Build Your Classroom Community with a Star Student
Do you constantly have students asking you “when is show and tell?” or raising their hands and wanting to share EVERYTHING about their family, vacations, weekends and life with you? Those are two of the big reasons we became teachers, right? It’s all about the little ones and hearing about their lives and making a difference in their lives. I struggled with finding a structured way to have students share about themselves or bring items in for show and tell without it just being my same few students every time. Introducing.. student spotlight, also known as student of the week or star student.
One of my FAVORITE times of the week now is when we do student spotlight. I send home a packet of posters a week in advanced, and give students seven days to work on it at home and bring it back to school. When they bring it back, they have written all about themselves, their families, their favorite things, and their hopes for the future.
They include pictures, bring in items for show and tell, and even bring in their favorite treat for everyone to share. Students get 20-30 minutes to share about themselves by reading what they wrote, talking about the pictures, sharing their items and answering questions from the audience. Students LOVE this moment, and beg to be the student spotlight star of the week!
This has helped build my classroom community so much, because what better way to make connections than to hear facts about a person’s life and realizing they are SO similar to you!! Plus, I have learned so much about my students, and it makes “when is show and tell?” so much easier, because you can tell students “when you are in the spotlight!” This is a great classroom community tool and a wonderful way to learn about your students and validate their home life and dreams. Parents love it too, as they love having their student recognized for their accomplishments.
Here is a breakdown of our allotted time for our spotlight share, however, this could easily be done in 10 minutes or up to 45 minutes:
- 3-5 Minutes: All About Me (read and show pictures)
- 1-2 Minutes: Questions About All About Me
- 3-5 Minutes: My Family (read and show pictures)
- 1-2 Minutes: Questions About My Family
- 3-5 Minutes: My Future (read and show pictures)
- 1-2 Minutes: Questions About My Future
- 3-5 Minutes: My Favorite Things (read and show pictures)
- 1-2 Minutes: Questions About My Favorite Things
- 2-5 Minutes: Turn & Talk About One Thing You Have Learned, One Compliment You Have and One Question You Still Have
I usually pick students randomly, but this can also be awarded based on a student of the week (at my school this is a different award), or it can be done based on birthdays.
If you are looking for a structured way to do student spotlight in your classroom, check out my resource here. This includes all posters, examples, and a detailed parent letter about working on this project at home. This project could also be structured to be done during school.
Typically, if I want to stretch the activity out for a whole week, I will let students do their big share on Monday, then do smaller shares throughout the week.
- Monday: Poster Share
- Tuesday: Special Items (bring 2-3 favorites from home)
- Wednesday: Parent Letter (or letter from special adult) read aloud
- Thursday: Book Share
- Friday: Star Book (students complete this) & OPTIONAL: Students bring in their favorite treat from home to share with the class
Have you tried student of the week, student spotlight or star student in your classroom? You can read more about how I incorporate student of the week time into my morning meeting. What questions do you have? Drop them in the comments below!