I teach in a large independent school with over 3,000 students. We have multiple campuses on our big campus. I work in what is called the Omidyar K-1 Neighborhood (named after Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar who is a distinguished and highly successful Punahou alumni). Our K-1 Nieghborhood implements something called the "slide model". We have 25 students that enter a kindergarten classroom. At the end of their kindergarten year, the group of kids slide to a first grade classroom next door. This model is like looping without the teach moving up with the students.
The kindergarten and first grade classrooms have shared spaces. We are encouraged to have shared learning experiences so the first grade teacher can get to know the kindergarteners throughout the year. Kindergarten students know exactly who their first grade teachers will be the following year.
The "slide" also promotes teaming and collaboration between K-1 teaching partners. My partner and I plan together and discuss differentiation for our students.
My teaching partner is amazing. She is the quintessential kindergarten teacher. She also does an amazing Thanksgiving gathering. She hits on everything from family heritage to what it means to be truly thankful. She has a truly special gathering. How do I top that?
This year I decided to focus purely on friendship. We would do multiple activities that we promote teamwork and team building. I didn't have a parent gathering but rather had my students use Book Creator to document the whole process. We crafted. We cooked. It was awesome. The day before Thanksgiving Break we had a giant feast. The placemats and flower centerpieces where created by the students. We created table clothes and we cooked the side dishes. We had a generous family donate the turkey and we were set.
It was a truly special event. Our classroom environment and atmosphere improved greatly. Please enjoy the below sample of Book Creator project by one of our students.
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