Keeping it FUN The Last Few Weeks of School!

18 May 2015 / Leave a Comment
The end of the year is upon us and I am sure you are feeling as much stress as I am!  I still have a lot of end of year assessments, filing, report cards, and with all of the field trips and activities planned, I'm not sure how I am going to get it all done in the next few weeks.  One thing I need to remind myself of is that these are the last few weeks we will be together, as a class.

I need to make them enjoyable and fun...for all of us!
I am sure your students are getting a little wild and unfocused, just like mine.  After our super snowy winter, these warm and sunny days leave us yearning for summer vacation.  I think a few of my kiddos have even started their vacation a bit early!  I try my best to keep them engaged and interested by making things as fun as possible.

Here are some ideas for you to use in your own classroom:

Go Outside
Almost anything that you do in your classroom can be done outside!  My students will work so much harder to be able to earn outdoor work time.
Don't have any tables outside?  Just use clipboards or notebooks and have your students sit on the ground!

Incorporate Technology
When we review for unit tests, we almost always use apps or websites like Socrative to make it interactive.  It is amazing to see how much more engagement we get when we use Socrative verses our regular text book review sessions.
The same goes for practicing math facts!  One of my favorite websites for math practice is Sheppard Software.  My students even practice using this website at home!

Make it Meaningful
One of my favorite activities for my students is to have them create something for my next year's class.  I have done it a few ways but here are a few of my favorite ideas.

I used to have my class write friendly letters to my next year's class.  They LOVED it!  They didn't even realize they were going through the writing process and practicing their skills they learned over the year.  And as a bonus, my new students received wonderful letters on the first day of school from some "old pros".

I created a graphic organizer to help them plan their writing.  I even differentiated it for my kiddos with varying needs.
My new favorite thing to do with my class is to have them create an OFFICIAL guide to my class.  They are now the experts ready to share their knowledge with my new crop of kiddos.

The excitement of creating something OFFICIAL takes over and they put forth their best effort.  I have even had kids ask if they could make official guides for their previous grade levels on their own time.

You'll get a kick out of reading the "meet the teacher" page!  It's surprising how well your class has gotten to know you throughout the school year.
Here is my very first attempt of uploading a video to give you a better look at my favorite end-of-year activity!
Make it Interactive
I have found that hands-on learning is the best kind of learning.  I know that when I need to administer the DRA, I also need my class to be fully independent.  These self-checking activities allow me the time I need to get my work done without interruptions!
Keeping your kids actively learning and engaged will keep your behaviors to a minimum.  Making the activities fun will entice your kiddos that have already "checked out" to keep involved.

Finally, I love to give my students a gift at the end of the year to keep them learning throughout the summer.  I used to give them a brand new notebook to journal in during the summer, but this year I created a special writing journal full of prompts, but with plenty of room for them to write about their own ideas.

I just ordered a class set of these writing journals to be printed and cannot wait to give them to my kiddos along with a few new pencils on the last day of school.  You know that all they have left are pencils that are 3 inches long with no eraser!  New pencils are a MUST!

Keep calm...summer is almost here!  Hopefully these ideas will make the end-of-year-crazy a little less crazy!


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