I can't believe I'm writing the June newsletter and can you believe it's already June!!!
I always found June sooo much busier than September. There are so many loose ends, too many things to complete and finish up.
You think in September, I have the WHOLE year to teach all the units, create tests, book reports, projects, accomplish all my expectations from the curriculum, etc., etc., etc., and then BOOM!
Oh my God, June! - I forgot the Fractions unit, or the students have to write and present their speeches. Been there and done that!
Has that happened to you in any way. shape or form?
So, there's that to contend with, plus,
* finishing up the last set of report cards
* creating your new class list
* cleaning up your room - your desk, students' desk
* taking everything down from the walls, windows, bulletin boards, ceiling - just about everywhere
* completing each student's school record (OSR in Ontario)
* packing up if you're moving classrooms or schools (and you thought you didn't have a lot)
* play day or field day
* end of the year trip
* school assemblies
* end of the year P-A-R-T-Y
plus, plus, plus, the list is endless!!! (now breathe).
One crucial thing you must remember, is that it's the last month with your kids. And if you have created that wonderful bond with them (or most of them), it truly is the saddest month of the year! And , so you must enjoy every minute of it with them, no matter how hectic it's going to get in June.
Here are a few suggestions for you which my kids and I have loved doing in the last month of their year in my class:
1. Plan an end of the year trip - if your students can't afford going somewhere, organize a picnic at the nearest park. They bring their lunch, bring some sports equipment, e.g. frisbees, balls, skipping ropes,hula hoops, etc.
Have relay races, three legged races (use skipping ropes), buy some fun things at the dollar store for prizes and freezies (don't forget scissors) - you will have a truly great day (don't forget garbage bags and pray for a sunny warm day).
2. Organize with some staff a play day/ field day - the whole school is divided up into teams, suet up various games, e.g. tug of war, balloon toss, obstacle course, etc. - it can run all morning or afternoon - freezies and popsicles for all (teachers included) at the end. It's a fabulous day, but a lot of work- weeks to plan, but all worth it! (parent volunteers are always welcome and to end the day a tug of war between the staff and the grade 8's or 6's if that's the highest grade in your school).
3. Plan and organize a talent show for other students to shine besides the athletic ones. Now, that's a lot of work and you need to audition in May and plan with several staff members. When I co-organized the talent shows, we always got many teachers together and lip sang a popular song and dressed the part as well. What a fun time!
4. A positive learning experience that will make you and your students feel wonderful afterwords. Now, you can do this activity at the end of September as well as at the end of the year in June. Compare and see how much each student has grown as a person. You and your kids will experience a natural high - believe me!
A) First rearrange their desks in a square and include yourself as well.
B) Each student has a blank piece of paper and they print their name at the top of the page ( you can leave the paper flat, folded into sections or like an accordion).
C) Decide with the class of you are going to pass the pages to the left or the right.
D) As each page is passed to the right or left each person (including you) writes down 3 positive comments about the person whose name is at the top of the page; e.g. you're a good speller, you always share, you tell funny jokes. They can sign their name or not and then pass the page to the next person.
E) If they can't think of 3 positive comments, at least they should write 2 and I continue to emphasize "POSITIVE" comments. Students are not allowed to read other students' comments since they are kind of private.
F) At the end of the activity, they can share any of the comments they wish to with the class. It's just terrific and you'll love it too!
5. Finally, a definite MUST - th end of the year PARTY. Have it perhaps in the PM of the second to last day. Don't do it all day, it's too much or in the AM since it will be too hard to settle them down in the PM. Music, games, food (vitamin J (Junk) or go the healthy way - veggies & dip), and presents (I always got my students a small gift and I created a personal card for each one of them). You end the year on a high note!!!
Check out some of my classroom party games.
I hope I have given you a few ideas of what you can do with your kids. Enjoy June and have a restful, healthy, fun and well deserved SUMMER!!! See you in September.
If you have any ideas or suggestions of what you would like me to include in my newsletters, let me know and if I can, I will be happy to accommodate.
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