Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Is It That (End of Year) Time Already and a FREEBIE!

It's mid April and the countdown to the end of the year is looming.  The end is coming and school will be over before you know it.  There's SOOO much to do!  How will you get it all finished?

Here's what pops into my fourth grade teacher head:
  • Finish, file, and organize end of year portfolios 
  • Plan and host portfolio sharing day (parent invitation, decorations, logistics, clean up)
  • Work on and complete report cards
  • Write report card comments 
  • Do classroom end of year inventory
  • Create your next year's school supply list with your new grade level partners
  • Think of the supplies to be ordered when school funds come back in
  • Classroom cleanup and organization for summer (hopefully you won't have to move to a different classroom or building or you can add 3 days to this list)
  • dusting and cleaning out all of the shelves and dusting everything.
  • Unhook all of the computers and labeling the cords so you can plug them in faster when school starts back up.  Here's a tip:  I get the small sticker dots and place matching stickers on each item to be plugged together.  For example, place the matching purple flower stickers for the projection unit cord and where it plugs in to the back of the computer.  Put a piece of tape over the sticker to make it stay on the cord.
  • Reorganize the book boxes.
  • Go through you reading corner book boxes and pull out the books that need "First Aid" before the new year begins.  Maybe you have a parent volunteer who can help tackle this repair job.
  • Fill out end of year professional goal setting evaluation forms.
  • Fill out end of year baseline data form and make two copies; one to send home and on for the student portfolio
  • Plan a fun math activity that is engaging.
  • Create a Memory Book and having Memory Book autographing day.
  • Repair the 3-ring binders and give them "First Aid" in preparation for being re-used next year.
  • What else?  I know there's more!
One thing I did every year without fail was to make personalized memory books for each child.  These books are designed for the students to do the thinking and reflecting of their year spent in your classroom.  What were the highlights?  What was the favorite field trip?  What was the funniest memory from the year?  What are students most proud of learning?  Each memory book has the same template pages (I think there are 16-18 pages) but there will be many personalized pages added to the memory book as well   Before school begins, I use a plastic crate and put in a file folder for each student.  This will store special memory pages and photo pages we've taken from the year. When the pages are filed into the student folders, the newest pages always get filed at the back of the stack so the book come out in order. At the end of the year, we used the book binder to bind all of the pages together.  Students fill out the template pages and we have a book autographing day.  

I made memory books to share with other teachers for grades 2-6 in full page and also in half page formats.  The half page format is personally my favorite size of memory book for two reasons:  It saves paper.  It seems every year we are out of supplies and saving paper is a big deal.  Smaller books are just plain more fun that a big sheet of paper.  Student write neater when they are writing smaller.  

I made another simple to use memory book that prints on one sheet of paper back to back and folds into a half sheet sized book.  When students have filled out their book, you can use the teacher note paper and insert a special "Goodbye From Your Teacher" message.  I love doing that!  Oh . . . did I mention this is FREE?    Enjoy the end of a great year together!

Enjoy the end of the year together!


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