6 ways you can make your last few weeks with your students enjoyable.
The end of the school year can be stressful, but it can also be fun! Once the testing is done, the grades are accounted for, it’s time to relax a little. However, it is important to still stick to your schedule, routines, and procedures. I will share with you some end of the school year tips and activities to make your last few weeks with your students enjoyable.
1. Stick to your routine and keep teaching
Student’s do best when they have a familiar routine to follow. It may seem fun and spontaneous to say, ‘lets ditch reading centers today and do something else!’ Honestly though, I find it better to just bring out previously used centers that were student favorites. They will be engaged and can brush up on old skills that are still very important. Kids still need that structure and once you loosen up the reigns, it can be a bit chaotic.
I also go back to some old lessons and reteach them a different way, include different manipulatives, or give new though provoking questions. Either way, I’m still teaching, students are learning, and the classroom routines and procedures are still in place. Also, it is less work for me because I already have these lessons completed. Your student’s will also enjoy it because they will feel like masters of the lesson.
2. Schedule a field trip
Now that the weather is nice, it could be a great time to do an end of the year field trip with your class. Find a local nature center, have a picnic in the park, visit the zoo, etc. Learning through experiences is so important, and it would be a great opportunity to think outside of those 4 classroom walls and embrace nature.
3. Partner up with another class
How fun would it be to have your student’s partner up with another class or grade level and do an activity together? I have done this, and my little kinders truly enjoyed reading to the 4th graders and vice versa. Here are some buddy ideas:
- Partner reading – Use student readers from their guided reading groups
- Math problem solving – story problems and solving it together
- Math centers – fun with manipulatives and trying new strategies
- Peer editing – read each others stories and edit
4. Summer themed assignments
Get into the spirit of summer, by bringing summer into the classroom. I have some free, no prep summer themed worksheets that would be a great addition!
Get your students writing about the summer and what their plans are is also very fun and exciting for them. You can still stick to your writing block routine, but giving it a theme makes it that much better!
5. Use different learning tools
Trade in the paper and the pencils for sidewalk chalk, colored pencils, or markers. Use new manipulatives for math. Here are some ideas:
- Take the class outside for phonics practice – students write CVC words with sidewalk chalk
- Let your students use colored pencils for the day when doing their centers.
- Let them use scented markers for illustrating their pictures during writing.
- Grab some jewels, mini erasers, pom poms, or whatever you can find to add to your math centers. These would be great for addition and subtraction strategies and will keep your students engaged.
6. Keep a tight ship
This is not the time to make big changes in your classroom. Don’t all of a sudden decide you want to try flexible seating or teach a lesson at their desks if you always use the carpet. These changes are too big and will interrupt their routines and procedures. Just make small changes like I stated above. These are ways to make learning more fun and teaching a little less stressful. Keep the same expectations you had from the first day of school to the last day and you will be smooth sailing into summer vacation!
If you are feeling that teacher burnout, come check out my post. These tips should help you make it through the end of the school year.
Here are some other summer/end of the school year activities that may help ease you into summer break and make your day just a little easier. 😊
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