After everyone cleaned up, we would meet on the carpet in our meeting place for Celebration Time. We sit in a circle and each child gets to "celebrate" something that they did during Center Time that day. In the beginning of the year you might get things like, "I played in Block Area." I would probe by asking questions like, "What did you build in block area?" Part of my goal was to get the children away from over-using the word "play" and begin to think of what they really did. Not that there's anything wrong with the word "play" - I am an advocate of play. I just want children to expand their vocabulary and think a little deeper about their actions. A few months into this, children would say things like, "Chris and I worked together to fill the buckets in the sand table and we made moon pies."
Sometimes children would bring papers to the Meeting Area. I would put a basket on the rocking chair and if they had something they wanted us to CELEBRATE, they would put it in the basket. It might be a picture they drew at the art table, a story they wrote, a picture they drew of their block structure (I would keep blank paper, pencils and clipboards in every center in case children wanted to draw pictures of what they were doing).
Here are some advantages to Celebration Time:
- Children begin to think about what they are doing, WHILE they are doing it. Their learning becomes more self-planned and purposeful.
- Clean-up time becomes a little easier because children are EXCITED to celebrate with everyone!
- It encourages children to revisit their learning.
- When children go home and parents say, "What did you do today?" they just may be able to say a little bit more than, "I played."
- Children learn to take pride in their accomplishments!
- Children learn ideas from one another about things that they may want to try the next day.