Over the years teaching here at Summers-Knoll, little traditions naturally get created. Some stick around for just a couple of years, and some seem to be woven in for good. While our themes and projects keep things fresh, the little trips we take or special treats we have - these are things that children count on happening and look forward to with great anticipation. It becomes part of our identity, in a way - and by sharing these special events, we become closer somehow.
Today, a 5th grader came up to me and said, "I miss being in your class." I thanked her and said that was very sweet of her to say so. She added, "Yes, for two reasons. One, you were always very kind to everyone. and two, you let us have peppermint gum when we wrote." (Then she not too subtly asked me for a piece of gum, which was denied, but I still hope her compliment was somewhat genuine.) So, even a tiny ritual like giving the students a piece of peppermint chewing gum during writing workshop time becomes part of our special identity, and something that may be remembered years later.
Other traditions that have "stuck" - shopping for material at JoAnn Fabric Store and making our own pillows, berry picking, Read to Feed, Flea Market, the Raptor Project ("Bake Sale for the Birdies"), the cookie cottages before winter break, making our own spring cleaning spray, Poem in Pocket tea party, and so much more!
This morning we had one of our favorites - the annual AUCTION! Each child spent their $80.00 classroom auction bucks with a lot of gusto - and now our classroom is a lot cleaner, and your houses may be a little messier. But just one more item for the children's "memory banks." I hope they remember so many, many wonderful things about first and second grade - these are such sweet years, aren't they?