This class was special because last year was the first time our grade sixes would be leaving the school. Up until last year, we had been a K-8 school. With a new intermediate school built in our area last year, our school because a K-6 school, and my students would be moving on at the end of the year. I had had most of my grade 6 students for two years, and I couldn't imagine not seeing them in the hallways next year. Definitely bitter sweet, but I also knew they would love and excel in their new surroundings.
OK - back to the letter. For our little twist on the end of the year letters, I had students come up with One Little Word that summed up their year. They wrote this word on their whiteboards, and many of them decorated their whiteboards, as well. I took a picture of them holding their whiteboards in front of a blank bulletin board. (The little happy faces on the students are just there for privacy reasons).
I have this awesome little photo printer in my classroom - Epson PictureMate Charm Photo Printer. The school had purchased one for the primary grades for all the photo documentation they have do, but as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted my own, so I bought one. I absolutely LOVE it. You can instantly print pictures from your digital camera by putting the memory card right into the printer, or plugging the camera into the printer. I use it a lot in the classroom. I just leave my little digital camera at school so I have it whenever I need it. When not in school, I tend to take pics on my phone or my SLR camera.
I made a quick anchor chart for my students to reference while writing their letters. They needed to include their One Little Word in each paragraph they wrote. They also needed to include at least 3 paragraphs in their letter, written in friendly letter format. When finished, students published their letters on the computer, adjusting their font size so that their letter only took up half the page. We photocopied their letters onto fancy paper, and glued their pictures underneath. I then laminated them and posted them all on a bulletin board for next year's class to read (their classroom was next door to ours).