Our Celebration Project
The teachers chose “Celebrations” as our Project for the first term.
We thought that the children would be interested to share specific celebrations important to them and their family, that may have occurred over the holiday period. This enabled children to share their experiences and each become experts in their world to others.
Through these shared experiences we hoped that the children start to develop a broader understanding of the diverse cultures within Australia and our class. This is actually an important component of the curriculum, with Grade 2s expected to have investigated, compared and developed respect for different cultures.
We have started with a number of sharing opportunities and extended these to find more detail about their favourite celebrations. Some being religious experiences, like Christmas, Eid, Diwali or Ramandan or personal experiences like Birthdays, whilst some have talked about New Years Eve, Australia Day or their home country’s day. Already we have had some rich discussions with one child commenting that “she was unaware that any else liked Eid and knowing that others liked it, made her happy”.
The direction of the rest of the project will be determined mainly by the children and their responses and interests, but we have considered that we might organise and host a multicultural celebration. This might include a Kite Flying day, which might explain why we have begun exploring their interests in kites in home learning. We have also been lucky enough to be invited to participate in a Children’s Art Exhibition in Turkey and planning, creating and mailing our entries to this exhibition will likely become quite a memorable cornerstone for this project. We would like to think our project might develop into families coming in and sharing different experiences.
However despite these visions of how the project might conclude it is the students’ voice that we will be responding to. Developing individual’s interests and their skills and providing them the opportunity to participate and produce something of significance for them, is our main focus. Our planning and reflections from shared experiences heavily reflects this focus and hopefully will reward rich learning experiences for the children and enable them to value and share their families and communities knowledge.
We think that is the skill and art of teaching, not just in a project, but constantly. Being able to take what a child knows already and link it to their interests, families and communities to deepen their understandings. Providing opportunities for them to find and solve problems, and importantly guiding them in doing this whilst developing their skills in core competencies.
We think the Celebrations Project will be exciting for the children and I invite you to share with your children why certain Celebrations are important to you.
The blog is an integral tool in this grades’ learning. It provides a purposeful vehicle for authentic reasons for the children to undertake reading and writing tasks. It also facilitates learning of multimodal design elements of text, graphics, and other forms of visual and mixed media. These important components of the National Curriculum Literacy Continuum are met with the children’s use of the blog, as are a number of other ICT organising elements. We have also found it a useful tool to introduce or reinforce ideas that we have already or will work on separately within the class. We also use the blog to celebrate the learning of the grade and have found the children engage deeper with their own and other’s learning through its use.
Importantly though we also see the pride in the children’s eyes when they choose to share their work and ideas with a wider community.
Please celebrate our learning with us, we invite your comments and the discussions they create within our classroom.