We know how hard teachers and administrators work right up until the very end of the school year. As you start to wrap things up, we wanted to share a few tips to make life in the classroom a little easier for your last few weeks of school, and set you up for the best school year ever in the fall!
- Create a Recommended Peer Book Reading List
Before the end of the year, spend a day having your students write five to ten reviews on books they read this year. Encourage them to develop icons that represent their opinions of the literature (thumbs up, stars, books, etc.). Collect and post their reviews on a website or document sharing site like Google Drive that students can browse for recommendations all summer long.
- Have Students Thank the School Staff
Many school staff members' hard work gets overlooked day to day. A great end of school year assignment for students is to have them spend class time writing a thank you letter to the faculty member of their choosing. This not only teaches them to appreciate everyone on the school staff, but also helps them reflect on their year and show their gratitude. Examples are school crossing guards, lunch staff, office administrative assistants, school nurses, or custodians. Students learn interpersonal skills, and it’s a small step toward enhancing school culture. Everyone wins!
- Keep Students Entertained When The Year is Unofficially Over
The last several days of school, after you’re done grading assignments and turning in grades, are a time when you’re really just trying to keep the students from climbing the walls and running rampant through the hallways. You can prepare ahead of time for these inevitable days at the end of the year, by providing them with online games and quizzes that are fun, yet instructional. This is also a good time to close out your positive behavior rewards program, like Learning Earnings, by reminding kids to “cash in” any remaining rewards, or even doing a few final games in the classroom for extra points before wrapping up the year. Keeping students engaged is important all the way to the end, and technology often helps keep kids in their seats and focused – so make it something that will be educational, yet entertaining.
- Explore Professional Learning Opportunities for Yourself
Sometimes teachers are so busy educating their students, they forget to take the time to educate themselves on the topics that truly interest them. Not only taking the professional development courses that are mandated, but also seeking out opportunities that are available to learn new technology or an area of content or curriculum that you might be drawn to. Lots of teacherprenuers use the end of the school year to explore new and emerging trends in the classroom, and do the research and get the training needed to bring it into their classroom the following year.
Online courses are an excellent, and often free resource to get certified on using new technology or an area where you are looking to develop knowledge. Keeping a professional journal throughout the year can help you remember inspirational ideas or even areas of frustration for you that you can reference at the end of the year. Start exploring options with your existing school vendors, department heads, or even just looking around online for interesting topics where you can enhance your skills.
Do you feel ready for the end of the school year?
Share your favorite things to do during the last few weeks in the comments below!