This week, I began to notice the “end of school year” behaviours starting to emerge in my classroom. IT IS ONLY MAY!!! – I wanted to shout, but I didn’t. Instead, I focused my energy on long term unit planning to keep my 8th graders on track for two more months. Ontario public schools finish the last week of June.
To help all of us “Calm the Chaos” that might become of our classrooms over the next two months, here are my best tips for the end of the year.
End of the Year Survival Ideas
- Read a book that ties into a movie, then watch the movie and compare using this assignment
- Have an ice cream sundae, Popsicle, or Freeze party (if your school allows)
- Outdoor read alouds (these were my favourite as a child)
- Take lessons outside – Science, Geography, Math -find ways to bring these curriculum concepts to life in the real world outside the classroom
- Take your class on a modern-day treasure hunt using the Geocaching website
- Act out scenes from read alouds
- Create a class signature page for each child where everyone writes something nice about that student
- Have each student or in pairs/triads create a top ten list of things they loved about this year then compile the most popular ideas on to class anchor chart paper for display
- Write thank-you notes to school staff who have inspired or helped them that year
- Write a whole class letter to a future class and seal it in a time capsule with objects that represent the year – open it in September with your new class
- Have students self-assess their learning skills
- Students can give the teacher a “report card” more information here
- Incorporate lots of hands-on activities in Science, Math, Language Arts check out these websites: Forensics Who Dunnit?
- Use less paper and more time on individual whiteboards
- Try collaborative writing try out collaborative writing tasks using Interactive Writing Prompts.