Making Memories

Is your school year winding down?  Ours is coming to a close in the coming weeks, and this is a great time for reflecting on what made this year special.  For us, it was the many hours spent creating memories with our students, sharing the journey with them!

We treasure our time spent exploring, creating, investigating, failing, predicting, trying again, observing, writing, discovering, blogging, revising ideas and predictions, reading, sharing, laughing, collaborating, growing, and learning!

Students in our classrooms love to write letters to the incoming group!  We ask them to name a few things to "look forward to" and a few to "watch out for."  It's hilarious to see what they think of!

What was the highlight of your year?  Do you have any must-do-every-year activities?  {{Global Read Aloud, Flat Stanley, Kidblog}}  Did you try anything new that you'll keep?  {{Skype with a scientist and an author, March Madness books}}  What will you ditch for next year?  {{those blasted toilet-paper tube angels and slip-n-slide for field day}}  Does anyone else allow students to help determine what is worthy of our time?  Make a simple Google Form for them to use and you'll get some fun comments!

Do you solicit feedback from parents?  Use a Google Form to allow parents and other stakeholders to give insight into what programs are valuable and what else might help our students succeed.

After all of the time we've spent together making these memories, we like to give our students a framework for recording some of the moments that made our year.  Be sure to take the time to discuss these moments and memories with your students.  We've found that this exercise is as much for us as teachers as it is for the students!  Ask your students what memories they're taking with them.  What events were their favorites?  We're always amazed at the little moments that we don't even think of!

As a teacher, we have a distinct privilege to make an impact on each student.  Years later they remember us and the activities, books, stories, songs, trials and tribulations we've shared.  It's always a thrill when we get a glimpse into what they remember.  Here is a letter a senior in high school shared with us recently - it was written when she was graduating from 5th grade and moving from our building to middle school.  It brought tears to our eyes, and made us again so very thankful for the opportunity to share in the lives of these young people!

If you need some ideas, please check out our End-of-the-Year Survival Kit - it's filled with ways for students to chronicle their memories of this year as a family of learners.  The years in elementary school seem to slip by so quickly, students will revisit these memories and lists years later and will share a smile or a laugh about what they've written.

Please leave us a comment to tell us how you mark the end of the year.  

Thanks for stopping by - and have a marvelous end to your school year!!

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