End of School? Sanity questionable?
Testing is over, the weather urges kids to come outside, and we still have to make it a few more days until school is over. That can all lead to chaos in any classroom. Success lies in careful planning, putting lots of fun into lessons packed with content, and enjoying these last days with this years's kids. So....How? Below are a BUNCH of ideas, posts, Websites and even a resource to help make these last days as much fun for you, as they will be for the kids! Enjoy! Summer is coming!
1. To work on writing skills, and have a bulletin board done for next year, ask students to write a letter to the new third (second, fourth, fifth) graders. Ask them to include in their letter what the new students will learn in that grade, what they liked the best, and even give new students tips on their new teacher. Kids love to do this, and the results are wonderful! Not only that, they really do help next years new students know a little bit about what is coming. Stress to students that their writing must be clear and free of spelling errors. They will be posted on the bulletin board (or outside the door) and must be easily read. This is a good one to use for the last writing sample! Just make a copy of the letter, and include in each student's writing folder.
2. Coffee-House Jam. Explain to students that in the 1960's people would go to coffee houses to drink coffee and read/listen to poetry. Ask students to write two or three types of poetry that you have studied this year. Then ask them to choose their favorite. Group desks in tables of four desks each, cover with fadless paper, and prepare to serve iced tea. Put a stool at the front of the room and get a spotlight to shine on the stool (Could be just a lamp). Turn the lights down low or off (other than the lamp) and invite students to read their poem. Discuss that at coffee houses patrons would snap their fingers after a reading to show their approval.
3. Pocketful of Sunshine...This is taken from TeachHub and is a terrific rememberance of the year.
Give each student enough index cards for each student in the class. If there are 20 students, each student will get 20 index cards. Next pass out small brown lunch bags. Students first decorate the bag with fun things they remember from the school year. Next pass out a list of all students in the class. Ask each student to write one nice thing they remember about each classmate on the index cards. As they write each card, they can cross off the name of their list. Then allow students to pass out their cards to all students in the class. This helps students look for something good in everyone, even students they don't particularly get along with. Don't forget to add a bag for yourself!
4. Need some help getting those desks clean? Just put a little shaving cream on each child's desk and they rub, and rub (make pictures, giggle) until the shaving cream disappears. Just set up rules beforehand about keeping the shaving cream ON the desk.
5. How about those other cleaning chores? Write all of the jobs you need done (make sure there is enough for each child) on index cards and put in a bag. Then allow students to pull out their clean-up job out of the bag. Play "Yakety Yak" while they work "Take out the paper and the trash, or you don't get no spending cash!"
6. Another way (see idea number 3) to give positive feedback to each other is to go back to back! With a safety pin attach a large index card to each child's back. Then kids go around and write nice comments on each other's back about positive memories they have about each other from the year. Stress the importance of positive comments. It gives each student a special thing to take home, and read over the summer. Yes, they read it numerous times!
7. Write thank you notes to the support personal in your school. You can ask the class to write one note a day to the secretary, janitor, food service workers, librarian and even the principal. They'll love a bundle of letters thanking them for their help. They are just the people who often don't get thanked nearly enough.