As spring fever begins to set in, teaching becomes much more difficult. Students and teachers alike are reflecting on the year gone by, but mostly dreaming of summer. Here are five ways I like to keep students engaged at this time of year:
- Writing thank you notes to school staff members. This is a great way to show gratitude for all of the people who keep the school running including: janitors, cafeteria staff, librarians, paraprofessionals, office staff, coaches, and more. A sincere thank you is always appreciated, and doesn’t cost anything. I think it’s important to teach kids the importance of gratitude, and the laid-back last days of school are a great time to fit this in. Check out this free printable card students can color for their teachers from the awesome graphic artist Sarah Pecorino.
- Fun activities to review key terms learned throughout the year like crossword puzzles and word searches. These don’t feel like work, but they do serve an educational purpose and can be a fun “sponge activity” when kids start to get restless.
- Goal setting and self-reflection writing prompts. These are a great way to wrap up the school year and set intentions for the summer and next school year.
- Competitions related to content from the upcoming year. For example, I have a set of international idioms that students need to try to guess the meanings of. They have so much fun with these strange sayings, while previewing a term they will learn next year (“idiom”). Everyone is on a level playing field with these, since they are completely unfamiliar to most students.
- Coloring! There are many benefits to coloring, and I like to give students famous inspirational quotes along with mandalas to color. These look beautiful hanging in the classroom for end of the year parties, and they can also make nice gifts for students to give teachers.
All of these activities and more can be found in an easily printable packet here!