End-of-Year Teaching Strategies

Tips to Help You Tackle the Time You Have Left in the Classroom

It's the end of the school year, which means there is a lot to do. From making a checklist to help you get things done more efficiently, to creating fun projects to keep your students motivated until the end. The end of the year means it's time to get things done.

As the school year comes to a close, it's important that you remain focused, and not let your restless students get the best of you. You need to rein in those overly energized students by taking them on a class field trip or having them partake in a fun field day. You need to pull put all the "fun" stops and do whatever it takes to get through to the end of the year.

Besides handling your students, you will also be busy getting ready for the last day of school graduation, preparing your students for the summer, as well as getting your classroom ready for the following year so you can sit back and relax this summer. Here are a few teaching strategies and tips to help you tackle the time that you have left in the classroom.

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End-of-Year Checklist for Elementary Teachers

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When you have a million things to do the best way that you can tackle all of them in an efficient way is to make a checklist. The last few weeks of school are busy and chaotic and you probably just want to throw in the towel and get to your favorite vacation spot on the beach, but, unfortunately you have to push through it. So, the best way to do that is by creating an end-of-year checklist.

Here is a checklist that will help you stay organized, and make sure that you have completed everything that you are supposed to do so when you come back to school in the fall, you will be ready to start the new year off with a fresh start.

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Create Fun Projects

Photo Courtesy of Janelle Cox

 When you are nearing the end of the school year you will most likely find that your students are overly restless and very excited. While this is quite normal, it can also be tough to handle when you have over twenty students all feeling the same way. The best way to use this extra energy is to create fun projects for the students. Consider any of these ideas to help keep your students motivated until the end of the school year.

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Pull Out all of the "Fun" Stops

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As summer vacation approaches many students tend to "check out" of the learning process, so it is our job as teachers to keep them motivated and focused until the very end. To do this, you will need to pull out all of the "fun" stops. That means field trips, classroom parties, and anything else that you can think of. Here are a few more fun ideas to help you push through until the last day of school.

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Have Students Partake in Field Day

Make sure to give out awards or certificates at the end of the field day. Photo Courtesy of Jon Riley Getty Images

The last week of school is supposed to be filled with excitement and fun, so why not have a classroom field day? You can have it alone with your students, or invite the whole grade or even the whole school if you want to! There are plenty of activities that you can create for your students to partake in, from egg toss to relay races, a field day is the best way to end the school year with a bang. Here are a six more activities that you can do on your field day.

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Celebrate Elementary School Graduation

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Graduating from one grade to another is a big deal for elementary school students, so why not create a ceremony for them? A graduation ceremony for students moving up from kindergarten or moving on to middle school is the perfect way to celebrate the achievements that they have made thus far. Here are ten ways that you can honor your students achievements.

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Prepare for the Last Day of School

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 For many elementary school teachers the last day of school can be much like the first. The day is filled with excitement and last minute jitters, because students are anxious to go on summer break. All papers are turned in and the grading is finally complete. Now, all you can do is keep the students busy until the last bell of the school year rings. If you're not sure on how to conduct the last day of school so it's fun and memorable, then consider trying this sample school day.

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Help Students Transition to a Summer Schedule

Research shows that if kids read over four books this summer, they can prevent summer brain drain, or "summer slide.". Photo COurtesy of Robert Decelis Ltd Getty Images

During the school year your students knew their classroom routine like the back of the their hand. Now, that the school is coming to an end, it may be hard for some students to transition into a new daily routine. To help them transition to a summer schedule you must enlist the help of their parents. You must first send a letter home explaining what you are doing so parents can help you. Here are a few more tips, along with a sample student summer schedule.

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Recommend Summer Activities to Prevent Summer Slide

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 Summer is right around the corner and right about now you can see your students are getting quite antsy. But, can you blame them? After all it has been a long, rough winter and everyone (including the teachers) are ready for the summer. 

While summer is known for relaxation and fun, it can also be a great time to keep the learning going. Your students have worked hard all year long to get to where they are right now, so you don't want all of that hard work to go to waste. In the summertime if students don't read and keep learning, research shows that they can lose up to 2 months of schooling. That's about 22 percent of their learning that is gone! To combat that summer brain drain, and keep students learning all summer long you need to recommend these 5 summer activities to your students today.

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Get Ready for the New School Year

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While the last thing that you want to do is think about the fall school year, or even get ready for it, it is a good idea to do it before you leave for summer break. Here's why, if you do a few things now, then you will not have to come to school over the summer and get your classroom ready for weeks in advance. Look over your back-to-school checklist and mark off as much as you can before you leave for the year. You will thank yourself when you are lounging on the beach and you don't have to rush to your classroom at the end of summer. Here are a few more tips on how to get ready for the fall school year.

Closing Thoughts

Planning ahead of time is the key here. Once you have tackled your "to do" list then everything else will just fall into place. Before you know it, the school year will have come to end and you will finally be relaxing in your favorite vacation spot.