Grades are in. School is almost over.
Here is my end of the year survival guide to help teachers keep their sanity , if you still have it and to better prepare for the next school year. I have included a lot of links and picture examples to help you access these ideas easier. Good luck, and I hope you have a great end of the year.
The end of the school year means, awards. Here are some great TPT products that I have used in the past that have went over really well. My students really like to vote for the student awards. I give each student a list of their classmates names and place the awards around the room. The students quietly walk around the room and jot down the award they nominate their peer. It is a fun way to give students the class at the end of the year.
B– Bucket Lists
I have seen this done in a few different ways; summer bucket lists, next year’s bucket list, Life bucket list. This is a great twist on setting future goals or even a future list of books they would like to read.
C- Celebrate the year with a Cootie Catcher!
D– Dream Big!
Read the students, Oh, the Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss and create a passport, suitcase etc… that helps them dream about places they will go.
E– Envelope home
Send an envelope home with each student with a postage stamp and your address (school address if you prefer them NOT know where you live 😉 and encourage them to write you over the break.
F– Fun with Minute to Win it Games!!!
Field days usually take up some of these activities, but watching students pick up penne pasta with a spaghetti noodle in their mouth is completely worth the $5 spent at the grocery store. Here are some great ideas.
G– Goodbye Poems
Create a kit- Envelope, goodbye poem, calendar for parents (see below)
H– send Home an activity calendar
Better yet, have the students create the calendar in class. My 5 year old gets a calendar sent home every month filled with daily activities I am to do with him throughout the month. Each month has a theme. This would be a lot of fun to create and fun to hand the parents on awards day.
I– Interactive Notebook
I use a teacher notebook to document all of my foldables, activities, lessons, and plans throughout the year. During this time of the year, I like to look through the notebook and reflect over the lessons. What went well? What can be tweaked? and what should be thrown out completely.
J– Jump into next year (content)
Again, this is reflection time. I have changed grade levels for the last four years, and I have had the opportunity to write curriculum for many of them. This is the time of the year that I like to look at the Years’ units and make notes.
K– Survival Kit
Give every student a brown paper bag. Tell them to go home and place objects in the bag that helped them survive the year. Give them a checklist of items they have to bring or allow them to be creative. Here is the checklist I use for my class. (pencils, erasers, aspirin, band aids, candy etc…) Bring the bag to school and have each student display or present their survival kit.
L– Letter to the upcoming students
I have had my students write a letter to the upcoming students for the last few years. This letter includes advice on how to survive the grade, Warnings, What to look forward to, and ‘insider’ information about the teachers. The students receive this letter on the first day of school.
As you can tell, it is easy to create an alphabet list of memories or to do lists. I ask the students to do the same. It is great for reflection, for remembering everything they learned academically, and memories throughout the year. AND it keeps them busy for a couple of days. Just create a grading rubric or checklist and set them free!!!
O– organize, Organize, Organize!!! Closets, file cabinets, classroom libraries etc….
P– PURGE!!!! Toss
This is a great site (free) that you can search end of the year vocabulary quizzes. You can make this as serious or as silly as you would like.
R- Reading Party
Have the students bring their favorite Children’s book to school, pillows, blankets/towels, and have a reading party. Allow each student to read their children’s picture book out loud or to a small group for a few days.
Survey monkey is a great survey site that you could email out to the parents to students to gain even more reflective data from.
T– Teachers Pay Teachers – POST your products!!!!
U– Unit wrap ups
V– vote- have students vote on student awards, teacher awards etc…
I think having the older students vote for teacher awards for the entire school would be a lot of fun. (I’ll let you know how it goes)
W– Would you Rather or Wordles
Create a power point of content based Jeopardy game that includes content from the year. Assign teams and play!!!!
Y– Yoga and Meditate
Sounds weird, I know. But, my students really loved learning how to meditate, be mindful and practice a few balancing yoga stances. Here are some great links that will walk you through it. Youtube- Yoga for kids- great kid friendly videos.
Z- Zany Board Game Tournaments
I have always loved having a Scrabble tournament in class. (Chess could easily replace Scrabble) This lends itself nicely into our curriculum, and it motivates the students to come back every day with a positive, excited attitude.