End of Year Tips & Gift Card Giveaway!

The end of the school year can be h-e-c-t-i-c! Here are some fun ideas to keep you sane and happy!

1)  Balloon Count Down

This is an idea I saw on pinterest years ago and instantly fell in love. It’s simple and students will ADORE it. It’s also the perfect incentive for good behavior. J

-Pick a countdown date to the last day of school
-Buy balloons from the dollar store
-Stuff a note inside with a fun treat (extra recess, seat swaps, gum day, etc!)
-Hang them on a bulletin board or string them across the room and you’re done!

Each day of the countdown we pop a balloon and find a fun message inside.

I usually start my countdown 22-26 days out. My number is based on how many kids I have that year, this allows them each the chance at popping a balloon. Here's a peak at a few ways to display your balloons.

2)  Use Props & Keep Teaching

I use props all year but really amp them up at the end of the year. Kids go crazy for props and they enhance my lessons. Even at the end of the year kids do better with structure, so while I add in fun end of the year activities we still stick to our schedule.

ANYTHING can be a prop, real or imaginary. They engage students further and can help them recall the skill later.

For example, one day I passed out a crown, a mustache, and a clown nose (all Dollar Store gems). For a lesson on perspective, I posted a picture on the board. Then I’d ask my crown wearing volunteer what a princess would be thinking, what my mustache wearing volunteer what a detective might be thinking, and of course how a clown would feel if they were in this picture. We related this back to the story we’re reading by discussing how even though they’re all looking at the same thing they see something very different based on who the character is and what their life experiences have been.

3)  Student Created Board Games

I’ve only done this for the last 2 years, but plan to continue it for many more! The last week or two of school I have students design their own board games based on content that we’ve learned through the year.
As a class we fill the board with topics and skills we’ve covered and I leave it there as a reference. In groups students then design their own board game. They are in charge of creating:

-Game Board
-Game Description and Rule Sheet
-Playing Cards
-Answer Key
-Game Pieces

Students have created wildly imaginative backstories and creative games, some students model their game after a classroom game, others combine their favorite games into one, etc. They included trap spaces and advance spaces, some had headbands. No matter their choice the outcome is AMAZING! They have their pick of subject, skill, and topic. Once every team is finished we rotate and play each other’s’ games as a fun review.

One of my favorites from last year was a mystery game where they had to identify the main idea of paragraphs to move through a board game similar to Chutes and Ladders that was riddled with fun spaces. The girls ordered their paragraphs so as each player took their turn the players learned about a mystery that took place in the house.
This was created by high flyers and they spent many recesses and time at home working on it. There were far more simple games too.

I hope you enjoy these end of year teaching tips! To enter to win $50 to TPT and to Target grab all the letters from this blog hop and enter what they spell in the rafflecopter below! :) The letter you collect for this blog is: “S” and click here to continue your blog hop with Teaching in the Heartof Florida's tips and tricks!

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  1. Student created board games!! How fun!!!

  2. Great ideas! I really like the props and balloons!


  3. The balloon idea is so fun! And the student created board games- that is awesome! I really need to incorporate that this year.

    Thank you for participating in the hop!

    Cait's Cool School

  4. I love the student created board games! Great ideas!

  5. I do the balloon countdown! Lots of fun!!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love the board game idea. I have done that with third graders learning their multiplication facts. I also enjoyed your idea about using props. What a great engagement piece!

    Sugar Cube Learning

  7. I love the balloon idea! What a fun and memorable way to end the year!

  8. I love the balloon idea! I am going to try that out!

  9. Oh, such fun ideas! I love the balloon, games, and especially using props - these are right up my alley! It was great to meet you and the others tonight at the #tptorlando16 meet up! Here is a link to our new blog, if you have time to give it a look! Thanks so much!

    ~ It All Started with Flubber

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