You are just about there! The end of the school year is in sight and you are counting down the days! There is a lot to do between now and then, but we have some great teacher-tested tips to make your end of the year easier. From cleaning the desktops and classroom to ideas for slowing down summer slide, these tips and tricks are sure to make the end of the school year a much more pleasant time of year.
End of the School Year Tips and Tricks
Scrape Your Cares Away!
Take this end of the school year cleaning tip from Maureen, a 1st Grade Teacher, from Alpine, UT. “Clearing desktops of a year’s worth of hardened glue and tape residue has never been my favorite job,” she admits. “For 18 years, I have had students attempt to scrub the grime and glue away with cleaners and rags. Out of sheer frustration, I would always resort to using my fingernails to loosen the most stubborn debris. More than once, I ended up breaking a nail, or cutting myself on the hardened glue.”
“It finally dawned on me to save my nails and to instead enlist the help of a plastic scraper like the one I use on my kitchen pans. Now I have my students spray their desktops with warm water and then scrape their desktops clean with very little effort. I only wish I discovered this when I started teaching all those many broken fingernails ago!”
Party Down to Summer Reading
“At the end of the school year, we 2nd Grade teachers meet with our prospective 1st Grade students,” explains Kim, a 2nd Grade Teacher, from Fort Collins, CO. “We do this in part to encourage the children to read books over the summer. To this end, we supply each child with a colorful reading record for recording book titles they read over the summer (at least eight). The record has room for the parents’ signatures as well as space for a short comment about the book. Over the summer, we mail reminder postcards informing students that those who return the records during the first two weeks of school are invited to join our annual pizza party. (This generous timing allows us to work with students who may not have the support they need at home to read independently.) Of course, in the end, every student participates in reading and in the pizza!”
Tip: This reading record idea is useful any time there is a holiday or break in the school year – or whenever teachers want to make sure their students are staying on top of their reading!
Scavenger Hunt Fun
This idea comes from Allison, a 1st Grade Teacher, from Bartlett, IL who knows that at the end of the school year everyone wants to be outdoors! “At the end of each school year, I create an Outdoor Math Scavenger Hunt for my students,” she explains. “I offer my students a list of playground-inspired math questions I’ve prepared, then take them to the playground so they can see and touch math in action – and record answers to my questions. My list of questions might include items such as:
- What is the sum total of swings and slides on the playground?
- What fractional amount of slides is blue?
- How many triangles can you count on the swing set?
- What is the sum total of slide steps on the playground?
- How wide is one seat on the swing set?
- How many kids does it take to circle the big oak tree on the playground?
This is a fun way to provide visuals as you review almost any math concept you can think of!”
Tip: Adjust the learning by offering students questions representing different levels of difficulty. Also, if you use a digital camera to take photos of the playground things and places you investigate, bind these and students’ corresponding math discoveries into a class book.
What are some of your favorite end of the school year tips? Share with us below or on the Really Good Teacher Forums!