It is never easy to say good-bye, but-as the adage goes: When one door closes, a new one opens. Your current group may be moving on to another teacher or classroom soon, but now is the time to celebrate the circle of friends created by a year of cooperative group time activities. So much is learned in working together. We learn to share ideas and to listen to and support each other. Celebrating what you've learned this year will help children (as well as teachers!) know that you will always be connected ... no matter where you go next.
Enjoy a Circle of Friends
Here is a wonderful song and dance that celebrates the friendships that have developed in your group this year. Have children form two concentric circles, one inside the other. Children sing the song as the circles move around in opposite directions. At the end of a verse, have children stop and turn to face someone in the opposite circle. They can shake hands, spin each other around, or give a high five! Sing the song and stop and start several times so children can acknowledge different friends.
FRIENDS (TUNE: MULBERRY BUSH)
We are all friends who play
Sing with you
Share with you
And when every day
(year) is through
We'll still be friends
Make a Map of Friends
How are we all connected? Through our friendships! This is a group time art project that invites children to experience how we are all connected to one another. Place a sheet of mural paper on the floor in the center of your circle. Seat children around the outside edge of the paper. Encourage them to draw a self-portrait on the part of the paper that is in front of them. Then ask children to draw a path from themselves to their friends. Where do the paths intersect? What does the map design look like? Children might like to name their roads and streets. Display the map of friends on a bulletin board for all to see!
Reflect on Fond Memories
Take time to reflect on the year together and look ahead to the next group coming into the classroom. Ask children if they remember how they felt on the first day of school. Explain to them that you'll need their help in writing a message to the incoming class so they know what to expect! Ask them to close their eyes and think about what they liked best this year. When they're ready, they can open their eyes and raise their hands. Then print their contributions on chart paper.
Here is a sample of what the letter might look like:
Dear new kids,
We would like to tell you about the fun things we did in class that you might get to do, too!
Jessica liked playing with the blocks.
Terrell liked working on the computer.
Beth liked to play dress-up, (and so on)
Invite children to sign the letter. If possible, add a photo of the class!