Planning for the End of the Year
- Grades: 1–2
Mother's Day and Father's Day are around the corner, and for some teachers, testing is over. You're working on assessments, report cards, and cleaning up. The students are hyper, happy, and having a hard time focusing on classwork. The yearbooks are ready, and summer is in the air. Now is the time to prepare for the end of the year, to reflect back on the year that's ending, and to plan for next year. Read on to get some great ideas and printables for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and the end of the year.
Mother's Day and Father's Day
At our school, many of the teachers plan special days for sharing the love of reading with parents: Muffins with Mom and Donuts with Dad. Moms and dads are invited to spend an hour in the morning reading to their child and having some breakfast treats. During this time, students also give their Mother's Day or Father's Day gift to their parent. If a child doesn't have a parent that can attend, other parents will adopt them or the teacher substitutes. Below are some great books about the holidays that we share on those days.
In addition to these special days, we work on creating cards and poems. Below you'll see a sample of the Mother's Day cards that we made in our class. I model making the flowers to the class after we learn about Georgia O'Keeffe. We sketch a basic flower shape, trace it with a Sharpie, and then watercolor it. After the cards are complete, we copy our poems about our mothers onto them.
A fabulous Mother's Day printable to use in your classroom this year is the Make Mom Happy Game, which is cute and easy to play and gets the whole family involved. I also used this "My Mother" poem in our class this year. The dad poem and the Father's Day acrostic poem templates are both easy to complete and personal to each child.
This year I also made a short movie of my kids reading poems for their mothers. Check it out:
End of the Year Planning
Towards the end of the year, we run out of curriculum in our language arts program, and that allows me to create new projects and work on fun units that we skipped. We work on a graphing project and an insect report using a template from Scholastic Printables, and we focus on writing, art, social studies, and science more.
Before school gets out for the summer, the students and I put together their learning portfolios. I make a six-pocket folder from construction paper that holds all of their work, saved throughout the year. The last pocket is stuffed with a letter to parents about summer activities, a summer reading list for our school, the sight words for grades K–3, and a summer activity calendar. I also like to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope to invite the students to write to me during the summer.
End of the Year Reflections
After Open House, I begin thinking about next year. As I clean up and organize things, I keep a notebook with a list of supplies that I will need to shop for over the summer. I also begin reevaluating my room organization and furniture arrangement, and consider what I want to change for next year.
This year, I completely reorganized my classroom library and rearranged most of the furniture in my room. This was also the first year that I carried out a theme in my room. I have absolutely loved it and am planning to do it again next year with a totally different theme.
Next year, I may have to plan for five more students in my class, bringing my total number of students to 30. That will change the amount of space I have in the meeting area and in the general desk area. That means I need to get rid of several pieces of furniture to accommodate the extra desks. Summer is the perfect time to get rid of the filing cabinets, my teacher desk, and any other furnishings that I am not using.
In planning for next year, I 'm also thinking about my theme. I enjoyed sharing the western theme with my class and am looking forward to a new theme for next year. So I am packing all the western-themed material away carefully and noting what I need to buy or create for next year's theme.
Was there something that didn't work well for me? Is there anything new that I want to try next year? These questions don't have to be answered now, but I'll write them down in my notebook to keep in mind as I close my classroom down for the year.
Reflecting back over the year, the new resource that I have loved the most was Scholastic Printables. This was the first year I have had a subscription, and it was worth the money. I will definitely be renewing next year. Check out "10 Tips for Wrapping Up the Year Neatly" and 100 free printables to help you end the year and begin planning for the next!