Culminations: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s that time of year again! The temperature is dropping, flurries are starting fall and children of all ages are eagerly awaiting the arrival of one very special day - Culmination! Just around the corner, these immersive events are hard to describe - a sort of half presentation, half life-size diorama, they must be experienced to be truly understood. With impeccable attention to detail, hard work and a wealth of information poured into each element, teachers and students create new environments out of their classrooms and showcase the deep learning that has gone on throughout the fall.

the 6/7s welcomed a visitor (and parent!) as part of their study.

the 6/7s welcomed a visitor (and parent!) as part of their study.

Every culmination is truly something to look forward to, as each classroom takes on a new and unique form. In the past, rooms have become barbershops, tenements, newsrooms and construction sites, just to name a few.  This year, topics range from the presidential election to sanitation, and students along with their teachers are hard at work creating props, costumes and other details that will bring their studies to life for themselves and their culmination visitors. The work that will be on display will reflect a variety of learning experiences including field trips, specials and classroom work; showing Corlears’ integrative approach at its best.

While the finished products are always amazing, it is the process of preparing for culmination that really leaves a lasting impression. During this time, students continue to collaborate as learners and as peers; learning to navigate how to work with one another to see their vision(s) through for their big day.  This time also served as an opportunity for reflection. With all of the work that goes into creating each component of a culmination, students are able to reflect on the educational journey that has led them to this point. Now experts in their given topic areas, they are able to look back on all of the learning they have experienced since the beginning of the year and take pride in their growth.

8/9s students share their work with a young visitor during last year's december culmination

8/9s students share their work with a young visitor during last year's december culmination

Culminations present yet another opportunity for Corlears to come together as a community. Not only do parents visit their children’s classrooms, but siblings, staff and other classes visit one another to admire the work of their peers.  8/9s teacher Kate reflects on this, saying that it is so “special when [students] share with the younger and older kids in the building… even if you’re not in a classroom, you’re able to be part of the learning experience and that is something very special about our culture.” During culminations, students can take ownership of their learning as they share their knowledge with their families and school peers. Each class takes pride in their efforts while also taking the time to celebrate the work of others in their community.

Beginning next week, students will share their work with the rest of the community. With excitement building, students, parents and staff look forward to seeing months of work and planning to fulfill a vision come to fruition. "There is a magic on that day where all of the learning they have done is shown on that day and the curriculum is alive,” says Kate. A time for reflection and celebration, it's truly the most wonderful time of the year.