This activity is meant to not only help you get to know your students, but can also be used as a type of pre and post writing activity!
I always have my students work on the beginning of the year newspaper as morning work for the first week of school. Students are asked to try their best, but are not given a lot of assistance. This allows me to get to know a little about them, but also lets me have a “sneak peak” at their writing ability at the beginning of the year. Once students have completed this activity I display them for a week or two and then file them away.
During the last week of school have the students complete the end of the year newspaper. Once they have completed this activity, pass the beginning of the year version back out and allow them to compare the two. They will be amazed at how much they have grown throughout the school year! This will show improvements in their writing skills, handwriting, and other areas as well! They are always very proud of the growth that they can see and it is a very positive way to end the school year!