end school year on an up note

16 Fast, Fun Things to End on An Up Note – 🎶

We’re working towards the end of the school year, teachers! You’re going to make it! In this newsletter, I’ve got 16 fun, quick ideas to make the end of the school year more exciting. Oh, and interestingly, Kahoot bought Dragonbox.

My best stuff typically goes in my weekly newsletter. I'm sharing last week's newsletter content because I thought it might be helpful for some of you (and you could see why you should subscribe.) Just scroll down to the bottom or go to www.coolcatteacher.com/newsletter and sign up!

💡All Ages

1. Make a summer poster!

First, my children and I have always made “summer posters.” We draw and color (yes, even me) the things that we look forward to most in the summer. We include movies, books we want to read, places we want to go, and ways we want to relax (bubble bath or watching birds are just a few of mine.)

The great thing about this as a parent is that my children communicate with me what it is they want to do and we have fun checking them off. You could also do this in class and send it home. Just remember to encourage students to include things that are free and simple and can be done at home for free.

2. Sign a beach ball.

Get some inexpensive beach balls and let the class sign them with sharpies as a happy memory!

3. End of year memory movie.

Let kids share their quick memories on a video that you pull together into a quick video to share with parents. This is an awesome reminder for you and your students. Parents like to see their children having fun. End well with a memory movie.

Kindergarten – lower elementary

4. Speech Bubble Pics.

Grab one of these free speech bubbles or draw them out on a poster. Take pictures to share with parents or online. Things like “I finished K5!” or “I’m a first grader now!”

5. Summer basket.

Create summer baskets for kids including sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and books (if you can find someone to donate them.)

6. Class Scrapbook.

Give each child some photos and a scrapbook page to decorate and assemble a class scrapbook. Keep them on your treasure shelf and new students can see them to build excitement in future years. (They also make a great memory for you.)

Upper Elementary – Middle School

7. Share great memories.

Have students summarize what they loved about the school year (see the “screaming good year idea”)

8. Make a memory book.

Download this free end of year memory book

9. Make movie trailers.

The iMovie trailer feature is a fun, quick 1-hour experience. You just need iMovie trailers on iPads or your phone.

10. Invention convention.

I love to take books, ideas, cartoon drawing manuals, and robotics on a table. I take all of my gadgets and gizmos and let students explore and make things. We document what they make and share them.

11. Letters of introduction.

Let students write letters of introduction to their next teacher. This is especially helpful for those staying at their school (or not.) It is great to do it while school is fresh in their minds.

12. Take a field trip to the high school.

This is especially awesome for eighth graders, but setting up a time for younger students to visit with older students and learn tips for success and having an awesome year can be a fun, easy, activity.

High School

13. Host a STEM Smackdown.

Here are 40 ideas. Have students build challenges and have fun with technologies.

14. Paper Plate Awards.

I’ve talked about these before. If you’re at your end of year experience or screening movies or seeing work — or whatever. Let students create fun, colorful paper plates for one another to recognize the “best of” the year experiences. “Funniest experience” or “Best laugh” – they should be genuine, lighthearted, and positive. I’ve had students treasure these for years.

15. End of the year focus group.

I do this with my classes. Students give me feedback on what they loved and didn’t love. I set as a goal over the summer to improve their “most hated” lesson. If I’m tired, I’ll record it into Notion to listen to later.

16. Graph the year.

Graph the highs and lows of the year and label them. This can be a reflective tool that also ties in a little math.

Enjoy! Finish the school year well!

end school year on an up note

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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