"At the end of the school year", you ask? Yep! The old me would have thought this was a crazy idea, but a couple of years ago I was persuaded otherwise. A colleague shared with me how she loves to try new things in the middle and end of the year, which got me thinking. It turns out that she was right. You already have routines and procedures in place, and you are not trying to establish classroom community, so this is actually the BEST time. Have you been wanting to try out a project, makerspace, or even a new app? This is the perfect time to try it out.
1. Try Something New
2. Find Out What Your Students Would Like To Do- and then do it!
3. Clean And Organize WITH Your StudentsRemember when I said this post would mainly focus on academics? This is the one thing that might not be academic (but actually could be, if you really wanted it to be). Your classroom is not yours alone. Since your students are a big part of what happens in the classroom, it's important that they be involved in the cleaning and organizing of it. One thing I love to do is soak our manipulatives and then have my kiddos sort and organize them (this is where you can make it academic). They love this "activity" because it's hands on and they feel like they are helping with the cleaning and organizing process. :)
4. Get Students To Reflect On Their School Year
There are so many ways to do this. Students can think of how they have grown, what they can do now that they couldn't do before, what they know now that they didn't know before, etc. They can document this in writing, on a poster, via video, blog post, etc. The sky is truly the limit.
5. Have Students Set Goals
This is really an extension of number 4. After reflecting on the school year, students should then set goals. What do they want to learn next year? How do they want to continue to grow? How will they meet their goals? This can also include goals for growth during the summer. While reflecting will really help students feel successful and motivate them, setting goals will help them continue their learning journey.
How do you ensure you end the school year strong? I'd love to hear from you.
Part 2 of this post is forthcoming.
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