The end of the school year is a time to do some of the things we haven’t had time to do during the rest of the busy year! Testing is over, and you have just a little bit longer with your group of students until the summer.
At times, the last few weeks of the can feel like you are just trying to survive until the end. However, the end of the school year can be a great time if you have the right mindset. Here are some tips to make the BEST of that last bit of time you have with your students and make some great memories!
Here are my 3 EASY tips to make this end of the year your best end of the school year yet!
1. Integrate the arts into science and social studies curriculum
You’ve been busy for the last few months cramming for all the math and ELA assessments, I’m sure! Now that the end of the school year is here, it is the time to focus on some of the science and social studies curriculum that you may have missed from your state’s core for your grade level during your busy cramming sessions. But this shouldn’t be something to stress about- this is the FUN stuff!
I absolutely LOVE teaching Science and Social Studies because they are subjects that are so easy to turn into fun and hands-on learning. My personal favorite way to do this is to integrate the arts into the curriculum! You can find a way to do this for any science or social studies curriculum. Here are just a couple of examples to get you thinking!
Have some dinosaur curriculum you haven’t covered? Teach the students about dinosaur fossils and have them create their own salt dough fossils! You can even turn it into a student-led research project with my Dinosaur Research Unit
You can also use the same salt dough recipe to make salt dough maps of counties, states, and countries if they are a part of your social studies requirements. (I have been meaning to get to those posts, but haven’t just yet!)
What about the solar system? You can use the final activity from my Solar System Research Unit have your students make paper mache planets and put them in the order they are found in the solar system. While this activity is messy, it is SO fun and the students absolutely love it!
Use your creativity and come up with a new twist on teaching these fun subjects rather than just following what you have done over the years. Integrate the arts into your curriculum is hands-on learning, so it will be more engaging and memorable for your students. It will give you all something fun to do while you are counting down the days until summer!
2. Take a “mental health” day
Seriously. I’m not kidding. DO IT. And do NOT feel one bit guilty about it. 80% of teachers do not use all of their sick days because they feel guilty about it. (Okay, I made that up. But it’s probably at least that much! I have always been the type myself to avoid calling in sick at all lengths possible. But sometimes, you really NEED to.
You have sick days for a reason… to be used. A burned out teacher is NOT a healthy and happy teacher. It’s perfectly fine to take a day to rejuvenate and come back refreshed, so you can feel better. This will make you a better teacher for your students! So at the end of the school year take a day to relax and recover from the stress, and come back ready to have some FUN with your students before the summer (and possibly take on some of the fun art projects mentioned above!)
To help ease your stress a little in taking your “mental health day” before the summer begins, I have a free set of sub-plan mini-lessons that are ready to go! All have to do is print and leave them for your sub.
Need more help with emergency sub planning? Check out our Comprehensive Guide to Emergency Sub Plans here. Having trouble finding a sub? We know that the sub situation has been challenging this past year, so be sure to check out how to help subs prioritize YOUR classroom!
3. End of the School Year Memories and Treats
Finish up the year with a fun (and free!) writing activity. Have your students reflect back on the year and write about their favorite things. This End of the Year Memory is perfect for your students to write about their favorite memory from the school year. Three versions are included for a variety of age levels.
- Primary Writing Lines: Perfect for Pre-K to Kindergarten
- Double Spaced: Perfect for 1st-3rd Grades
- Single Spaced: Perfect for 3rd-5th grades
Everyone appreciates a treat! Send your students off at the end of the school year with End of the Year Punny Cards. It will definitely bring a smile to their faces, which is exactly how you want to finish the year!
Bonus: Help your students avoid the “Summer Slide”
Now that you have reached the end of the school year, set your students up for success next year by encouraging them and their families to keep learning all summer. Start summer learning in May by kicking off my Summer Reading Challenge. Read this blog post, The Ultimate Summer Reading Strategies, about the different reading strategies the challenge incorporates