It's hard to believe it, my friends, but the end of another school year is about to be put into the history books! All the kids and TEACHERS are counting down the days until summer. Although many exciting things are happening during this time of year, it can also be a bit stressful. I am linking up with my blogging bestie, Aimee from Primarily Speaking, to bring you some tips and tricks to help you survive the last few weeks of school.
As we get to the last 2 or 3 weeks of school I bust out the countdown chain. There are many variations of this idea but I like to countdown the days until my second graders are officially third graders.
Each colored ring represents one day of school. At the end of each day, I choose a student to tear off one of the rings. When the kids walk into the room and see this countdown chain for the first time, you should hear the squeals and chatter! They get so excited! However, my heart melts each time because there are always a few kids that are a bit disappointed to be leaving and want to stay in second grade forever! If you would like to make your own countdown rainbow chain, CLICK HERE, for a FREEBIE! I have created a cloud for each of the grades first through fifth. I hope you and your students love it!
Start prepping for next year! As soon as I find out what grade I am teaching for the new school year, I start prepping! This makes my summer SO much more enjoyable and I can roll into my classroom in the fall with ease and less stress.
I make and print all my labels for student folders I will need. My students start off with an unfinished work folder, writing folder, and morning warm up folder. I put labels on all of these in spring. Once I get my class list with student names, I make name labels and put them on the folders too.
I also prep all my interactive notebooks ahead of time. I glue the covers, tabs and envelopes for all the small pieces, so that when school starts, we are ready to roll! This is a huge time saver. I have all my math notebooks ready to go!
These All About Me books are copied, bound and ready to go for the first few weeks of school. This is the first year I have bound the books before the kids complete the pages. My theory is that I won't have a ton of loose pages I have to sort out and put together before Back To School Night. I am super excited for them to use these.
I prep and copy opening letters and student information cards for the first week of school too!
I also create a summer review packet for my second graders to take home over the summer. I never want any of my teaching to be forgotten over the summer months! This packet does the trick. We start working on it the last week of school and then they finish the rest at home. This year's set is prepped and ready to go!
Each packet includes language arts, writing, and math skills that cover all of the second grade common core standards. I staple the pages together (answer sheets are also included) and send the packet home with a new pencil and chapter book from my Scholastic book order. This becomes part of their end of the year gift, as well. Click on the pictures below for more details.
We also spend some of the last days of school reflecting on the school year and all the things we loved and remembered about it. I use this packet from Aimee to accomplish that! The kids love writing about their top 10 things about second grade and so much more!
I hope these ideas help make your end of the year easier and smoother. Head on over to Primarily Speaking and link up your ideas too!