With the sun shining over Asphalt Green, Kindergarteners marched proudly across the turf to their designated spots on the Eastern half of the field, waving enthusiastically to their parents or guardians who waited on the opposite sideline. Once the scholars were settled with their class, legs crisscrossed in a neat line, parents were able to take their place standing behind them.
The adult guests had gathered on this warm May morning to partake in a special end-of-year writing celebration! The students were to read their very own completed books aloud and share how they have grown as writers during their first year at Chapin. (Due to capacity limits and health protocols at Asphalt Green, only one grown-up per child was able to attend).
Students wiggled in their spot on the turf, eager to share their accomplishments and wisdom with their grown-up. Before they could begin, each Head and Associate teacher gave similar introductions to their respective groups.
“We want to begin by sharing a little bit about our process in the ‘All About’ writing unit,” Head teacher Alana Cimillo announced to her parent group.
The guests learned that students had deepened their writing abilities which now includes nonfiction works, such as their “All About” pieces. Each writer began by generating a list of choices by asking: “What are some topics I know all about?”
“Taking on the role of teacher, they wrote books full of information that taught the reader all about a particular subject,” she said, smiling through her mask.
The young authors planned their stories page-by-page and learned vital skills to keep readers interested, such as adding vivid details and drawing clear pictures. These stories also helped students hone their spelling and legibility skills.
Although the students had likely seen their grown-up mere hours before, they leapt up excitedly after their teacher was finished and hugged them tight before beginning their book.
Spread out on colorful blankets across the turf, the grown-ups listened intently to their child’s detailed descriptions of topics ranging from soccer to art and cats to golf. Many notebooks even sported the title: “All About The Chapin School.”
After spending some time together, and chatting with the teachers and Head of Lower School Thérèse Cruite, the guests heard the chime of a bell, signaling that it was time for a partner read. Students quickly found their reading buddies and plopped onto the ground together. The two then took turns reading their story aloud once more for their new audience members.
Once all stories were read, a game of tag ensued! Laughter echoed across the field as students sprinted, jumped, and played; having copious amounts of fun. As their time came to an end, they quickly lined up and headed back to Chapin, waving to their grown-ups and smiling all the way.