No two children are alike! At Spanish Schoolhouse, we believe that each child is special in their own way. We recognize and celebrate those differences throughout the year.
One way that we shine a spotlight on each of our students is by giving them each a chance to be the STAR of the classroom for a week, a program we call Estrella de la Semana (Star of the Week). Being the Estrella is a special recognition that our students really look forward to. Here are some ways we make it special and why we think it’s such a positive experience!
All About Me
With the help of their parents, students create a poster about themselves at home and decorate it with their own special flair. The posters display things like parents, siblings, and other relatives, pets, favorite foods, activities, vacation photos, etc. We call this poster, “All About Me/Todo Sobre Mi,” and it’s a good visual way for children to describe what’s important to them. Working on the poster together with mom or dad is a sweet time of teamwork that strengthens the school-home connection.
The activity of celebrating students individually and learning what’s important to them can help build a stronger classroom community. Students identify with each other when they discover that they share a favorite color or toy, or find out that they are not the only one with a new baby in the house! It also gives teachers insight into students’ lives that may help them connect in more meaningful ways. The bonds that are created facilitate learning and camaraderie and make the classroom a more familiar and comfortable learning environment.
California family therapist and author of Positive Discipline, Jane Nelson, says, “Self-esteem comes from having a sense of belonging, believing that we’re capable, and knowing our contributions are valued and worthwhile.” As preschool educators, we strive to build self-esteem in our students, instilling in them the power of a positive attitude and the importance of having self-confidence.
As part of the Star of the Week program, we encourage students to present their posters to classmates and teachers. Even the shyest child can present with teachers helping, as needed. Kids feel a sense of pride when they’re given center stage, and they build self-confidence in knowing they can communicate in a group setting. Sharing their favorite things in a safe, friendly environment is a great experience for a public speaking debut. What a positive way to prepare them for future presentations that will follow in school and careers!
In addition to the poster, students can bring a favorite item from home to talk about in Show-and-Tell during Circle Time. The Star of the Week may also be assigned special jobs such as line leader or teacher’s helper. They love to hold these important positions and practice their leadership skills, even at a young age! іQué divertido! How fun!
Honoring each student individually yields collective benefits for the class, but the main goal of Estrella de la Semana is to emphasize and celebrate each child’s uniqueness. We wrap up the week by presenting the STAR with a certificate. It’s a little reminder of just how special he or she is!