Use the final days of school wisely!
They provide the last opportunity to positively impact this group of students.
Think–recognition of their strengths, affirmation of their worth, wishes for their futures.
Here are 5 ideas to take and adapt!
Allow students to do some of the planning and organization.
1. The Grand Good Bye! an end of the year team gathering (hopefully in a pleasant & comfortable spot)
• Slide show of pictures from throughout the year.****Make sure each child is represented and no one group of students is over represented–you may need to do some last minute photography!
• Positive recognition for each child –Explicitly state how each child contributed to the team–don’t let the cynics on the team rule the day! Identify a positive attribute in each student.
• Teacher skits of some of the more memorable team moments.
2. Sharing of portfolios:
• Kids share portfolios with incoming 6th or 7th or 8th graders as a preview of coming attractions for the next year.
* Students reflect on what they are most proud of from the year and share in small groups.
3. Homeroom Olympics: organize a field day with all sorts of fun activities and have each student sign up up to compete in at least two
• Tug of War
• Water balloon toss
• Backwards sprint
• Scavenger hunt
4. The Legacy–One last community service project that will stand as a reminder to your students that when they came together on a project they made a little corner of the world a better place.
• Create a garden at the school.
• Paint picnic tables at a local park.
• Write and illustrate children’s books for the incoming kindergartners
5. Exit Interviews: each homeroom or advisory teacher sits down for a one-on-one conversation with each child in their group
• Ask students to share suggestions form making the team experience better for the next group.
• Ask them to share their favorite activity of the year.
• Share one thing you really enjoy about the person you are chatting with.
• Offer one positive wish for his/her future.
Remember the old middle school adage:
They may not remember what we taught them, but they sure will remember how we treated them.