Do you want to keep your students actively engaged during these last weeks of the school year?
Do you want an amazing display of student work ethic?
High Stakes testing is over!
The scantrons are shipped off.
The walls are uncovered.
The classroom is back to normal.
It’s always a challenge to keep students engaged in learning after participating in state testing.
Everyone is exhausted from students to teachers to administrators!
Students have stayed actively engaged in reading all year long.
It’s time to get back to that after TESTING! It's time to step up the student active engagement game.
It’s time to get back to the FUN of learning
and let your students SHINE.
4 Literacy Activities Not To Be Missed
at the End of the School Year
Reading Book Projects
Your students have been actively reading all year long.
You’ve taught them strategies that proficient readers use while they read.
Let students read a book and choose their own response.
Now it’s their turn to take all they have learned as readers and decide their own responses.
Provide students with a rubric and a checklist of what they should include in their book project. Let them go and watch them work!
Monitor their progress through observations and conferences.
If you're not sure how to make this all work, check out my Book Projects Plan here. In it, you will find rubrics, checklists, grading guidelines and minilessons to get the project started.
Independent Writing Projects
Students have taken many pieces through the writing process all year long. We’ve guided and facilitated their process through a variety of genres. Give them the reigns.
Graphic Novels are what students are loving right now! How about let them create their own! Or, maybe picture books are more their thing. You know that one student who has been asking all year if he can do a research project on that most random topic--NOW is his chance!
Provide students with a few deadlines to keep them on track and let them have at it!! They will surprise you with the quality of work they give you.
It’s all about student choice. The independent decision of which genre to choose will spark self motivation and quality work ethic not to mention some amazing published pieces!
If you're not sure how to get this started, check out Independent Writing Projects right here. It includes a suggested schedule (outline) for about 3 weeks, a rubric, a checklist, guidelines and a grading sheet.
Do you have a “cast of characters” in your classroom?
Create a classroom play together from one of your favorite read aloud books.
Turn your classroom into a theater. My team and I would literally turn our classrooms into a theater stage complete with curtains, a backstage and audience seating. We wrote the script, auditioned for parts, assigned backstage tasks, designed scenery and props and created advertising posters, as well as, invitations. We set deadlines and a performance day.
Students were authentically engaged in the entire play production.
My entire grade level team would participate. That last week of school was Theater Week. We spent our time attending the grade level plays and performing our own for visiting classes from other grade levels. It was so much fun that every year on the first day of school the 4th graders would ask us when we were going to start our plays. Talk about a lasting impression!
Some of our successful productions were created for
Crossing Bok Chitto
The Widow's Broom
Four Feet, Two Sandals
and my first ever play production was The Fisherman and His Wife
If structured chaos and producing a play is not your thing, how about Inquiry Research. If you haven't started inquiry workshop in your classroom, now is a good time to "dip your toe in" and try it out before next year.
Check out this Inquiry Process Unit of Study in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
If you are ready to try out Inquiry Workshop "End of Year Style" why not engage in some college and career inquiry with students at any age!
When I taught 5th grade, my team would always end the year with this project. Students would decide on a career path and research colleges to attend.
They would make the pennant and take a picture with a frame that had their chosen career on it. At awards day, we would recognize each 5th grader and share their college and career choice. The parents LOVED it!
I hope you are able to use some of these ideas to keep students engaged during the end of the year shenanigans!
Until next time...