Our 5th graders had a tradition of signing T-shirts on the last day of school. We never really gave them permission, but we allowed it in the spirit of leaving for middle school with happy memories. Year after year, the tradition grew until students were asking even teachers to sign their shirts, khaki pants, their belts, their legs. It got out of control!
So this year, we had a plan. We created these autograph books and showed them to our students, explaining how they'd be given time and materials to collect signatures and notes from all of their classmates. On the last day, this activity was a hit! Every student got to participate, not just the ones who knew their mothers wouldn't kill them for getting their shirt signed. We spent lots of time writing notes and saying goodbyes to our fifth graders. Now they'll have a keepsake to remember all of their fifth grade friends.
These autograph books will be a new tradition at our school. I hope you can adopt a similar tradition of your own!