Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebration of Learning!

In the spring, my school does a celebration of learning instead of traditional parent/teacher conferences. This celebration varies from grade to grade, but this post is about how it works in first! The block of time is in the evening and I started this year at 4:30 and went until 7:00. I sent home 30 minute blocks of time for parents to choose from. Parents were asked to list their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice. Once I got the choices back, I created a schedule. I don't like to have more than 4 families in the classroom at a time. The children bring their parents into the classroom during their assigned block of time and just share their work. I created a page to guide the children's "sharing" of their work, see picture below:
I forgot to mention that we did a baseball theme for our celebration because it was opening day for the Detroit Tigers! So of course I did all things baseball! So the children began by sharing their leadership notebooks with their parents. Their leadership notebooks include reading, writing, math, and goals. Most of the information in their leadership notebooks is data on their individual growth in the classroom (no work samples). Then I made a cover page (baseball of course) for their published writing and the children shared their stories with mom and dad. Next, I had students grab their poetry notebooks from their book baskets and share some of their favorite poems. They absolutely loved that part! Finally, I gave them a choice to share their wise owl words (big vocabulary words), CAFE strategies and how they work, our classroom leadership jobs, or the contents of their Reader's Notebook.  It was so amazing to see my first graders taking full responsibility of their learning. My students know what's in their leadership notebooks and where they are at in their learning. I use individual tracking progress pages for every unit of study and these are also kept in the leadership notebooks.  I set up the tables with a big paper baseball in the center, a helium balloon, leadership notebooks, published writing, and the "You Just Hit a Homerun" page on top. I found baseball easter eggs and filled them with goodies for the kids when they came in. I can confidently say that this year's celebration of learning was a "hit!"

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