Teachers- Are you looking for tips to survive the end of year craziness?! You are in the middle of the biggest countdown of your life… the end of year countdown! Not to mention this was THE year of all years for educators everywhere! Sweet summertime is just around the corner! Which leaves teachers with the END OF YEAR CRAZINESS because well let’s face it, kids are just as excited as you that summertime freedom is almost here! If you feel like you are 2 caffeinated beverages away from pulling your hair out, let me offer you 5 tips to help survive the end of year craziness!
Tip #1- Keep Students Busy + Engaged
Not planning anything and letting students have downtime or free draw might sound good in theory but in reality, this is typically when more behavior problems begin to occur. Even though they don’t always act like it, kids need structure (and most of them secretly like it too!) Keep things planned during the day and keep those hands busy and engaged! Just because you are keeping them busy doesn’t mean it can’t be fun though! Try these End of Year Memory Doodle Books. They can be printed out or completed digitally and are sure to be a hit with your students!
There are 10 total pages to the book, as well as 2 different cover options. The pages included are:
What I learned
Use this for an end of the year activity, during centers, during the last week of school, and more! Your class is sure to be engaged, plus they will have a wonderful memento from the year. This end of the year memory book is great for upper elementary grades.
Tip #2-Get Outside
As I said above, everyone is excited about summer time, right? What is one of the BEST parts about summer? Being outside! Get your students outside as much as you can at the end of the year, whether that is for a lesson or for fun. Here are some quick ideas:
- have them bring beach towels one day and do a 30 minute reading block or independent reading time outside.
- class kickball game
- Do their math work with chalk on the black top
- Plan a STEM water activity
- Water balloon fight!
- Tie-dye class t-shirts
- Make an obstacle course for brain breaks
- Sign class yearbooks outside
- Let them earn an ice cream day
- Let them collect items from nature and make outdoor art like artist Andy Goldsworthy
- Tic tac toe with sidewalk chalk
- Break into groups for a scavenger hunt
- Have races
- Play on the play-ground for an extra brain break!
Tip #3-Play Games + Have Fun!
As a child, I always remember the end of the school year being a fun time! Sometimes my teachers let us bring board games and do a board game day and sometimes we played class games together. We always spent time reviewing the content learned as well. Check out these Jeopardy Style Math Review Games to try called Thinker Expeditions for 2nd-5th grades:
These are fun Jeopardy style games for Google Slides or PowerPoint. If you need a review activity for test prep before end of the year testing, this is the perfect choice! Audio sound effects are even included on each slide! There are 6 categories, with 5 questions per category making the game 30 questions total. All of the questions are based on the Common Core standards. This game can be played as a whole class or in small groups. Your students will enjoy the friendly competition to earn the most points in the game to win. Students will click on a number value in each category to answer a question. It is self-grading, because if students get the questions right, they will go to a congratulations page. If a student misses a question, they will be asked to try again.
Tip #4- Have Students Help Clean + Organize
Teachers have a HUGE end of school year to-do list! Grades, report cards, classroom inventory, IEP meetings, removing bulletin boards, cleaning the classroom and packing things away until next year are among a few items on the list. Take some of that end of year burden off of yourself and have students help you clean and organize for next year. I have found that students actually love to do this-especially in the older grades. Have them throw away any markers or play-doh that are old, wipe down the shelves, take name tags off cubbies, etc. Most of them would rather do this than their actual math homework anyways!
Tip #5-Choose a Compelling Read Aloud
Something I used to do in the classroom is map out an end of year read aloud to get us through the last few weeks. I always picked a pretty awesome and compelling book for this that would really grab the students’ attention. I like to pick a book that can lead into a discussion about the end of the year transitions such as, “Out of My Mind” or “No Talking” that keeps students begging for more! Then we always have some great discussions after reading a chapter or two per day.
What are your favorite activities to do at the end of the school year?
Until Next Time,