Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tips for the End of the Year

Hey Ya'll!

It's Theresa from True Life I'm a Teacher, and I feel like it's been forever since I've blogged here at "The Peach." It was actually just a month ago, but the end of the school year makes my days and weeks run together and I'm lucky to remember my own name, basically.

 There is literally not a second of downtime in my classroom this time of the year. I have backup plans for my backup plans. I almost treat it as if there's a substitute...free time = time for behavior issues. Here are some things I have readily available, some are good for 3 minutes worth of time, while others could take 15-20 minutes, and others could take up as much or as little time as what you need.
- GoNoodle (seriously, check.this.out)
- Read Alouds (random, not necessarily related to anything in particular)
- games (math facts around the world, hangman with spelling/vocabulary words)
- Activities like THESE themed specifically for the end of the year

After almost 180 days of specific management techniques/routines/seating arrangements/ _______ (fill in whatever you've been doing), switching up your routine or trying something new can the most exciting thing ever! Normally, throughout the year, I use "Copeland Cash" as part of a token economy, but by the end of the year, my kiddos are kind of over it (and so am I). I've started using stickers (never underestimate the power of a sticker) and some incentive charts I picked up at Dollar Tree. I pass out stickers like crazy for good behavior, and the kids plop them on their chart. They can turn in a completely sticker-filled chart for anything from our class store!

Also, by complete dumb luck, I stumbled upon something great! I had to flip flop writer's workshop and reader's workshop due to testing, and it was like I'd introduced a completely different subject. I mean, hello??? We've been doing these all year, but apparently just changing the order of our schedule was a game-changer. Go figure!

I also use these awards {they're FREE} to reward students who are being extra great in the hallways...well, anywhere! Ha!
My last tip is to have a countdown going! The excited surrounding the changing of the countdown is pretty surreal! Last year, I just used this simple {and FREE} countdown. We updated it each morning during morning meeting. The kids love it!
This year, I put a fun activity in an envelope with the number of days left of school written on the outside. So far, we've enjoyed no shoes in the classroom, a nature walk, a jump rope competition, Blow Pops, and lunch bunch! The mystery surrounding what could possibly be in the envelope is more than my sweet seconds can hardly stand, and their behavior is on point so that they don't miss out on each day's fun activity!

You can find all our countdown activities here!

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