While I know many of you are already lounging poolside, we are wrapping up our last FULL week! Next week we will have one full day, three half days, and a teacher workday. The end is so close. ;)
Speaking of the end, if you didn't snatch up our Week 1 Freebie, click here to grab it! Sunday will be the last day to get it for free...but no worries, we'll be putting our next freebie up!
Rachel, it's not always cuppy cakes around here! ;)
However, I'm giving it my best to keep the little ones engaged until the very end. One of my very favorite end-of-the-year activities is to have my kids write persuasive letters to me telling why they are ready to move on up to 3rd grade!
I swear, I get some of the best writing from them. They really want to convince me, so they provide lots of details! :) I tell them that they will read their letter to a JUDGE and the judge will decide if they are indeed ready for 3rd grade.
They asked me ALL week long when the judge was coming. Then, on Thursday, I had another teacher walk them back from PE. I was sitting in the front of the room in my judge attire (old graduation gown), glasses down my nose, hair up in a bun. As soon as the first student saw me, a trickle started to go through the line, "The judge is here, the judge is here!"
Silence. Crickets. Seriousness.
Until I cracked. Then we were all rolling in laughter. I finally pulled myself together and we carried on. I called one student at a time up and had them read their persuasive letters.
They were nervous. Sweaty palms. The unknown.
They were supposed to tell me ways that they had become smarter and more responsible this year. If they failed to provide details, I questioned them. If they said they kept their desk clean, I may have went to inspect it.
Once I was satisfied, I banged the gavel and "sentenced" them to 3rd grade. The court room would then explode in applause and cheers!
Of course, there were some students who I knew would love the humor in this, so I might have made them sweat a little more. Sometimes I took a page from American Idol and worried them just a bit - "Joe, I'm so sorry *long pause* but I'm not going to see you every day next year. You are sentenced to 3rd grade!" or "You are sentenced to come back to this classroom next year *long pause* and visit often because I will miss you. You are sentenced to 3rd grade!"
I couldn't do that with all of the kids...some of them would have been in tears, but these took a dramatic swipe of the forehead, let out a huge sigh of relief and said "you had me sweating bullets!" or "whoa! I was worried for a minute!"
They loved it. Obviously, we still have a few days of school left, so I let them know that just because the judge had sentenced them to 3rd grade didn't mean it was official. They still needed to be on their A-game because the judge could always "revoke" the sentence. I let them know that it's not official until they get their final report card in the mail with the judge's signature!
Once everyone has been sentenced to 3rd grade, we usually take a "field trip" to visit 3rd grade. Last year, we went to one class and the teacher told them a bit about it and then my students partnered with her students and asked questions they had about 3rd grade. This year, we're just going to stroll down the 3rd grade hall and make observations. What can I say? The end is near!
You can find a couple of resources I use for this activity at Teacher's Clubhouse (Movin' on Up and A Trip to the Future), if you're interested.
What have you been up to??