From this year’s students to next – The end of year letter
How to get some feedback from the swirling mob aka 8th graders smelling the open fijords of summer freedom? Tried the survey route and, unless you want the few flames in the comments section to ruin your summer, there has to be a better way…
This is it – have them write a letter to next year’s 8th graders about the highlights of the year, how 8th grade will help them in their lives, how it’s different from 7th grade, and advice for success. They like doing this and it gives me a window into what activities and knowledge really stick, plus I think it’s good for them to think back and appreciate how far they’ve come this year too. Here’s the Letter from 8th grade now to next year assignment and rubric.
Yes, it’s graded and no, not anonymous, so it’s not research level data. It forces them to put a positive spin on the year because I will mark them down for inappropriate comments. That’s a good thing. I know the stuff that I need to work on already from observing and from journal writes throughout the year, parent conferences etc.
I’m really enjoying reading these letters and frankly, that’s important at this stressful time of year. I’m pretty sure next year’s 8th graders will love being welcomed to class with a missive from last year’s students too. I hope you’ll enjoy doing something similar with your guys too.
Sooo looking forward to a massage with my friend on Friday, moments after the hordes depart, the rumble of hoofs fades, the dust settles and summer stretches out on warm sand.
What the kids had to say about 8th grade science 2011-12
– Liked the large number of labs, especially the food science labs.
– Liked the redo policy.
– Liked the egg head helmet project aka the egg drop, and the silly walks and rock climbing labs.
– The Energy Opportunity Project was not mentioned as much as I’d expect. Seen as similar to TAP last year.
– Thought the curriculum was relevant to their lives but fast paced and initially confusing.
– Felt there was not too much homework or tests.
– Advised next year’s students to study for tests as they were harder than last year, stay on my good side and laugh at my puns, even though they are painful.
Surprising how much some of my less academic students seemed to have picked up, based on their letters. That was really gratifying.