End of the School Year, a Family Event

“Gloria, we’re going to a castle.
It’s a party for the Aqua Room families.
You’re in charge of the picnic basket.”

“Are you having a fun ride in the wagon?
It’s a long ride up the hill.”

“Whoa!  What is this place?”

“It’s a castle, Bancroft Castle on Gibbet Hill.”

Children ran and played in the old castle ruins.
Families brought a picnic basket.
We ate ice cream, sang songs, and danced together to the Boston robots.

The highlight of the evening was giving families their child’s year-end portfolio,
a collection over each month of art, picture stories, writing, and photos.
For some children, writing their name was a landmark.
For others, it was detailed self-portraits and story telling.
For parents, it was priceless.

A final group photo captured everyone’s personality.
I love this photo!

Here is a video of families enjoying the evening.

Happy Summer,

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in art, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Family, Gloria, Inspiration, preschool, Teaching young children and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to End of the School Year, a Family Event

  1. Ritu says:

    Oh, Jennie! This looks like so much fun!!!

  2. beth says:

    what an incredibly cool event

  3. What a wonderful completion of the school year. I am sure, priceless for the pupils, and their parents! Happy Summer, Jennie! Enjoy iit by starting with a wonderful weekend! Michael

  4. I think the video says it all–children and their families excited about LEARNING!

  5. Aw! Brilliant ending to the school year!

  6. Everything about this is perfect…

  7. Dan Antion says:

    What a wonderful way to end a difficult year!

  8. quiall says:

    What an incredible event to end the year with. And what an amazing gift to give to the family.

  9. So much fun!!! Hard to believe it’s over for another year. I remember your post about the first day of school and now it’s the last already. You’ve added so much to these kids’ lives. Soon you can have a break and come up for air and a well deserved rest.

  10. willedare says:

    What a great day!!! Lovely to share in it via this uplifting blog post, Jennie… THANK YOU for all you do!!!!

    • Jennie says:

      It was the best! Just what families and children needed after a year of so many restrictions. Thanks so much, Will. I’m glad it was uplifting for you.

  11. beetleypete says:

    The perfect end to a wonderful year of education. You break up early, it’s not until July here.
    (That ‘castle’, how old is it really? 🙂 🙂 )
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks so much, Pete. Schools finish here mid June and return the first of September, roughly. July is terrible, but don’t you get big breaks throughout the school year?

      The castle was built at the turn of the century by a fellow who established himself in the military and fought in the Civil War. Groton was his hometown. Sadly he ran out of money before his castle home was finished. It then became a hospital, a sanitarium, and then was used by the hunt club in the 30’s. Fourth of July fireworks burned the castle, so now the remaining structure is there for anyone to enjoy.

      It was common in New England to use these stones (they’re still everywhere) to build castle homes. Perhaps new Englanders wanted a little piece of their English roots. 🙂

  12. Another school year well done!

  13. A super time, Jennie. I hope you enjoy your summer as well.

  14. Darlene says:

    What an amazing way to end the year!! And the perfect location too. Glad Gloria was able to come along. The kids will remember this for a long time. Enjoy your summer break. xo

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Darlene! It was so much fun, and just what families needed after a long year of not being together. Actually, it was a child in the class who asked if Gloria could come to the party. 🙂 Happy summer!

  15. Shoes says:

    What a wonderful day for them all, and for you as well, I imagine!
    Have an amazing summer. 🙂

  16. Don Ostertag says:

    It was priceless for more than just the parents. It is something the little ones will always remember.

  17. Happy Summer, Jennie! I loved the video and seeing all the families together sharing a moment with their child or children. It looks like so much fun. A little bit of normal going on. 🙂 Hugs.

    • Jennie says:

      Happy Summer, Marlene! That simple video is one of my favorites. Doesn’t it capture everything? I get a lump in my throat every time I watch it, which is often. It was so much fun, and just what families needed after this Covid year. Many hugs to you! 🙂

  18. Wonderful! ❤ Happy Summer to all! xo

  19. petespringerauthor says:

    Looks like so much fun, Jennie. Why am I not surprised you do this with your families? I used to go on an end-of-the-year bike trip with my students and their families to a nearby park. That was always one of my favorite days of the year. One remarkable year every child in the class had at least one parent attend.

    • Jennie says:

      It was so much fun! I have to say that many of the teacher’s year end events are more like a second grade concert. Too staged, and not really what young children and families need. It takes teacher bravery to plan something less structured. Ours was wonderful for everyone.

      I’m not surprised you did a year end bike trip with kids and families. Those events are the best! The year everyone attended with at least one parent- priceless.

  20. Mireya says:

    What a great idea.

  21. dgkaye says:

    So much fun! Wonderful Jennie. Happy summer! ❤

  22. Elizabeth says:

    At the end of my daughter’s four year old year they had such a party at the beach. Just food and lots of running around. That was structure enough for them.

  23. That looks like a wonderful end to the school year, and a lovely beginning to summer fun!

    The countryside looks beautiful!!

  24. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, What a lovely way to end the school year!

  25. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    Here is another wonderful post from the excellent teacher, Jennie!

  26. What a lovely way to end the school year Jennie!

  27. How wonderful, Jennie. Another group of kids on their way with a positive attitude about school and learning! 🙂 Have a wonderful summer.

  28. This looks like such a fun event, Jennie. I do miss these days when my children were small like this.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Robbie. These are fun and precious days. I miss them with my children. I’m lucky to celebrate them with families at school.

  29. Reading your posts is like having a second childhood, Jennie — a super-duper spiffy nifty childhood stuffed with the best of being a kid! Thank you for letting us relive our inner kid-ness vicariously!

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