My last full week of school is finally here! It is such a crazy, hectic time of year for all of us, however this year just seems especially challenging. My mind has been in a complete whirlwind. I have been SWAMPED with paperwork and my calendar is chuck full of commitments and responsibilities. These past couple of weeks I served on several committees, finished up all my testing and passed in the final report cards. I also spent hours and hours finishing up documentations for student portfolios and finalizing checkpoints on Teacher's Strategies Gold. I worked on unpacking the several boxes that were delivered and left piled up in my classroom. We just received a newer version of the Scott Foresman Reading Street Program and as you know anytime you get a new program there is so much to learn and do. This year one of my grade level partners is on maternity leave and the other just retired in the middle of the year so therefore I have been helping out two substitutes these past couple of months. I just served on a hiring committee to replace one of our teachers. I am also working on a committee as we are putting together a parent volunteer breakfast. I will also be passing out baggies with items to make S'mores and give them "We Need S'More Volunteers Like You" cards.
With all this going on I can't forget to mention how some of my students have already checked out and are already in summer mode. I am sure you can all relate to this! It has been a challenge keeping them engaged and in self control. Each day we still need to remind students about responsibilities and how important it is to follow through with classroom rules right up until the last day.
Keeping students busy with fun-filled but meaningful activities is crucial even though marks have already closed. I learned from experience that if you give the students too much free choice time, they just can't handle it and things start spiraling out of control. Kids just need some sense of structure even though there are only just a few days left. I will do my best to stick to the same schedule that they are used to. They will still be doing literacy centers and math. My students will not be taking home their writing journals until the last full day of school. I also have lots of great end of the year summer themed worksheets in a summer pack and summer writing prompts for them to work on.
During the final few days it is a good idea to pull out all of your favorite high interest books that you still have not read to your students as of yet and put it into a box ready to go. Since students will definitely need lots of movement breaks to let out all that extra energy it is a good idea to check out Go Noodle and have a plan as to which movement breaks you will use. Make a list of fun classic indoor games/outdoor games and have students take a vote as to which ones they want to play as an incentive for good behavior. My kinders love playing Seven Up, Duck Duck Goose, Four Corners, What Time Is It Mr. Fox?, Bug In the Rug, and Doggie Who has the Bone. This week my students will be working on Memory Books and Father's Day Projects. I can't wait to show them the end of the year slide show that I put together using pictures that I have been taking of them doing a variety of activities throughout the year. Holiday activities, field trip and field day pictures are also included and are all put together nicely with background music. After viewing our slide show I will be passing out individual End of the Year Awards. Here is my kitchen table this weekend as I prepare for the big day.
It should be a fun-filled memorable week! How will you be celebrating the end of the school year with your students? How do you make it meaningful, memorable and fun? Please share your thoughts by posting below.