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.
I 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!
And 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!