Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrations as much as the next gal, and I do believe celebrations help build community, but too often students expect the last few days of school to be a series of picnics, games, and socializing.
Why not offer students more than a cooler full of Fudgsicles® at the end of the year. The end of the school year is like the mother of all lesson closures. Close the year by reminding your students of the skills, knowledge, and curiosity they’ve acquired.
My students have just checked the last Common Core Standard to be mastered on the Teacher’s Planning Partner posters.
On the last day of school, I traditionally cement the learning with a review game.
Rules of game:
- Divide class into two teams.
- Each team sends a team representative to the front of the room.
- Pose a question that is either Common Core related or a bite of wisdom such as…Good writers blank (show) not tell.
- The team rep who answers the question first earns a point for her team. The teams are not allowed to talk while the reps are answering the question. (This is a huge bonus.)
- Each team will continue to send a new rep until every student has a turn or all questions have been answered. Timing for this game is flexible. You can make it as short or as long as you need. My students love this game and have never gotten restless.
The winning team gets to do a touchdown celebration dance. I’d let my students Lambeau Leap, as we live in Wisconsin, but the landing could be dicey.
End your year with a learning celebration, and you will have reinforced a culture of learning, and you don’t even need to pick up any sticky wrappers.