End of the Year Interview

End of the Year Interview stickerThis year, I conducted “interviews” with my second grade class (ages 8-9). I gave them 5 simple questions to respond to. The questions were:

  1. What makes a teacher cool?
  2. What can kids do over the summer to not forget everything they learned that year?
  3. If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?
  4. What advice would you give to kids who will be in second grade next year?
  5. What do you think teachers do during the summer?

Here is the PDF version you can use for your class: End of the Year Interview. (Just change the fourth question to say whatever grade you will teach next year.)

Here are some of my favorite responses:

Question #1: What makes a teacher cool?1 - rock star glasses

 

Question #2: What can kids do over the summer to not forget everything they learned that year?2 - write a book 2 - write and keep 2- swimming makes you think 3 - in my head

 

Question #3: If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?3 - clean playground for teachers

Obviously that’s why teachers don’t play on the playground themselves – it’s not clean enough? 😉 

 

Question #4: What advice would you give to kids who will be in second grade next year?
4 - do your best 4 - give teachers stuff 4 - good and quiet 4 - have fun

True, fun is not optional.

 

Question #5: What do you think teachers do during the summer?
5 - eat food 5 - hang out 5 - hot summer 5 - prep not fun 5 - sleep

Nailed it!

Advertisements

Teacher Chat!

Teacher Chat - TealI’ve decided to start learning more from other teachers around me. I’m eager to start conversations with other teachers to learn from them. I’ll be sharing what I learn in a series called “Teacher Chat!”

Chat with Diane from the USA

What grade(s) do you teach/have you taught? 2nd & 3rd

What’s one thing you do to prepare for/get through parent-teacher conferences?

I have students write a fill-in-the-blank letter to their parents telling what they like about school, their hardest and easiest subjects, their friends. At the conference, that letter is the first item in their folders. I have the student read it to their parents which gives us a great starting point for talking about reading, or whatever their strengths and weaknesses that they wrote about.

What’s one of your favorite end-of-the-year activities to do with your class?

I love to give each student an award. (There is a great list on squareheadteachers.com.) This is the last thing we do before they leave on the last day. We put the chairs in a big circle and then I pass them out, telling a little about what the student did to earn the award. We let each person determine which cheer they want us to give them for their award. It’s a super positive way to end the year.

 What’s one thing you do to encourage good behavior in your class?

Tired of tattling, I made a “Caught InThe Act Doing Something Good” spiral notebook. When kids notice someone doing something good, they write it in the notebook. I read it once a week, kids loved it!

Tell us about one thing you wish you’d known when you first started teaching.

I will never be “caught up” or “finished” with the things I want to do for my class. So, don’t stress, do what you can, then go home and have an enjoyable life outside of teaching.

 What gets you through a hard day?

On hard days, I like to remember the small things that I am making a difference on with individual kids – especially the tough ones.

End of the Year Awards (#Awards for Upper Grades)

It’s that time of the year… time for end-of-the-year classroom awards! This time, I’ve chosen a social media theme . I call these “Hashtag Awards” (Follow me on Twitter!). There are 45 ready-to-go awards and a blank one for you to get creative with! They’d be perfect for upper graders, who think they’re too cool for the rest of the fun, cheesy elementary school stuff. (Also check out my other collection of end-of-the-year awards!) Here are a few awards from the collection:

Hashtag Award 1 Hashtag Award 2

Click here to download the 46 page collection: End of Year Awards – Hashtag Collection

Like what you see? Poke around some more! Support my blog by checking out my other posts and the advertisers who sponsor me. 🙂

 

Thank You Certificates

Thank You STICKER 1 Thank You STICKER 2

The school year is winding down, and it’s time to thank all those people who’ve helped make this year a success! Here are two printable thank you certificates you and your students can write and present to parents, other teachers and staff who’ve been helpful!  You can also use this during teacher or staff appreciation week.

Click to download the free printable PDFs:
Thank You Certificate
Thank You Certificate 2

Summer Reading Recommendations (End of the Year Book Report)

summer reading STICKERTeachers are always looking to motivate kids to continue reading throughout the summer.  I was pondering this challenge, and the following idea just popped into my head.. so I ran with it. The intention is to have each kid choose a book they read that year and write a “recommendation report” about it. Then they can share their report with the class and try to persuade others to read the book. Hopefully a few kids will be inspired and read something over the summer. But at bare minimum, students can identify classmates who share their same taste in books.

