A Word of Advice....

Every year, as the learning draws to a close and the students are ready to head on out to the next grade level, I have the students write a letter to those incoming children.  As I suspect many of you do, I like them to write letters giving the next set of students advice on what to expect, how to get along, and generally what to do to be successful in my class.  It is great to have these for the first day of the next school year to set the tone, as well as to read them over as a sort of reflection on my own teaching practice (to see what the kids liked, what they didn't, etc...)

This year, however, I just don't have the time.  The thought of taking the kids through yet another complete writing process...when we are in the middle of testing, Open House looming on the horizon, 3 Donors Choose letters that are due, graduation speeches, cleaning up the room....seriously, my brain is hurting just thinking about it all.  I don't want to just give it up entirely though, so I found a solution.

teachinginroom6.blogspot.comI created this "A Word of Advice" foldable book.  It is a simple little double sided sheet, with space for the students to write the thoughts they normally would have put in letter form.  However, in this, it is just a fill it in type thing.  No prewrite.  No editing.  No work for me at.all.  I am in love!












Upper grade blog   education   teaching in room 6And so are my kids!  I gave it to them today and actually let them have little discussions as they were completing it.  Eavesdropping in on this was priceless.  I learned that they love hearing my stories (I tend to go on tangents about my kids or childhood experiences when I am teaching) and that they were really stressing the importance of putting evidence on every.little.thing (YAYAYAYAYA!!!!!!!!)  They also knew that if you want to make me happy, you just have to show up with at Diet Pepsi in hand.  :)

I can't wait to read them all!  The kids were taking it so seriously, yet I didn't have to do any monitoring or teaching.  Perfect for the end of the year.  :)  If you would like this activity for your class, it is available at my TpT store (for $1.50).  I really am super happy with how this brainstorm came out!  I will leave you with a few pictures I snapped of them as the kids were working.  I really am so excited about this!  Do you do something similar?  What? Please share!

mrs. Moorman    5th grade blog

25 comments

  1. Perfect! Just what I was wanting to do with my kiddos.

    Thanks,
    Elizabeth
    Fun in Room 4B

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  2. Oh I love it Steph!!! Off to buy it :) So cute!

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  3. I have to agree about getting them to write a formal piece at this time of the year! I love it!

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  4. Aww...thanks guys! It really has been such a timesaver for me, with just as good (if not better) results as a letter would have. I am glad you all like it!! :)

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  5. That's awesome, Steph! Makes me wish I didn't still have SIX AND A HALF weeks to go (yes, I yelled that!). On the bright side ... I'm booking off tomorrow ... maybe I'll get some work done ... but probably not since the girls aren't feeling well and are staying home with me.

    Jen
    Runde's Room

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  6. LOVE!!! I usually have them write a letter but I like this change.....off to buy

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    1. Thank you mrsp! It really was a nice change of pace, I have to say. I can't wait to show them to my new students! :) Let me know how it goes in your class!

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  7. Great idea and change of pace for the end of the year.
    Sandra
    Classroom Companion

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  8. I really like this post!! Great Idea!!! And, the older ones love leaving advice!
    :)
    Ann Marie

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  9. How fun! Your kids know you so well! I popped over from A Teacher's Treasure giveaway to say hi. I was already a follower :)
    Pamela
    pfulk@cox.net
    First Class Teacher

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  10. Great idea! I think even my third graders will love it.

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

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    1. I used to do the letter in 3rd grade, so I am sure they would like the folded book too! :)

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  11. Super cute. I mentioned your activity in my blog post tonight. I also created an end of the year activity. It is a "School Year Survival Guide." Please check it out.

    ~April @ ideabackpack.blogspot.com

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  12. This idea is goid for everyone: "old" and new students l, and you. You might leave a few out at open house in the fall, too. Very nice! Carolyn

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    1. Thanks Carolyn! And that is a great idea...to leave them out. I didn't even think of that. Would definitely be a conversation starter for the parents!

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  13. I love this idea! Stopping by to say hi from the giveaway at A Teacher's Treasure!

    Allie
    the-gypsy-teacher.blogspot.com

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  14. I agree with Carolyn, it's a win-win-win!! Thanks for sharing; what fun to get in on their reflections!!

    Sending smiles,

    Barbara
    The Corner On Character

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  15. Such a great idea! I am doing something similar with my 8th graders, but we are creating an advice video using flip cameras. Today they created their scripts and tomorrow we are filming. I am excited to use it at the beginning of next year.

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    1. I actually did that one year too. It was AWESOME! Let me know how yours turns out!

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  16. This is a great idea! It gives you feedback on you, gives them something productive to do at this CRAZY time of the year, and serves a purpose for your new students next year!

    Love it!

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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  17. I just awarded you with the One Lovely Blog Award! Check out my blog for more details.
    Darleen
    Third Grade Love

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  18. I love this and will buy it tonight! I wonder if I can get it done before Open House tomorrow night? I'm going to try!

    Heather
    Http://teachittoday.blogspot.com

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  19. Great idea! I am heading over to TpT now! Thanks for sharing this great idea. I am a new follower!
    Hilary
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

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