I have unshakable faith in children. They always show me the way. ♥

Sunday, July 6, 2014

closing circle

One of my favorite parts of the school day is our closing circle.  For me, it has always felt like a calm oasis just before the micro-chaos of dismissal.

Years ago, I wanted a ritual for my class.  I wanted something that would signal it was the end of our work together for the day and would feel like a special, calm way to transition out.

Sort of in the moment, I invented a call-and-response bit of prose that ended up being something that we've done at closing circle every day since in my classroom.

We call it "the wish."  We hold hands as we sit in our circle.  I say the first line and the children repeat it back to me and we go from there.  After the first few weeks of school, the students learn the wish and want to take the chance to lead it themselves.  It then becomes one of our class jobs and rotates through everyone in the class.

In case you cannot see the text above, here is the wish:  

The time has come
To say good-bye
We learned a lot today
Some of us will go
And some of us will stay
And we'll all be together tomorrow (or "on Monday...")
To work
To have fun
To be in our first grade community.
(The leader says one line, and everyone repeats that line back to them)

Rituals and routines make up so much of our adult lives:  with family, at work, with friends, that I guess it just makes sense to make sure we're creating these with our students in our own classroom communities.

What other rituals do you use to close the day with your students?

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