Being the sappy teacher that I am, I like to try and make my last READ 180 class memorable for my students. I want them to reflect on how far they've come. I want them to remember the obstacles they've surmounted. I want them to use their accomplishments in READ 180 to inspire their futures.
A tall order for "Okay, have a nice summer", and one that probably won't be as meaningful to every student, but a goal that is still well worth striving for.
So for that last day (or days) of your READ 180 class, here are just a few things you might want to consider.
1. Student Letters
Ask your READ 180 students to write a letter to next year's class. Have them write down how READ 180 helped them. Ask them to focus on how it changed their reading, their self-image, and their future.
Not only will this get your students to reflect, it will give you some powerful ammunition to motivate next year's class!
Here's an example of a student letter, written by one of my students:
Dear READ 180 students,
When I first started READ 180 I hated to read. Every time I tried to read I would end up saying the wrong word and would get sad and mad.
READ 180 was very hard at first. And I didn’t really like it when I started (except for the videos). But I kept trying and it got easier.
Now, I am proficient! It was very hard to get, but it was worth it. My teacher and parents and family are very proud of me.
You can do what I did too. If you read more at home and try as hard as you can you can get proficient just like me.
2. Class Progress Slideshow
Take a screen shot of the Instructional Planning Report from the beginning and end of the year. After deleting the students' names from the image, drop them into a slideshow and let the students see for themselves just how far the class has come.
Beginning of the Year
End of the Year
Let applause ensue!
3. Individual Progress Slide Show
Go through your Progress to College and Career Reports and pull out a half dozen or so of the most impressive ones. Take screen shots of each (making sure not to get the students' names) and drop them into a slideshow.
Run through them as the clapping fills the classroom!
Note: One of the nice things about this is that you can show the student's progress over multiple years. The above example shows a student from the time she joined me in System 44 in 3rd grade until the end of 5th.
4. When In Doubt... Dr. Seuss
Many years ago, one of my undergrad teachers read us "Oh the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss on the last day of school. She prefaced it by explaining how we were transitioning into the next phases of our lives and asked us to reflect on where we've been and where we're going while she read.
It was such a powerful experience for me that I stole it as soon as I had my own class. On the last day, after I've gone on and on about how far my students have come and about how they can do or become anything they want, I always read them the book. And it is always a very powerful culminating activity... one that always reduces the number of dry eyes in the room.
(And, yes, mine are usually among the tear-filled)