This time of year can be increasingly stressful for teachers. We have assessments, report cards end-of-the-year IEP's, packing up rooms for summer cleaning and we still have to teach.
Often our students can sense our stress. The students know that their days of school are winding down, and for some, this can be stressful too. All of a sudden that super great kid will start to act out in little ways. What we as teachers might not know, is what our students will be during summer break. For some, their break is full of fun summer camps, hanging out with friends, and spending lazy days sleeping in. However for others, it may mean they are shuffled about as parents scramble for daycare, some may be responsible for younger siblings and some may even be left home alone. For these students, they don't see summer break as exciting and fun, they see it as isolation and disconnection from friends and fun.
How can you help these students? Do what you can first to find out about your student's summer plans. For older students, this could be a writing assignment. for the younger students, it could be a casual conversation with each student or have them draw a picture of what they will be doing.
Make the end of the year Memorable. Do what you can to make those last few days fun. You can have fun the last few days of school and still have it be educational.
- Make a class memory book
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Create an Advice for next years students' book
- Set up a field day, let students help decide the activities
- Take virtual field trips
- Create an end of the year bucket list
- Have an end of the year countdown
- Have a board game day
- Host an awards day
- Get ready for next year
Class Memory Book-
Create a class memory book with your students. Student can have their own books or work together to create one book for the entire class.
Kids love using sidewalk chalk. Take the learning outdoors. Have students write sight words or create a graffiti area on the blacktop and let students sign their names and draw a picture.
Advice for Next Year-
Ask students to write a tip for next year's incoming class.
With help from your students, create a field day. Students can help to design which activities they would prefer doing.
Virtual Field Trips-
Virtual field trips can be fun and educational. As students where they would like to go during Summer Break- then take them there virtually. There are so many great virtual field trips available online.
End of Year Bucket List-
Ask your students to write down all the things they hope to do during the summer break. To make it a little more fun than just another writing assignment, use a beach bucket template for them to write on.
End of Year Countdown-
Have an End of Year countdown. This could be an A-Z countdown with an activity each day or a number countdown with something to look forward to on the last day.
Board Game Day-
This is always a favorite in my classroom. Playing board games is a great way for students to practice working together and following game rules. Board games foster cooperation and conversation. As your students play, walkabout and just listen to what they are talking about.
Host an awards day in your classroom. This will give you the opportunity to reflect and say something positive about each and every student in your room.
Prepare for Next Year-
Students like to help the teacher, so why not use that to your advantage. Have your students help prepare your classroom for next year. Students can organize the class library, wipe down shelves and containers, check games for all the pieces, and even help with putting together materials for next year, like folders and pencil boxes.
Below are resources that you might find helpful to end the school year with.
School Memory Book Print and Google Slides
End of Year Slideshow for Google Slides-
Use in-person or Remote
Completion Certificates Pre-school Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten
End of Year Awards
Countdown to Summer Icecream Display and Activities
Prepare Homework Folders for next year