Looking for a meaningful end-of-year program for your high school students? This is my favorite! It provides a sneaky way to do content analysis before the final exam. In addition, I learn a lot about the students’ perceptions of the class and about myself as a teacher in blended learning school Alexandria,VA!
Letter writing is my favorite end of the school year event. During the last week of school, each student writes an anonymous letter to students who will start classes next year. The process is fun for me and the kids, and we both benefit greatly from it.
I tell my students that it is a sacred tradition. The letter is their legacy. It will be shared with the next group of students who take my class, and possibly for years to come. What should you write about it?I ask them to choose at least three of the following motivations to write about: Their favorite part of the class. Describe their favorite laboratory or activity: what have we done, what is it?
Pass on suggestions to the next class, what they would like to do or are happy to do. Talk about their favorite topics. What new thing did you learn? Other things can be expected.
Suitable for year-end reviews and reflections
Writing a letter is a great way to do a year-end review. Invite students to compile a list of units you have learned. Then list the topics covered in each unit. Finally, fill in some memorable activities and learning experiences related to different subjects.
How to do it:
This part of the project can be done individually, in groups, as a class or in a combination! I like to start as a class and make lists for each group. Children write minutes in their own books in columns. Then, they work individually to find as many articles as they can remember for each minute to fill in the column.
Then they form groups and share topics, filling in whatever is left in their column. Finally, we come back to class together and I invite a group to give me some topics. The next group gives me topics that have yet to be named, and so on, until the last group can give me topics that get… something! Candy, extra credit, bragging rights…?
The final challenge is to remember activities that helped us learn about different topics. To save time, we end up doing it together as a whole class. This list is part of the magic of the letter – it makes them think clearly and remember the whole year! Consider doing this activity a day or two before the final exam, it helps students reflect on what we learned and how we learned it, throughout the year. write a letter
Now that their memories are refreshed, let them write! I am giving a piece of white paper. They should not use their own name, it is anonymous. In this way, they are free to act honestly and think, instead of trying to impress their peers or getting into bad things.
They can sign the letter “first biology course” or whatever they want. Encourage them to be creative, take pictures or write with crayons! Resist the urge to be aggressive while they work (don’t read over their shoulders!). You want them to be honest and sincere.
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