November 3, 2012 by Kiara Savage
In the PRC, we are all about figuring out ways to work smarter, not harder. One of the best ways to do this is by creating interactive boards. Instead of working separately on a board and a program, make a board that serves as a month-long program! How does this work? Let me explain.
Critical to your creation of an interactive board is your awareness of the fact that a board that can be manipulated by your residents also serves as a program. In some cases, it is an extension of a program. Even better! You must also be aware of the crafts that we have in the PRC that can be used to make your board more interactive. Here are the top 15 interactive mediums (in no particular order):
- Binder clips
- Clothes pins
- Push pins
- Sandwich bags
- Brass fasteners
- Rubber bands
- Paper clips
- Chart/table (made with Publisher)
- Magnetic strips
I hope that list has gotten the juices flowing. In the off chance that it didn’t, let me share with you a couple ways you would combine these interactive mediums to make your residents do a double-take as they are walking through your hall. I am going to use yarn, a brass fastener, push pins, and a marker. The broad purpose of this board/program will be to strengthen the community that is forming on your halls.
Ask all of your residents to send you a picture of them that they wouldn’t mind being on the board. You could also use their Facebook profile pictures. Put all of the pictures (including one of you) on the board. Make a spinning wheel with a brass fastener. On the wheel there should be a place with each person’s name on it. Orient the spinner on the board. When your residents interact with the board, they will spin the spinner and land on the name of the person that they should try to make a connection with. The connection might be that they both have a younger brother or play the same sport. Using the marker (that can also be attached to the board using yarn or Velcro), the residents can write what the connection they made was. Using the yarn and push pins, you residents can connect their pictures. Use the push pins to keep the yarn in place. The program extension would be to encourage your residents to have a meal or hang out with the person or people they land on. For example, If Kiara lands on Maisoon, and Maisoon lands on Clay, and Clay lands on Blakely, and Blakely lands on Lauren, and Lauren lands on Kiara, then Kiara, Maisoon, Clay, Blakely, and Lauren could go on a cider walk together. This might help people who would not have hung out together otherwise to get to know each other. They would, of course, decide what they would do to hang out. You could possibly use RA funds to subsidize their hanging out.
To spark some of your own ideas, come to the PRC at some point in the next couple of weeks to play inteRAction. Do you get it? The “R” and the “A” are capitalized to stand for resident assistant! Move through the spaces and land on (an) interactive medium(s) (e.g. Velcro, push pins, etc.), a program type (e.g. survey, game, etc.), and a theme (e.g. futuristic, “pick a decade”, Charlie Brown, etc.).