Memorable Learning Rituals, Traditions, and Celebrations
Once you get the community right, the levels of learning soar. –Ralph Peterson
Over the years, my kindergarten colleagues and I have shared many vignettes of memorable classroom rituals, traditions, and celebrations. For us, school has always been a “celebrative place.” We delight in making each child’s learning experience more memorable and meaningful through thoughtful attention to classroom rituals, traditions and celebrations. These symbolic acts help us build a thriving community of learners.
Children come to school with diverse background experiences.
It is the stories we tell, the songs we sing and traditions we build that bind the children together emotionally and intellectually, creating an optimal climate for learning.
Teachers across the country have added layers to our collective stories of building a joyful learning community.
These stories have touched our hearts and stirred our imaginations. They deserve to be shared with a wider audience, and thus comes my motivation for this book. At the center of each of the following vignettes is the need to symbolically transform experiences and to communicate thoughts and feelings.
Create a Classroom Community
We believe that in order for all children to reach high academic levels, we must create a classroom community that reinforces the belief that they can learn; that provides personally meaningful experiences so that they care about learning; and that gives each child the confidence and comfort of knowing that they belong.
Becoming an ambitious reader, writer, and thinker in kindergarten is supported by a rich social context of memorable, meaningful learning.
We are responsible for the memories of childhood and we are in charge of celebrations!
We have been instructed and inspired by the gentle wisdom of Ralph Peterson and his important book, Life in a Crowded Place: Building Holistic Learning Communities. His voice reminds us,
Community is more important to learning than any strategy or technique.
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