I teach a 4/5th grade combo class. My 5th graders are moving on to middle school, so we do a couple of traditions to mark the transition. We don’t do to much, as our middle school is right across the street and comes over for lunch; we are pretty much a K-8 campus.
This tradition is when each of my 5th graders make a “will” leaving certain things to the next year’s class. These are not just physical things, like cubbies and classroom hooks, but personality traits, like sense of humor, dedication, and friendliness. They read them to the class one of the last days. So they will say “I leave my clean cubby to ______” or “I leave my sense of humor to _________” or “I leave my math skills to _________” It’s fun and good way to recognize each other’s strengths.
“I Remember” Speeches
Over the course of their time at our school, at the start of the year, each student draws a self-portrait. We keep these every year and when they are promoted to middle school, we have a collection of 6 portraits from K-5th grade. During the ceremony, each student shows one at a time, and then says a sentence that goes with each. For example, if they are holding up the Kindergarten portrait, they could say “I remember when we hatched chicken eggs.” They say one memory for each grade. It’s a sweet way to see their progress, especially through the transition of self-portraits, from Kindergarten blobs to fully-formed human bodies.
During the promotion ceremony, the fifth graders were special hats that are made by the Kindergarteners. They are so funny and creative. We don’t give them any ideas, and we provide paper, feathers, stickers, yarn, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, etc. When I get a chance I can put an example in here, but you can probably imagine what they look like!
— Good luck with your final days!
Evil Math Wizard