To help build community in my classroom, I have students take turns being our "Star of the Week." During the week that a student is our "Star," each day consists of an exciting event or activity to honor him or her. It is also a way for students in the class to learn more about each other and each other's families. Parents choose the week that their child will be our star by signing up at Curriculum Night. As you will see, parents also take part in some of the "Star of the Week" activities.
Parents receive note at the beginning of the year and again prior to their child being the Star of the Week that describes what each day of the week will entail.
Monday: Sharing Sack
The week before a student is Star of the Week, a backpack will be sent home with the child. Students have a week to collect special items with which to fill the bag at home and bring it back to share with classmates on Monday. Students also bring photos of their choice to display on our Star of the Week bulletin board (see photo at left).
Tuesday: Favorite Book
The star student brings one of his or her favorite picture books to read to the class (or have the teacher read to the class) at our class meeting. I encourage students to practice reading the story aloud at home first.
Wednesday: Parent Letter
Parents are asked to write a letter to the class about their child. They send the letter in a sealed envelope to school with their child, and I read the letter to the class at class meeting. The content of the letter is up to the parents, but I give them the following ideas:
- Describe special or funny stories about your child for the class to hear.
- Write a silly or serious poem about your child, tell us some interesting things we may not know about your child.
- Send silly or special pictures with a letter describing the pictures, or write a short story with your child as the main character.
Parents are also given the option of sending in a video of their child at a special event or of their child as a baby for the class to watch. (The students loves when videos are sent in for the class to watch.) This day is so enjoyable for the student of the week and for the other students in the class!!
Parents are invited to join their child in the cafeteria for a special lunch on this day. They can also choose to invite a sibling or a favorite relative to be their child’s lunch buddy. Parents can have the buddy be a surprise or let their child know ahead of time. If parents are unable to make it during our lunch period, I plan a special lunch for the student instead.
Friday: Star Friends
The star student is presented with a friendship poster created by his or her classmates (see photo, above left). The poster will include the Star’s picture, surrounded by compliments written by his or her classmates. I give parents the option of switching any of the days listed above to better accommodate their own schedules.