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Safe, Fun, and Effective Ideas for the Last Week of School

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 -- Scott Sterling

The last week of school is typically full of movies, pizza parties, and general unproductivity. Yes, students have probably earned some downtime, but they’re about to get three months of it. Here are some ways to make the last week of school a little more memorable and a lot more productive.

Let them help clean up

Let’s start with the less fun stuff. You’re going to need to clean things out of your classroom. You may have more than 20 able bodies to help you do it, but the students are only there for a limited time. Believe it or not, they would love to help. It gets them out of the classroom. You could even make a human chain and just have them pass stuff down the line. 

Field trip to the next grade

Elementary students still have some trouble grasping time, so moving to the next grade can come as a shock. Inspire Me, ASAP! came up with this great idea for a field trip to their next classroom. Students first have to write a persuasive piece justifying a trip. Then, if you can coordinate with the other teachers, you take a trip down the hall. The students then take some notes with observations about the room and their feelings on moving up. This can really serve as a bridge to the next school year.

Thank you cards for everybody

Want to be the most famous teacher in school among the support staff? Have your students write thank you cards to the specialists, secretaries, and lunch staff who help the school run without much fanfare. These members of the school community don’t think that the students notice their work, so receiving some gratitude can brighten their whole summer.

Make a guess

When my classmates and I were about to leave 5th grade on the way to middle school, our teacher sat us down and predicted what each one of us would become as adults. From what I can tell on Facebook, she was wrong on most of them (I’m not president yet, and an old friend hasn’t cured cancer), but we talked about those guesses all through high school. Your students might not agree, or they might be a little embarrassed, but they will also know that you’ve been thinking of them as people and want them to succeed.

Now’s the time to think about summer learning options. Check out Edmentum’s solutions to keep your students learning throughout their vacation and stop the summer learning slide.