Over time our school principal, the music teacher, technology teacher, and a number of classroom teachers have developed the school assembly pattern with strength.
The principal writes the script with a different team of fifth grade emcees each week. He also leads the ushers in their work to organize and lead the crowd. In addition, he uses school meeting time for school-wide business and to highlight the school's vigorous service learning efforts by giving out certificates and allowing children to showcase their service learning work.
Today's assembly provided an excellent snapshot of the many powerful elements included each week.
First, this week's tech group showed the movies they made of last week's assembly as students walked into the large assembly room. The movies included last week's "All About the Books" student/teacher performance.
Next, the emcees led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, recognized this week's birthdays, and with the help of a first grade teacher, sang the birthday song.
After that teacher announcements included an update on the school's gardening efforts and a picture of first graders meeting with local veterans and leaders as part of their "Make Cards for Veterans" service learning project.
Then it was time for a sing-a-long. The school librarian and music teacher led us in an enjoyable round of "Down by the Bay."
Following that we had student shares including a drum performance and update on the first graders' maple sugaring efforts read by first graders. The principal then passed out certificates, acknowledged a young girl's effort to lead the whole school in a respect for differences, and a reminder of our schools motto:
Invested in learning.
Need to include.
Do our best.
Clearly the weekly assembly builds community by sharing learning highlights, teaching students about what makes a good community, fostering service learning, and celebrating birthdays, special events, and student interests and talents.
Does your school have a weekly assembly? If so, how is it the same or different than ours? What role does it play in establishing and developing your teaching/learning community's strength? I'm interested.