May 9, 2017

10 End of the School Year Suggestions for Keeping Teacher Sanity!

Teachers are tired...students are tired...administrators are tired...everybody is tired, and we can all agree there is NO tired like END OF THE YEAR TEACHER TIRED!

Is the end of the school year finally in sight for you?  Are your students about to drive you NUTS?  If this describes you to a tee, I hope this blog post will provide you some suggestions and activities that will help you stay sane until that last school bell rings for the year!  If your state's standardized tests are in the books, and you are ready to let your hair down to have some fun with your students, take a look at these effective ways and end of the year activities to successfully end the school year!

1.  Let your Students Teach the Class:  Divide your students into groups.  Assign each group a specific standard or topic you've taught during the school year.  Provide them some time to discuss and review the skill.  Allow them to "teach" their classmates about the skill and create a class game to play to review the skill.  So, what does the teacher do while his/her students are teaching?  That's easy...they simply kick up their heels and evaluate their knowledge on the skill!

2. Create a Class Scrapbook:  Allow each student to be responsible for contributing one page to the scrapbook.  Let them include their favorite school memory, field trip, book, etc.  Laminate the pages, bind them, and place it on your bookshelf for your next year's students to enjoy.

3.  Create an End of the Year Lapbook:  This is probably one of my students' favorite activities to create.  In fact, we have made SEVERAL lapbooks throughout the year for different holidays.  My End of the Year Lapbook Craftivity allows your students to reflect and record their favorite memories from the school year.  The only items teachers will need to supply are a file folder and the NO-PREP printables included in this download for their students.  Students will only need a pencil, markers, crayons, scissors, and a glue stick to create this treasured keepsake!  Take a look at the preview and see what other teachers who have purchased it have to say about it!





4.  Have Students Write a Reflection Letter to Themselves:  Allow your students to write a friendly letter to themselves describing their favorite memories of the school year.  Teachers may also want to provide some specific prompts for students to address in their letter.  These prompts might include:  What is something you did this year that you are proud of?  What is an achievement or award you received this year?  What is something you could improve on for next year?  What would you have done differently this year if you had a second chance?  Describe your study and homework habits from this year and evaluate yourself on your performance.

5.  Create a Brochure:  Let your students create a trifold brochure to "sell" your class to the students you will be teaching next year.  Have them illustrate their favorite field trip or class activities they did during the school year.  Explain to your kids they should include a title for each illustration and a few bulleted points about their memories.  

6.  Swim Safety Lessons:  It's so important that your students leave your classroom with some safety precautions to equip them for the summer break.  Of course, summer is a popular time for students to be around swimming pools, lakes, and beaches.  My swim safety packet is one of my most popular spring/summer resources and can honestly be used with any grade level.  Click on the link to take a close look at what is included as well as the feedback other teachers have shared. 





7.  Create a Family Emergency Flipbook:   Because many students have working parents, they are oftentimes left home during the summer vacation.  After experiencing a medical emergency of my own last year, I can only imagine if my accident had occurred with a child or teenager and an adult was not home.  My Family Medical Emergency Flip Book is similar to our emergency folder we keep in our classrooms.  It's the "go to" which contains all of our parents' important phone numbers, personal information on each student, allergies, etc.  With this Family Medical Emergency Flipbook, your students will be equipped to make a 9-1-1 call with ease and answer all of the questions the dispatcher might ask.  Take a look to see what you think!  Fire prevention month isn't the only time we should think about an emergency...from my own personal experience, they can happen anytime with or without an adult around.





8.  Game Day:  Very seldom do teachers have enough time to play board games, and children today think the only games that exist are found on an iPad or iPhone.  Allow students to bring in their favorite board game and have various stations set up for students to rotate through and play a game with a friend.  It's amazing the skills that can be taught through playing games.

9.  End of the Year Slideshow:  If your students are older and have had experience with PowerPoint, Prezi, or any other program, allow them to create an end of the year slideshow.  Create a folder with pictures from this school year for them to choose from on a flash drive or the desktop of your class computers.  Students could even be paired to create an end of the year slideshow together.  Challenge them to insert text on the images or embed music! 

10.  Buddy Read:  Partner your class with a younger group of students and let them go read with them.  It's amazing how successful even your students who may be below grade level in your class feel when reading with a younger child.

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I hope these end of the year suggestions will help keep your sanity as you wrap up the school year!  It's amazing how much teachers can learn from other teachers!  I'm curious to know... what are some of your favorite activities to do at the end of the school year?  Please leave a comment and share them so teachers who visit my blog will have a toolbox full of ideas to choose from!  :)

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