This one will include a tour of our courtyard and grounds, community building, sharing our hopes and dreams, and hopefully a lot of fun!
One of the beginning of the year Responsive Classroom techniques is helping students discern their hopes and dreams for the year. Students set goals by reflecting on past experiences, strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. They choose one area that they would like to focus on and set a goal or target area for the year.
This is a part of classroom community building and is a natural lead in to developing the classroom rules as a group.
Once hopes and dreams are shared, the class determines which rules would be necessary to ensure that the students (and adults) can reach their goals. It's a great way to set kids up to be supportive of one another's efforts, as well as take responsibility for how one's actions effect others.
You can read what Responsive classroom has to say about it here:
So to facilitate this process, we are going to create Hopes and Dreams Catchers.
During the walk, we will collect leaves, small flowers, and any other interesting bits of nature we can find. I will prepare the sticks and yarn in advance, as well as provide sprigs of basil, rosemary, mint, lavender, and other herbs to provide as additional sensory experience.
The kids will wrap the branches in yarn and weave the found bits of nature through the yarn to create a dream catcher.
The next part is the most important. Once kids have determined their hopes and dreams, they will write them on strips of paper and weave them into their dream catchers. We will hang them in our classroom where, hopefully, the flowers will dry and we can leave them up to enjoy and to remind us to reach for those dreams and support each other along the way. :)