I would like to share with you one of the most important and useful activities in our group. It is called “Star of the week”.
This activity is a great way to focus on each individual child. The “Star of the week” concept is meant for children to share some information about themselves with their classmates. By taking center stage, kids feel a sense of pride while they get to share fascinating facts and stories about themselves and their life with their friends. The concept helps us build a sense of community because children get to celebrate each other every week and improve language development and listening skills.
This is my second year of implementation of the “Star of the week” concept in my group and I can say is that I love the results of the process. The “Star of the week“ child is also “the helper of the day”. This means that the child becomes the first in line when we go to or from the outside play, circle time helper, clean up time organizer and whatever else we get to do throughout the day. Also, the child does a presentation during the circle time where he/she can tell us about him or herself.
The ”Star of the week” doesn't begin at the beginning of the school year. We started the project at the end of November. The reason for holding off is to give children more time to get to know each other better, make them feel more comfortable and confident speaking in front of each other. It gives me a chance to get to know children better as well.
This year I brought to my class a toy Fat Cat which became a good friend for everyone. The children named it Kesha. At the beginning of the school year the children, together with Kesha, learned the classroom routine. Kesha participated in every activity we did. We left him in our class for the weekend and he met us in the classroom every Monday. Everybody wanted to play with Kesha. So I decided to give every child a chance to have a sleepover with Kesha. This started our “Star of the week” project.
Kesha chose one child to become the next “Star of the week” during the circle time every Monday. The children were always eager to get selected. Kesha picked the one who behaved best and who was also a good helper around. I started with older kids and they became an example for youngest.
The project helped me teach the children a sense of discipline and responsibility because they understood that Kesha went to sleepover only with kids who followed the classroom rules well. I also created Kesha's Adventure Journal. This is a notebook where I wrote a letter to the parents and kids about our project on the first page. Parents were asked to write a short story after spending a weekend with Kesha and put some pictures about Kesha's adventures. These short stories helped children tell about their weekend with Kesha.
Also, I sent the book “Round Cat” for bedtime reading as well.
The book was written by a Russian writer Vladimir Aleksandrovich Stepanov who wrote both poems and novels for children. The book with the poem “Round Cat” was chosen on purpose. The poem is a pleasure to be both read and listened too. Children usually enjoy listening to the story. The poem is easy to memorize and can be used as a useful exercise for kids to try to remember it. This book is full of bright illustrations which children tend to look at with interest. The poem teaches children to tell right from wrong, that life should be lived with a purpose and that we should try to make it better.
On Friday evening “The Star of the week” received the bag with toy Kesha, a journal, a book and a crown “Star of the week” which I made myself.
I can't find words to explain how proud every child was to be “The Star of the week”. Everybody was ready to tell their own story about the time that they had with Kesha.
I would like to thank the following people for their help with putting this article together: Lada Tillman, Elena Paolercio, Lena Fedorova, Tatyana Sankova