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May 13, 2015

6 Tech-Inspired Ways to Wrap Up Your School Year

By Genia Connell
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    As soon as the middle of May comes around, it seems like my third graders' sixth sense kicks in, the one that tells them summer vacation is almost here. I've discovered that using technology to review, reflect, and create is a great way to keep my students highly engaged and to keep their minds on the classroom, instead of the summer break that is calling their name. This week I'm happy to share with you six different ways you can integrate technology into your lesson plans as the school year winds down. While my students mainly use their iPads for tech work in class, there are also many web-based options listed that can be used with computers as well. Of course, if the technology in your classroom is limited, most ideas can be adapted for pencil and paper. 

     

    Six Digital Ideas for the End of the School Year

    Digital Alphabet Books from 6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

    Create a Digital Alphabet Book*

    With 26 students in my class this year, I thought a collaborative, digital alphabet book was a natural way to sum up all that we've learned. Each student designed their page using one letter randomly chosen. Each then used the Book Creator app on my iPad to add their page to the book. The completed book can be shared with all students and parents in several different formats including print. 

    Alphabet books can also easily be made using: 

    Quiz your students with Kahoot! from 6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

    Review Key Concepts with e-Quizzes

    My students' new favorite way to review content is with Kahoot! Kahoot! uses a game-based pedagogy that allows students to answer questions in real-time, while sharing a social experience with their classmates. Using a free teacher account, many of the Kahoots I make include my own questions along with others my students have generated. A real-time dashboard lets me see how my student are doing, making it an easy formative assessment! 

    Other great apps and websites for creating interactive quizzes:

    Digital scrapbooks from 6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

    Student Scrapbook or Class Yearbook

    Use photo editing apps to put together pages for your students to remember the year by. If your students have their own devices, put class pictures in an accessible folder or a Cloud location for students to create their own scrapbooks. Some of my favorite photo apps to use include:

    6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

    Create Digital Portfolios

    This year my students created their own Weebly pages from my account that they updated with photos and favorite pieces of their work that they uploaded throughout the year. Other resources to have your students create a digital portfolio of their work as the year winds down include:

     

    padlet for interactive bulletin boards from 6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

     

    Build an Interactive Digital Bulletin Board

    Padlet is a free, interactive tool that allows students to post information to a shared board. It's one of the easiest ways I've found for students to create and collaborate. Other sites that work well for digital boards include:

     

    Make an end of the year movie with your class from 6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

     

    Go Hollywood! Make a Movie

     Challenge your students to make a movie that tells the story of their school year. During the last full week of school, I plan to have my students work in small groups to create iMovie trailers that encapsulate the highlights of the year. This year's group has been so creative with the iMovie app so far this year that I can hardly wait to see what they come up with! 

    Other digital ways to make free movies include:

    6 Digital Ways to Wrap Up YOur School Year. Survey your students to end the year.

    Gather Student Feedback

    There are several digital tools that can help you gather input from your students about the past year or lessons you have just completed. Use the information you gather to help you plan for the future. Use any of the apps and websites below to create surveys that will give you valuable student feedback. 

    *For another special twist on the alphabet book idea, check out fellow blogger Kriscia Cabral's "ABC Memories: 26 Ways to Remember the Year" post.

    I'd love to hear even more ideas for using technology during these last weeks of school. Please share any of your thoughts or ideas in the comment section below.

    As soon as the middle of May comes around, it seems like my third graders' sixth sense kicks in, the one that tells them summer vacation is almost here. I've discovered that using technology to review, reflect, and create is a great way to keep my students highly engaged and to keep their minds on the classroom, instead of the summer break that is calling their name. This week I'm happy to share with you six different ways you can integrate technology into your lesson plans as the school year winds down. While my students mainly use their iPads for tech work in class, there are also many web-based options listed that can be used with computers as well. Of course, if the technology in your classroom is limited, most ideas can be adapted for pencil and paper. 

     

    Six Digital Ideas for the End of the School Year

    Digital Alphabet Books from 6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

    Create a Digital Alphabet Book*

    With 26 students in my class this year, I thought a collaborative, digital alphabet book was a natural way to sum up all that we've learned. Each student designed their page using one letter randomly chosen. Each then used the Book Creator app on my iPad to add their page to the book. The completed book can be shared with all students and parents in several different formats including print. 

    Alphabet books can also easily be made using: 

    Quiz your students with Kahoot! from 6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

    Review Key Concepts with e-Quizzes

    My students' new favorite way to review content is with Kahoot! Kahoot! uses a game-based pedagogy that allows students to answer questions in real-time, while sharing a social experience with their classmates. Using a free teacher account, many of the Kahoots I make include my own questions along with others my students have generated. A real-time dashboard lets me see how my student are doing, making it an easy formative assessment! 

    Other great apps and websites for creating interactive quizzes:

    Digital scrapbooks from 6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

    Student Scrapbook or Class Yearbook

    Use photo editing apps to put together pages for your students to remember the year by. If your students have their own devices, put class pictures in an accessible folder or a Cloud location for students to create their own scrapbooks. Some of my favorite photo apps to use include:

    6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

    Create Digital Portfolios

    This year my students created their own Weebly pages from my account that they updated with photos and favorite pieces of their work that they uploaded throughout the year. Other resources to have your students create a digital portfolio of their work as the year winds down include:

     

    padlet for interactive bulletin boards from 6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

     

    Build an Interactive Digital Bulletin Board

    Padlet is a free, interactive tool that allows students to post information to a shared board. It's one of the easiest ways I've found for students to create and collaborate. Other sites that work well for digital boards include:

     

    Make an end of the year movie with your class from 6 Digital Ways to Wrap up Your School Year

     

    Go Hollywood! Make a Movie

     Challenge your students to make a movie that tells the story of their school year. During the last full week of school, I plan to have my students work in small groups to create iMovie trailers that encapsulate the highlights of the year. This year's group has been so creative with the iMovie app so far this year that I can hardly wait to see what they come up with! 

    Other digital ways to make free movies include:

    6 Digital Ways to Wrap Up YOur School Year. Survey your students to end the year.

    Gather Student Feedback

    There are several digital tools that can help you gather input from your students about the past year or lessons you have just completed. Use the information you gather to help you plan for the future. Use any of the apps and websites below to create surveys that will give you valuable student feedback. 

    *For another special twist on the alphabet book idea, check out fellow blogger Kriscia Cabral's "ABC Memories: 26 Ways to Remember the Year" post.

    I'd love to hear even more ideas for using technology during these last weeks of school. Please share any of your thoughts or ideas in the comment section below.

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