As the school year begins to quieten down, your students may become a little more distracted. It can be challenging to keep their attention when the summer break is getting closer. But, there are a few ways you can weave in some reflection, forecasting, and fun into the end of the school year (even if you’re virtual)! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Encourage time for reflection
The end of the school year brings about reflection, so be sure to spend some time looking back at all the fun (and learning) that happened over the year. There are plenty of ways to make reflection fun – you can have your students journal, play charades or Pictionary to reminisce their favorite memories, or create a “look how I’ve grown” flower for a fun take-home project. Is there a lesson or activity that went over really well with your students during the year? You could consider reteaching that lesson again for a fun refresher.
2. Lead a field trip to the next grade
Many elementary students don’t realize that the next grade level could be very different from the one they’re in, so organize a field trip to the next grade to help calm their nerves. Coordinate with a teacher from the next grade level, and take a walk down to where the next-grade classrooms are so that students explore them. If your school participates in looping, prepare an introduction to the exciting things you’ll go over in next year’s class. See what kind of predictions students come up with about what the next grade is like, and spend time answering any questions they may have. If you’re teaching remotely, you could set up a virtual meeting instead.
3. Recruit students for classroom clean up
You already have to deconstruct your classroom at the end of the year, so why not ask your students to help? Children often enjoy helping take apart the classroom, so utilize your helpers, and take this task off your own to-do list. You could use deconstruction tasks to encourage good behavior, such as creating an assembly line of students to pass supplies down the line and organizing a hunt to collect different items and box them up. Consider even using some of your existing supplies as little rewards for students to take home.
4. Enjoy being outdoors
There are many benefits for your students spending time outdoors. Students are eager to get outside and play, so take the learning outdoors for a few hours! Create a scavenger hunt for students to look for different shapes or colors, measure things on the playground, or study plant life. Learning and taking advantage of the fresh air outside will do wonders for keeping your students engaged.
5. Set summer learning goals
Talk with your students about how summer is the perfect time to set a learning goal for themselves and ask them to pick out a skill or subject that interests them and that they might want to explore on their own. Maybe they want to learn more about volcanoes, or learn all their multiplication tables, or read some books before school starts again. Whatever that goal may be, help your students work out a set of actionable steps to achieve it. If you’re a user of Edmentum programs, be sure to find out how your students can use them all summer long, and send out parent letters to make sure that everyone is on the same page.