As the end of the school year draws closer, we know just how tough it can be to show up each morning with a smile on your face. Truly, we are all craving a few weeks of sleeping in and waking up slowly!
Because we know how draining this time of year can be, we put together our best tips for surviving the end of the school year (with your sanity mostly intact).
Tip #1: Plan Celebrations and Reflect
Who doesn’t love a good end of the school year celebration? Use this time to give student awards, host an end of the year graduation, or celebrate the hard work your students accomplished during the school year.
Here are a couple end of the year celebration ideas:
✔️ Have students vote on awards to give to their classmates. Create predetermined categories, such as hard working, creative, or kind, for them to vote on.
✔️ Invite parents and caregivers to come for an end of the year showcase where students can display their best work (ex. Writing samples, art work, projects, etc.).
✔️ Have a celebration with your students, pumping them up for next year. You can even have their future teachers pop in to say hello or send you a slideshow about themselves.
✔️ Give students time to reflect on the school year. What did they enjoy? What was challenging? Use this feedback while planning for next year.
Tip #2: Review
The end of the school year is a great time to review material that you already taught. Not only is this key because students need constant review to keep skills strong and sharp, but it’s also likely that you also need a break from the daily grind of teaching.
By reviewing foundational knowledge with students, you can meet both of those needs! Reviewing takes a lot less energy from you, since you’ve already done the original lesson, and it strengthens your students skills.
If you’re not sure where to start in your review, we highly recommend the foundations of sentence writing. It doesn’t matter what grade level students are in, there always seems to be a need to review this concept.
In this foundation of sentence writing resource, you will have access to –
✔️ A mini-lesson video on YouTube, so you can take an extra sip of coffee while students watch
✔️ Nine digital or ready-to-print resources, so you spend less time planning and more time on that end of the year to-do list
✔️ A checklist to help students with sentence writing, so you don’t have to repeat the same thing over and over
Tip #3: Look Forward
By the time state testing rolls around, it seems like every educator is starting to think about next year! We totally get that – our minds go there, too. Here are some ways you can use that forward-thinking energy at the end of the school year:
✔️ Start preparing for next year! Think about what lessons or units went really well this year, and note that down somewhere. Get materials and activities organized, so you can easily find them later.
✔️ Our students are starting to think about next year too. Organize a day for your students to mingle with older grades. Give them a chance to ask questions or simply get a feel for what next year might look like.
✔️ Have an honest conversation with your students about what changes might be coming their way. Even the simple things, like having new teachers or going to a new part of the building, can seem scary! Ease their nerves, and get them excited.
Tip #4: Watch Educational Videos
At the end of the school year, it’s normal to feel like your battery is running on E. Save your voice, and your energy, with educational videos.
Here are some ideas on educational videos for the end of the year:
✔️ Watch a fun educational video, such as a TED Ed or National Geographic video, and have your students write about what they watched. Go a step further and have them create a comic strip retelling the video.
✔️ Review skills and content from the year with an educational video. We have a YouTube channel with various writing and reading based videos. Have students watch these and complete the activities within the video! Not only will it give you a break from teaching, but your students will get an excellent review.
Tip #5: Get Organized
Do you ever look around your classroom at the end of the year, and laugh at the organization systems you thought would go flawlessly? We’ve been there. This is the perfect time to clean your room, organize materials, and make note of those systems that were a flop!
Here are some things to focus on during your end of the year organizing:
✔️ You don’t have to go at it alone. Have your students help you organize. They can collect their items and materials to take them home. They can wipe down desks and shelves.
✔️ Make a few piles: keep at school, send home, and throw out. Go through your room and sort accordingly.
✔️ Organize and clean-up your materials, such as manipulatives, supplies, and activities. Make sure they are stored in a neat place (perhaps even labeled!), so you can easily find items next year.
The end of the school year is a bittersweet time. You are close to a well-deserved vacation and time off from the daily hustle and bustle. But, you also have to say goodbye to students you loved and cared for all year. Enjoy this time!