Click here for the free printable PDF:
Summer Reading Recommendation Report
Summer Reading Recommendation Report 2

Click here to view another book report printable. 🙂

Favorite End of the Year Activities

EndOfYearActivitiesSTICKERThe end of the year can be such a fun time… testing is over and summer is near! Thank heavens! But how to keep your students learning when they’d rather be at the beach? Here are some of my favorite ideas:

Review games. Fun distracts kids from the fact that they’re reviewing! I’ve tried this in a tournament style, where teams compete in a variety of games for a big prize. Try these fun review games!

Field day activities outside. Many teachers don’t have time for lots of physical fitness activities, so use the end of the year to help kids enjoy the outdoors while working on team building and leadership skills. Here’s my post on 21 Dr. Seuss themed ideas and this post about a fun water game I learned.

End of the year awards. Your class can vote anonymously on the awards or you can assign them. Check out my collection of 44 printable awards or my blank star awards.

Book Reports. Each student in my class had the opportunity to share their favorite book from the year. I let kids make come kind of visual project or display, which they seemed to enjoy making and showing their classmates. This is one report template you can give your students if you’re looking for a springboard.

Yearbooks and Year-In-Review projects. I absolutely loved this one. It might be my all time favorite. You can assign each student to write one article, or have each student write each one for themselves. Ask parents to bring in or submit pictures from throughout the year. Students can draw pictures or create artwork to go with the writing. This is also a great review of the parts of a paragraph and the writing process. Here are my two printables for this idea: 10 page printable yearbook or  1 page end of the year round up.

Awesome art projects. All those art projects you’ve been dying to do with your class but you don’t have time? Do them! Here’s a cool mask idea for upper grades.

Click here to view more end of the year ideas I’ve written about!

Awesome Test Prep Ideas

test prep ideasIt’s official. Test review season is upon us! Here are some ideas to help make your standardized testing prep a little less painful and more effective:

  • Play TONS of review games. Change up the teams frequently for the best results. Click here for a list of BOMBtastic review games!
  • Come up with a theme and a mascot to cheer you on. Use the theme in review games, certificates of achievements, rewards, etc.
  • Laminate station rotation tracking charts and have kids use overhead markers to track their progress through the stations.
  • Use your old benchmark tests as review questions for your review games.
  • Start a review system early on in the year, so your kids will not have to go as long between learning new content and the standardized test.
  • “Test prep does not always have to take place at a desk with a number 2 pencil in hand.  Instead, try having students answer questions in one of the following ways:
  • Label each wall in your classroom either A, B, C, or D. When reviewing answers, have students move to the wall labeled with the multiple-choice answer they chose.
  • Give students different colored pieces of paper or Popsicle sticks.  Each color can correlate to a multiple-choice answer (red is A, blue is B, etc.).  Have students hold up the color based on which answer they chose.
  • Turn your classroom into a museum by creating a gallery walk. Hang test prep questions around the classroom, students can move silently, in partners, or to music to the different “exhibits” around the room. They can then answer the questions on a worksheet or in a notebook that they carry around the room with them.” (Bottom four bullet points from Ashley, Teach For America)

Need more ideas? Check out my golfing review game or no prep Jeopardy.

Full Throttle to the Finish (End-of-the-Year Bulletin Board)

Full Throttle to the Finish Bulletin Board PrintableIt’s hard to keep kids motivates at the end of the year. Sometimes it’s good to have an activity that will give everyone a quick break.  Here’s a bulletin board idea that will do just that. Click here to see my Back To school Bus and Just Keep Truckin’ posts (similar bulletin board ideas).  First, have the students make their car (directions on the printable itself and also below).

Click here for the free printable PDF: Full Throttle Bulletin Board

Decorate your car according to these directions:

  1. Draw yourself in the window.
  2. Write your name and favorite number on the door.
    1. In the bottom half of the car’s body, draw a picture of something you’ve accomplished this year.
  3. If you are a boy, draw stripes in the wheels. If you are a girl, draw dots in the wheels. Use your favorite color.
  4. Color rest of the car using your favorite color.

Once all the students finish, have each student present their car to the rest of the class. If your class is large, limit each student to 1 minute to share or allow students to only share their car with those near them. Then put each car up on a bulletin board and call it something clever (“Full Throttle to the Finish”, “Travelling Down the Road to Success”, or something…).