Thursday, May 14, 2015

Making the End of the School Year Meaningful

Hey y'all :) This is Melanie from Momma with a Teaching Mission. I teach in a 1st grade departmentalized classroom. I work with 4 other teachers on my team, and we each are responsible for all 97 of our 1st grade learners. I absolutely love my job!!

In my school, we have about 20 school days left. The kids are wild, they've been this way for the past 2 weeks! I'm sure you feel my pain. Yet, we are required to teach through the last day. We still have a field trip, our reward days (for testing and behavior), and our field day (a day filled with water games and fun). So the question becomes, how do I make these last few weeks/ days of school truly meaningful?

For behavior, I've re-vamped my prize box, with a whole bunch of summer goodies--from glow sticks to bubbles to chalk to flashing toy rings (we have a no food/candy policy, or else that would be in there as well, because I have found candy in a prize box is a great motivator). With being departmentalized, I have a "WALL OF FAME". I have found this very easy to manage with 97 kiddos flowing through my room. For every good behavior, they get to write their name on the wall. For every additional good behavior, they get to put a star beside their name. Once they earn 5 stars beside their name they get to pick and prize, and I write their parents a note about their good behavior.



I am feeling the 'end of the school year burnout', as well as I think my kiddos are feeling it too. So I try to make activities in the classroom new and fun. Some of my kiddos have had problems reading their sight words, so I bought some scentos markers, shaving cream, and make some sight word search puzzles. Now they don't do each of these everyday, they do about one of these a week, and have loved them! They write their sight words in the shaving cream on their desk, they write their sight words with the smelly markers, and they search for their sight words within the word search.



The last thing I have done to make the end of the school year more meaningful is to really have my kiddos apply what they have learned this year to problem solve. After all, that's our main goal isn't it? We have recently finished up Silent E words and words with suffixes, so I created some sentences where the kids have to read them and decide which words makes the sentences make sentence from the word bank.
We learned about contractions earlier in the year (March), so I did a review activity with them and the students had to re-write the sentence using the contraction for two of the words from that sentence.
Best of luck to you in the end of the school year!! Remember, you've made it this far, you are almost there!!

Come visit me over at my blog! Momma with a Teaching Mission You can also find  here the Contraction NO PREP Printable FREEBIE , Sight Word Search Puzzles , and Silent E NO PREP Comprehension Sentences or you can visit me on TpT Momma with a Teaching Mission . Enjoy your summer!

-Melanie




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