Hey everyone! A few months ago I did a Periscope discussing how you can be prepared for the end of the year in advance. Now, I know in some parts of the country the school year is ending in a month, but a few of the tips may still help you AND there are always things to keep in mind for next year, right? I also have a little freebie to go along with this so if you'd like to find it, keep reading. I know I hate scrambling to get things done before the last day so let's try and plan ahead.
Clutter Free Classroom's Ending the School Year Guide
Scholastic's Closing the Year List (not a printable pdf, but you could print it out so you could actually check it off)
Sam and Scout's End of the Year Checklist
Before you get stressed or worried, different people have different opinions about this one. First, mull it over and decide if you think it is appropriate to give your students a gift and if you would like to do so. If you would, think about what gift would be great for your kids. Research on Pinterest and online teacher blog. If you want to personalize it, you want to start working on it soon. For me, I always love giving a book to each child and I use my Scholastic bonus points so it is free (thank you so much Scholastic!). So I start in the fall once I get to know my kids and each time we do a book order I grab 3-5 low point/low cost books that would be great for students. By the end of the year I have a book for each child and a couple backups (in case I find out June 10 that Sasha has just read Mr. Burke is Beserk and that was the book I had picked out for her!).
3. Figure Out When You Are Going to Do Report Cards
I dislike having to do report cards the last month of school but that I don't have a choice. Plus with so many extra tasks piled on and on, I get so overwhelmed. This trick works for me. I look at my calendar a couple months before school ends and find a weekend to mark in my calendar (not just in my head) that that is when I will do report cards. I simply cannot do report cards on weeknights, so weekends is my only option. If you want to work on them on weeknights, simply choose however many nights you need, and put them on your calendar, preferably NOT at the last minute. I find June is REALLY busy outside of school with class reunions, graduations, family parties, birthdays etc. so I do not want all of my weekends to fill up and then be stuck doing report cards the night before the last day of school. Plus it is always good to have them done, printed, copied, sand in the envelopes sealed one or two days in advance. One year I ended up in the emergency room the last day of school and luckily my cards were all set - my friend just double checked them and had the sub pass them out. Yikes, right? If I hadn't had them in the classroom, all done, my mom would have had to leave the hospital, go to my house, get them, drive them to school and drive them back!
The other second grade teachers and I began to choose dates for end of the year events in February this year. For us the end of the year calendar fills up fast and we have to work around other grade levels. Plus we have special school-wide events to work around. Getting first dibs on dates for things like the field trip or the parent-student picnic saves so much stress! Also you can spread your end of the year events out better, like during a four week or so period if you get those dates in advance. If not you may end up having 2-3 big events in one week and being super busy or stressed!
This is a tough one for me to keep up with but it really helps. If you put things away as you go, it will make your life easier. In my school, we have to put away or pack up almost everything in our classroom. That is a big job, and a few times I had to come back after to last day of school to do this packing up, especially with no air conditioning around the end of June. So, to save that from happening, as you finish units and finish using seasonal materials, get them in a box and labeled. I also would recommend that as you organize and put things away, that you leave items that you will need the first few weeks of school in clearly labeled bins or boxes and put those boxes at the front or on top of your classroom materials. That way when you open your door in the summer, what you need for day 1 will be right there and easily accessible!
Now, what is the freebie? The freebie is a PDF with a shorter version of these suggestions if you'd like to keep it handy without having to come to my website, or you can print it out and put it in your teacher planner. All you have to do is click on the Purple HELLO Bar at the top of the page and submit your email or on the HELLO pop up button on this page. You will also be subscribed to my newsletter and each month I send one newsletter with tips, freebies, and sometimes I even run giveaways through my newsletter! Your information is safe with me and never shared and you can subscribe at any time.
Thanks to Creative Clips for the fun and beautiful frames used to make the headings!