We have always loved how dynamic teachers use trading cards to teach students. Some have even provided lesson plans for how to incorporate cards in the classroom. During the pandemic, parents also found meaningful ways to use cards as a teaching tool at home. Our team loves seeing these stories and when we heard about a teacher named James Samson out of Hanmer, Ontario, we thought his story was just so fun we had to share it. Here is his story:
“Hi there, I am an avid hockey fan, card collector and more importantly I am a Grade 2 teacher. The last few years have been fraught with challenges and difficulties for students and the teaching community alike. We’ve had to re-learn how to teach and adapt to a whole new world of teaching online. Thankfully we have returned to in-person learning this September, and I was searching for a way to re-engage my students and get them excited to be at school every day.
“Finding common ground with kids is key to developing a relationship with them. To me sharing your interests with them is always a great way to do this. Every year we celebrate the 100th day of school with various activities and games all based around the number 100 for a great day of math-based fun.
“My idea this year as a way to boost engagement was to share my passion for hockey that I know many of my students love as well. I live in Sudbury, Ontario home of the Sudbury Wolves and the birthplace of many NHL hockey stars like Todd Bertuzzi, Andrew Brunette, Randy Carlyle and more. Hockey is major part of life here and many of my students are hockey players themselves. So every morning this year for the first 99 days of school I will introduce my students to a player that wore the jersey number which corresponds to the day of school.
“Most are the best player to ever wear the number, but in some cases it’s a personal favorite. Some days we needed to celebrate more than one player as well. When possible, I wear my jersey or t-shirt that co-ordinates with the day! It’s been a rousing success so far and the students have really engaged with it. If they are away from school, they have been emailing me or asking which player they missed.
“I also use Upper Deck hockey cards as an achievement they can earn through my class point system. It’s been really great to see the kids excited to be in class every morning excited about which player we will discuss!
“I am a Los Angeles Kings fan and you can see some of that influence in my choices.
“Through 20 days, here are the players we have discussed:
- Roberto Luongo / Johnny Bower
- Al McInnis
- Pierre Pilote
- Bobby Orr
- Nicklas Lidstrom
- Shea Weber
- Paul Coffey
- Drew Doughty / Alex Ovechkin
- Gordie Howe
- Ron Francis / Pavel Bure
- Anze Kopitar / Mark Messier
- Jarome Iginla
- Teemu Selanne / Mats Sundin
- Brendan Shananhan
- Milt Schmidt
- Marcel Dionne / Brett Hull
- Jari Kurri
- Denis Savard / Serge Savard
- Joe Sakic / Steve Yzerman
- Luc Robitaille
“I am really looking forward to the next 80 days and introducing them to so many legends along the way. I especially look forward to days like today where I can introduce them to a personal favorite and players that I collect; Ron Francis (10), Luc Robitaille (20), Curtis Joseph (31) and of course the Great One, Wayne Gretzky (99). On these days I can bring in some of my favorite cards or pieces of memorabilia from my collection to share with them as well. Thanks for tuning in and keep on collecting the best; Upper Deck!”
We love how James is able to share his love for hockey in an educational way with his students. To help James and his students celebrate their 100-Day Party, Upper Deck will be sending his class a variety of hockey cards from recent releases. We hope they enjoy!