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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET 62  Chapter 2 Hilltop Children’s Center A Goodbye Book For our friend Natalie Raven: “I’ll miss you, and I hope that this book that we’re making you will help you remember us. I like the way you smile.” From the kids and teachers Liam: “I miss you. I like how you draw.” In the Garden Group Hilltop Children’s Center April 2002 Drew: “Natalie, goodbye. I will miss you. Could you come visit our school sometime? I wish you have a happy time at your new school and your parents have a happy time at their work and that you have happy stay-home days. I don’t like it when you go. I like being at Hilltop with you. And I love you. I hope you have happy days with your dad and mom. I like playing with you.” Marc: “Bye, Natalie.” PRINCIPLE   Celebrate Real Accomplishments As you work to create long stretches of open time for children to play, negotiate relationships, and engage deeply with one another, supplement these daily experiences with specific activities and rituals that foster a group identity and sense of history for the children and their families. Remember to stop from time to time and acknowledge and celebrate the joys of living and learning together in ways that connect children to one another, their families, their culture, and their wider community. Most early childhood programs dedicate some time to recognizing birth- days, first steps, lost teeth, and special events such as an addition to or loss in the family, a trip, or a holiday celebration. This gives recognition to individual chil- dren, acknowledging that their community cares and honors important events in their lives. Once again, clarify the values you want to influence your choice of special rituals and celebrations. Plan events that will support your classroom group culture as well as appropriately acknowledge individuals. Using Books to Mark Occasions Ann, along with numerous other teachers, uses home- made books to mark important occasions in her class- room. What social, academic, and classroom culture goals does this activity meet? Ann routinely has the children in her class, as well as the children’s family members, create pages for home- made books, which are then used in the classroom or sometimes sent home as gifts for families. These books have words and images from the children as well as photographs, drawings, or symbolic collages, and COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL