Morning Meeting is a daily structure designed to build community in the classroom. With a friendly greeting, time to share about their lives, playful activities and important announcements, children get ready for a day of social and academic learning. In Morning Meeting, children practice social skills like maintaining focus and self-control, asking thought-provoking questions, making caring comments, listening intently, shaking hands in a friendly manner, asserting opinions, and finding their place in the community.
Hopes and Dreams
Each fall staff members, children, and parents articulate their hopes and dreams for the school year. Teachers consider goals for their professional development. They also share their dreams of peaceful and productive classrooms with the children. Children state, illustrate, and share their academic and social goals. In addition, parents and family members are asked to express hopes and dreams for their children. In all classrooms, these hopes and dreams are celebrated and beautifully displayed.
All School Meetings
To build community school-wide, children at New City have the opportunity to participate in our All School Meeting. 2-3 times per month the entire school gathers in our common space to greet one another, enjoy games, sing songs, make decisions, and practice social skills. Staff members team up to plan and lead these meetings.
Paired Classrooms Workshare
In addition to All School Meetings, each classroom pairs up with another to share a project they have been working on with each other. Workshare happens a few times each year giving students a chance to proudly present what they have been working on in their class. It also helps them build their presentation skills and keeps students of different grade levels in touch with what other classes are working on.
Building community happens outside the building as well as inside. At the beginning of the year, teachers plan structured activities for children on our playground. Children play group games that build skills of cooperation rather than competition. We believe that children need physical activity before they eat, so children play hard before lunch. As the year progresses, students have more and more choices about their play.