one of their classmates. "It makes me feel good to know that I made someone else feel good," said one 5th grader. 

Wednesday brought out the engineer in the innovative WI students as they participated in Catapult. The highlight of the week, and a massive energy exercise, students built catapults using wooden spoons, popsicle sticks, and pom poms. Thursday brought things down a notch with a low-key activity as students partook in Zen Tangle drawing, creating patterns on coloring pages.

Friday, students discovered how they each 'stack up' and the magic of teamwork at the Plastic Cup challenge. The Yardstick balance, Ping Pong Ball Bounce, Color Cup Stacking, The Index Card Pull, and the king of all cup stacking challenges: Pyramid Building took over the blacktop! Students had their work cut out for them as there was a steady breeze on the playground forcing them to up their game by creating windshields and modifying the challenges.

"I am so incredibly impressed by the students because the wind made the cup challenge even more challenging! It was not just as simple as stacking the cups on top of each other, and they really problem solved to make it work," said Ms. Greenburg. Still, students did not let the wind frustrate them as they collaborated to think outside the box to look at the challenges from a different angle to create success.

"The kids were so engaged that they even created their own challenge to see how high in the air they could make a cup tower, which rose to nearly 8 feet, and then bending the tower to make a cup rainbow arch."

Friends make the best connections - this was evident between the WI students and due to Ms. Devivo and Ms. Greenberg's bond. They met when their children were in Girl Scouts together. Ms. Devivo is active in the Chappaqua PTA, running their winter after-school enrichment program, where Ms. Greenburg teaches art classes.

"I love working on creative, collaborative, and playful projects," said Ms. Greenburg, adding, "It has truly been a joy to work with so many great WI kids!"