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6 Activities to Make Student Growth VISIBLE for Year End Celebration

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

Do you want standardized testing scores to define your students’ growth and progress in reading and writing? I didn’t think so!

Tests don't illustrate the true growth and potential of our students.

Test scores aren’t the complete picture of a reader and a writer. We shouldn’t let standardized testing scores define a student’s growth and progress in literacy. Let’s face it…some kids are not going to receive the scores they want to receive on state tests.

Isn’t it great to see student faces light up when they recognize their growth as a reader and writer. You know the look—whether it’s dancing around the room, the ever-popular “YES!” with fist pump, of course, or the bashful, shy, face-turning-red-from-embarrassment smile. Those looks are priceless!

Let’s help students see their growth without THAT test score clouding their vision!

The end of the year is always a time for a celebration of ALL growth no matter how big or how small it may be.

Have students look through their reading and writing notebooks to see where they were a year ago and reflect on where they are now.

Students could easily complete this reflective project on white construction paper and sticky notes to write down reflections about themselves about readers and writers. If you are looking for a quick printable, click on the blank image above to download a FREE letter-sized form.

Help them make their progress visible so they can “see” it and share it with the special people in their lives. Here are a few ideas for inspiration…

End of Year Reflection Ideas to Do Right Now!

Have students compare the types of books read at the beginning of the year to the types of books they are reading now.

Have students make those comparisons and create a ME THEN and NOW poster to document their own growth in reading and writing. (see the examples and printable above)


Have students compare how much they read at the beginning of the year to how much they read now. Have students create a summer reading list for themselves based on their comparisons.

This might be a great time to have a representative from the public library visit to ensure that all students and their families have a public library card.


Look at the stop and jot notes from the beginning of the school year and those stop and jot notes now to make comparisons of their strategy use while reading.

Make a READING ACCOMPLISHMENTS board where students make their growth visible to the public. They write down what they have achieved as readers this year on note cards to display.


Have students look at their first published writing piece of the school year and their most recent published piece to compare the writing techniques learned throughout the year and see how much they have grown as writers.

Make a WRITING ACCOMPLISHMENTS board where students write down what they have learned as writers on note cards to display. You will instantly have a brag board!


Have students make a BUCKET LIST for what they want to try in reading and writing. You might start by looking at all the accomplishments they have had all year.

This could lead into what they want to continue doing as readers and writers.


If you are looking for a more personalized and individual reflection piece for your students to keep for themselves, you may want to visit my store and check this out, The Reflective Student.

The possibilities are endless!!

Sometimes adults have to make their own progress visible, so that we can “see” just how far we have come.

For our little people—elementary, middle school and even high school—we must help students make their progress visible so that they can SEE their gains and celebrate their accomplishments!

Until next time...

Looking for more ideas for the end of the year....

Click right here to check it out these and other resources perfect for the end of the year.

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