May 8, 2018

Learning Until the Last Day of School

Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher

The countdown until the end of the school year is on! Testing, at least for my class, will be completely over at the end of the week. This year, I feel like I still have so much curriculum that I want/need to teach. In past years, I have gotten through everything and feel like I am just killing time until the last day of school. While I see lots of people do cute countdowns until the last day of school, I find that I need to keep my students as on track as possible. Any deviation too far from our normal routine will strike chaos into the room, so here are a few of my favorite activities/books to get through the rest of the school year while still focusing on learning.

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Books to Read

         


At the end of the year, I like to read Sideways Stories from Wayside School. I LOVE this book because it cracks me up! It's a ridiculous story that entertains us all. This year I started it earlier than usual so I can read the sequel as well. Choosing a fun novel to discuss as a class or in a small group is exciting to the kids. Bonus for you if you have enough copies for each student to read their own.

On the last day of school, I always read Last Day Blues. It's a companion book to First Day Jitters. I read it in a sad voice...until the end when the teachers party! The outrage in my students is worth it (read it and see why). It's nice to close the year like we started.


Activities

Read-a-thon - I like to choose a day and spend the entire time focused on reading. I obviously love books and want my students to leave my class with the same love of reading. During the read-a-thon, we do activities like Power Hours, Reading Freeze Tag, make bookmarks, etc. If you like the idea of a Read-a-thon, read the entire blog post I dedicated to this activity HERE.

Mathapalooza - The first year I had a Read-a-thon, my students asked me if we could spend the whole day doing math. For this, we played some Beat the Teacher Games, did some partner math activities, and had some fun brain breaks. If you like the idea of Mathapalooza, read the entire blog post I dedicated to this activity HERE.

Sidewalk Scoot - I first wrote about this activity in our Mathapalooza. All my students came up with their own math problems as a review of everything they learned over the year. They were then assigned a number. We went outside and my students wrote their problems out on the sidewalk. (Side note: if you do this, use the fat chalk. I used chalkboard chalk and it was difficult to read.) Each person then got a clipboard and Scoot paper. They went around and answered all the questions. It was a fun review!

Shaving Cream Cleaning - After my students clean out their desks, I put shaving cream on the tops of their desks. We 'play' in the shaving cream with our spelling words, math facts, etc. This seems like it's just a fun activity but it really cleans the desks.


What are your favorite activities or books for the end of the school year?


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