Have you been counting down the weeks and now DAYS until summer break? Me too! It’s not because I don’t love teaching but let’s be honest, the last few weeks of school are all about survival. The kiddos and I haven’t had a break since the last week of March and it shows. Between the state testing, fist fights, and cattiness (teachers, not students), the craziness of the end of the year time crunch is being felt. Here are a 5 ideas for the last weeks of school that *hopefully* will give some pep to your
- Try out those lessons that have been kicking around in your head. What to see if you really can have the kids create a podcast as a response to the Serial podcast? Try it! *This is what my Civics kids are working on right now – we have some extra time because of a very streamlined student teacher. This is the ideal time to work on a not so perfect lesson plan and ASK your students to help – let them know that you want to try this out but need their feedback to make it a success. You won’t believe that cool ideas and suggestions that I’ve already gotten from the Serial lesson!
- Ask the kids to help you redesign your classroom. Throw down the decorating gauntlet and challenge your students to come up with a furniture arrangement that works more effectively. And let’s be honest, it’s super nice to have 30 bodies helping to move the heavy stuff!
- Give your students a class and teacher survey. The idea came from this Teaching Channel video – what a great time for reflection and a way to give your students a voice. Trust me, students WANT to tell you about their experience but need parameters in order to make it productive for both parties. Set up a survey and allow students the chance to redesign some element of your class or a specific lesson or unit.
- Have your kids design and create anchor charts or class posters for next year. Students love having a voice and choice so provide them with a way to create artwork for topics or units (this is also a great activity and study tool for past units).
- Instead of the traditional book report or research paper, have your students create children’s book OR challenge them with trade books. It’s the same concept of synthesizing materials or topics but with a more active assessment. Have students create book reviews at the end to provide constructive feedback.
If you have any other ideas for the last few weeks of school let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out my post on the perfect end of the year checklist!