Russell Middle School uses competition to get students interacting

Students at Russell Middle School
Students at Russell Middle School compete for the Raider Cup. / Christina Dawidowicz -- FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It may look like fun and games, but students at Russell Middle School know it’s a lot more.

“You learn about different coping skills or different emotions, how to deal with bullying and sometimes we do activities just to get to know each other,” said Sadie Thistle, an 8th grader at RMS.

Teachers say advising duties like goal building and planning are still done, but in a different way.

“Everything from character education lessons, to team building. We do some competitions where classes will compete against each other in Jeopardy games and Pictionary games,” said Aaron Ford, physical education teacher at RMS.

All students in 6th through 8th grade are put in one of 5 colored teams.

Each class is about 15 to 18 students, with each team consisting of 125 to 140 students.

Staff members are also a part of teams, including kitchen and office staff.

The Raider Time program was created this year after students and staff expressed wanting a more family and community-like environment.

Now, all students have the opportunity to interact with each other.

“When we go to the gym we sit next to sixth graders and seventh graders. Usually, we just talk, and have fun, and cheer, and do a lot of stuff. it’s pretty fun” said Michael Barber, another 8th grader at RMS.

Throughout the year, each team competes for points for the Raider Cup.

“Think Harry Potter, it’s kind of like the Harry Potter cup. This is the cup that will be given to the team that earns the most points at the end of the year,” Ford said.

Students say it helps them open up and get know each other a lot quicker.

“I like how we can get competitive with one another, like how the teachers have rivals and how the students can talk to each other about how our team’s better, ’cause I’m a competitive person so, I like that,” Thistle said.

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