Like most schools, the end is close. Summer is just a few days away. There are some teachers who count down to summer just a few weeks after we begin, “only 175 days until summer is here.” Really?? Some teachers only start the count down to summer with the last two weeks. Personally, I have my children tell me how many days of school is left. They seem to always know.
I was thinking for myself, how to I escape the countdown. How do I stay sharp until the end of the school year? I was thinking about this just this morning. I feel that you need to finish the school year just like you began.
Here is some ideas that I plan on using in the last few weeks of school.
I try to do activities that I can take my students outside to do. When the weather is nice, why not? Give your expectations to your students on their behavior, and what you plan on teaching them. Sit under your favorite tree, or on the shady side of the building and have class. Just make sure the students have something hard to write on.
I have found that my students love technology. I have found that one activity is allowing students to use Photoshop. I will have my students choose 2 pictures and Photoshop them together. Then have them create a story about the new picture they created. Then put all of the pictures and stories into a book.
Mix it up
I have found that when I am in a routine things can sometimes get boring. My students know before me when I seem to get into a routine. So the last few weeks, keep your students on their toes. Mix it up. Change up your routine, and keep your students guessing what is coming next.
If you have the funds, take a field trip. Expose your students to something new. If you don’t have funds to get a field trip going, then research your community and take a walking tour of your town. You could create a photodocumentary of your trip. You could create an interactive map by walking around the school, or your community showing how to go to the most important places.
Have some fun
You could have your home room learn a flash mob dance. Meet in your room and have the students learn the dance in secret. Then near the last day of school while your students are on the playground having recess, turn on a loud CD player and have them dance. That would be an awesome surprise. You could do this with other teachers as well. Here is steps that was on the Oprah Show a few years ago.
One of the things I like to do with my students is to reminisce about the year. I am always amazed at what students find to be their favorite. I find it to be a cool way to end the year by remembering all of the things we covered. I use this as a way to judge if I do some activities over the next year, or if I tweak them just a little bit.
All of us have a different way that end the year. How do you end the school year? Do you have a favorite lesson, activity, or project you like to do? I would like to hear it.