Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Put a New Twist on Your End-Of-Year Activities

Hello!  It's Nicole from Learning Lab!
I cannot believe that another school year is winding down!  It seems like each school year goes by more and more quickly!  With summer right around the corner, I wanted to share a few end-of-year activities that I have done in my classroom.

I think almost everybody does some type of memory activity with their class.  I have found that many of my kids are bored with the usual memory books and activities.  A few years ago, I thought of a way to put a new twist on the old end-of-year activities.  
The traditional memory books involve students creating an artifact for themselves.  By the time they have been in school for a few years, the excitement for creating memory books has faded.  How about having the students use their memories to create a book for your next class?  Kind of like a guide to your classroom.  An Official Guide to ___ Grade!  

My students LOVED this idea!  They spent more time and put forth more effort that I have ever seen kids put into their own memory books.  Give a kid a real audience and they will perform!  I added additional covers so this activity is able to be used for grades K-6 and differentiated some pages for varying levels.  
Here is a Flipagram of the pages in the 5th grade book that I will be using with my kiddos this year.
You will get a kick out of what your students will write on the "Meet the Teacher" page.  It is amazing, and sometimes hysterical, what they have picked up about your personality and how you run your classroom. 

A few times, I have needed just one more writing piece to get me through the end of the year.  How about a friendly letter to your next class?  Again, when you give a kid a real audience, they will perform!  My classes have never worked so hard to get a writing piece done.  The details were great and the handwriting was on point!  

If you need a graphic organizer to get your class started, this is what I use with my kiddos.
In addition to these new twists on old end-of-year activities, I changed my end-of-year gifts for my students.  In the past, I gave them new notebooks and pencils for them to journal throughout the summer.  When I talked to previous students and their families, a lot of them did not get around to writing in their journals.  The number one reason was, "I didn't know what to write about."  

This year, I created summer writing journals with writing prompts!  Now they won't have an excuse!  I also left some pages blank, just in case they find something else they want to write about.  

I hope you are enjoying the last few weeks of the school year (or your first few weeks of summer if you're already done).  Remember, this is the last time you will be with this exact group of kiddos.  Soak it all in and enjoy it for what it's worth!

For more ideas, I would love to see you over on my Instagram.  You can find me by searching for @Learning_Lab.  It's my favorite place to share school ideas, my new TpT products, and photos of some really cute kids!

See you again soon!


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