Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Celebration Of Learning

Summer is a time for teachers to reflect on the year behind and plan for the year ahead.  One of the things that I like to do each year is host a "Celebration of Learning" for my students.  I do this at the end of the year, but I need to think about what I plan to include much earlier.

The Celebration of Learning is an evening where we have all kinds of things on display for students, parents, and families to see.

In the picture to the side, I have a class picture from the beginning of the year.  I also have a poem framed with mini-self portraits of students in our class.  The half sheet is explaining what is displayed and what things students should take home.  This is what students see when they enter the multi-purpose room.

On the same table, I have the students' brag tags from the year.  Each student has collected and earned many different tags for various accomplishments.

I also have tons of pictures on display.  Some of them are "just for fun" shots of silly things.  Many of them show activities or projects we worked on throughout the year.  Beside the pictures, I displayed the standard that was covered by the activity people can see in the pictures.  I thought this would show that even though it looks like we are just having some fun, we are actually learning!

The picture to the left shows a timeline of our day.  We picked out several pictures that represent what we do during the day.  The students wrote explanations on index cards.  Then we put them in order.  This goes with a social studies standard for using timelines.  Obviously, the timeline is much longer than what you can see in the picture.

Also on display were class books that we had written throughout the year as well as individual published pieces.  The students were so proud of these accomplishments!

Learning Calendar
Our learning calendar was rolled out around the edges of the multi-purpose room.  The learning calendar is a huge roll of paper where we record the days' events and what we learned each day.  We also collect a little data on the weather.

There were so many other things on the tables too.  There were certificates for being authors, certificates for people who had read 100 books during the year, poetry books, math museum displays, and posters explaining what we learned in each subject this year.

I wish I could capture the magic of the whole room in one picture, but I just couldn't.  It's pretty overwhelming to see it all in one place.

Photos of Fluency Idol Winners
Photos and Standards
Brag Tags
Sunrise and Sunset Calendar

Published Books by Students

Of course, one of the things the students were so excited about was the end of the year gift.  I gave each student a sand bucket filled with fun things to do (bubbles, play-doh, a pencil, notebook for writing, and a book).  There was also information about our local library's summer reading program.  I put these at the back of the room and on the stage so that students would get them before they left.

Because I know I am going to do this each year, I save several items throughout the year.  That doesn't mean that parents do not get to see student work during the year.  We still have plenty of samples going home.

This end of the year celebration is such a nice way to end the year.  The students are so proud of all they have done.  Parents are very appreciative of the displays and the chance to see this.  Many times there are grandmas and grandpas or aunts and uncles attending too.

How do you share your students' accomplishments with families?  Do you do any end of the year activities for your class or school that you can share?

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