Because it's close, people, awfully close (at least for those of us non-East-Coasters - I know some of you go to like the end of June). I've got 17 school days left - 17! And then.....goodbye.
So I'm trying to figure out what I want to do to wrap it all up. It's different this year since I'm teaching 8th graders; they won't be back in the fall and I feel like we should mark the passage to high school in some way.
Here's what I've got so far. Some is the same as every year; I want to add some new, though.
- I'll do my end-of-year notes and composition notebooks. I stocked up on those last summer when they were on sale for 50 cents each rather than the usual two dollars - feeling pretty proud of myself for thinking ahead here. :) I'll also do a class picture of each class and give each kid a copy.
- All my kids will sign a yearbook for me to keep as a memento; I really like doing this and would recommend it to everyone if you don't already.
- They'll do an evaluation for me about the year and my class and things I should change and things I should keep and all that good stuff. It'll be a little more extensive than my trimester-ly one, but not a whole ton.
- I got a fancy copy of Oh, the Places You'll Go! and may get another one, because this might take two. We're going to have every 8th grader write a sentence about the places THEY'LL go in the book and then keep it in our library for future kids to look at, or for themselves to come back and see.
But....that doesn't feel like enough. I could do letters to their future selves and deliver them to the local high school in four years, but with our mobility, a lot of these kids won't be there in four years....a fair chunk won't even be going next year.
I've thought about doing a Summer Literacy Challenge. I think it's such a cool idea, and while I don't know that too many kids would actually do it, it'd be awesome if any of them did. And I could totally come up with sweet stuff for a high school survival pack. Plus that would offer a way to continue our relationship a bit; they'd be able to email me or mail it to me or drop it by the school....and actually I could go to the high school one day to collect them from the kids who do go there (which is most of them). And I could talk to them about the summer reading gap as encouragement to do it....okay, as I'm writing, I'm talking myself more and more into this, so I think I will do this too. Actually, I'm kind of in love with the idea now and can't wait to start planning it.
But still. I want more. More of a celebration - maybe have kids read bits of their favorite portfolio pieces? As one final class celebration, and bring snacks and stuff again? Make a banner for next year welcoming my new students to class - ooh, maybe with six word memoirs about the year on them?
What do YOU do?
(Image credit to Eleaf)