“Our Celebrations of Learning are an opportunity for our kids to show their parents what they are learning in school every day – whether it’s 3D mapping, French verbs or what they are designing in our Makerspace. Each student can proudly teach their parents something new they’ve learned!” Rita Rebizant, Principal, Stonybrook Middle School
“Are you smarter than a 6th grader?” At the Celebration of Learning at SMS, parents had an opportunity to go head to head with their grade 6 children on a Chromebook, answering questions gleaned from what the students were exploring in class. The competition was fierce! One dad’s response, “I am amazed how much my son knows, he beat me on a couple of math questions – I’ll have to brush up on my fractions. But what I really like is knowing that my son is learning and he’s loving school!
Stonybrook’s Celebration of Learning is an opportunity for parents to come into their children’s classrooms and have their child be the teachers – taking their parents through several classroom stations and demonstrating their learning. It gives parents an opportunity to engage with their children in a new way; their children are the experts and have the chance to proudly spend some time reflecting “this is what I’ve done, this is what I’ve learned this year”. Teachers take the back seat on these evenings, letting their students take the lead. “It’s amazing to see my students so confident; to hear them explain to their parents what they’ve learned about critical thinking, mental math, and the design process. I couldn’t be prouder of my class!”
Stonybrook began running Celebrations of Learning last year and have noticed that the parent response has been amazing. For most grades, about 75% of the parents come and spend time learning from their children. Parents also interact with teachers, and most teachers have noticed, “the conversations we have with parents on these evenings are really meaningful because they are in the classroom with us, and they get to see what their child is learning, the quality of their work and their thoughts and attitudes about school.”
Students spend time planning the Celebrations of Learning with their teachers and classmates. They decide what work they want to show, what learning they want to share and what their goals were for the year. Using the reflections they’ve written throughout the term, students can monitor their progress in each subject and determine in which subject area they’ve met their goals and where they are the most proud! They plan what they wish to celebrate!