Rituals and Traditions

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break. We certainly did at Sprouting New Beginnings! It’s always nice to have the opportunity to recharge ourselves, relax, & spend time with family & friends.  As many of us have gone back to school we might be noticing that our children have fallen out of routine. This is typical! So what is a teacher to do?Rituals

Over the holiday break we had the wonderful opportunity to explore the book, Rituals and Traditions, Fostering a Sense of Community in Preschool by Jacky Howell and Kimberly Reinhard. This book is published by NAEYC and empowers readers with creative ways to build rituals and traditions in the classroom. The book explores why it is important to develop rituals and traditions. It highlights three reasons:

1. Rituals and traditions connect communities
2. Foster a sense of belonging
3. Create a supportive learning environment

You may be asking, what is the difference between routines, rituals, and traditions?  In this book the authors describe routines as, “repeated, predictable events that are planned parts of the day, week, or month.”  Rituals are,”intentional ways of approaching a routine…” Rituals help children make deeper connections within our daily routines.  The authors define traditions as, “meaningful events or experiences that a class or program has created and that are expected to occur regularly.”

Integrating rituals and traditions into your classroom community provide value to both adults and children.  They help develop safe and secure environments along with teaching values, problem solving skills, and create a sense of identity.

We recommend this book to any teacher looking to strengthen their classroom community in the new year.  What are some routines that you currently do in your classroom? Is there a way you can transform a daily routine into a ritual?  Think about your children’s interest, songs or special books to get ideas. The authors offer an opportunity to reflect on your practice by providing questions at the end of each chapter.  One we’d like to highlight to get you thinking is: “What rituals and traditions do you remember from your own childhood?”Songs & Chants for Signing

In our classroom, the use of American Sign Language (ASL) is a ritual.  We intentionally teach words in a fun and engaging way through songs, stories, and games. This hands-on experience engages the children’s senses and is repeated several times a day.  Our children’s favorite way to engage in ASL is when they sing.  If you haven’t explored singing and ASL or are looking for new song ideas check out our Songs & Chants for Signing!

We will explore some of the wonderful and creative rituals and traditions from this book in a future blog.

Still looking for more?  Try integrating ASL into your learning centers or story time. We have created lots of helpful resources for you. Visit one of our stores at Teachers Pay Teachers, Syllabuy or Teacher’s Notebook.  We are having sales on all of our teacher sites starting on Thursday and running through this weekend too! Also, come join the fun and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.  

Happy Signing II