As we approach the end of the school year, we can practically hear the collective sighs of relief echoing through the halls. We’re well aware that you've been running on teacher fuel (coffee, anyone?) just to keep up with your students' never-ending energy.
But let's be real for a moment – even superheroes need a breather! We understand that, at this point, your energy levels might resemble a cellphone on its last bar of battery. Don't worry; we won't judge if your coffee mugs have become permanent extensions of your hands.
Before we dive into our guide, we want to give a shout-out to your resilience and dedication. Despite the sleepless nights spent marking or meticulously crafting lesson plans, you've consistently brought your A-game to the classroom. Your commitment to molding young minds is nothing short of extraordinary!
- "I'm running on empty...": We get it, and we're here to help you navigate the final stretch with minimal effort and maximum impact.
- "My tank is half full.": You're cruising along but could use a boost to go out on a high note. Let's explore ways to elevate your classroom activities and bid farewell to the year in style!
- "I'm BUZZING and ready to go out with a bang!": Ah, the energizer bunny of teachers! We've got some electrifying ideas to help you channel that boundless energy and make the last days truly memorable.
No matter where you find yourself on this energy spectrum, the SpacesEDU team has your back. Let's wrap up the year on a high note and celebrate the amazing work you and your students have accomplished!
A: “I’m running on empty…”
We've got your back as you approach the end of this school year. Our mission: to guide you through this last stretch, ensuring you achieve maximum impact with minimal effort. And guess what? The key to our magical formula lies in involving your students in the process!
1. Journal Reflection: Ask students to reflect on their academic and personal growth. Using SpacesEDU, students can post a journal entry within their individual space to reflect on their school year. Consider a prompt from this list or have them create their own prompt.
2. Self-assessment on Competencies: In an Activity, instruct students to complete a self-assessment to reflect on their competencies and areas for improvement, using the statements below:
- Strength: “I can…”
- Evidence: “I show this…”
- Goal: “I can get better…”
- How: “I will do this…”
3. Portrait of a Graduate Self-assessment: To help students reflect on their skills and attributes as the school year comes to a close, consider creating an Activity in their Individual Spaces using the Portrait of a Graduate framework. This self-assessment exercise can encourage students to think about their personal growth and set goals for the future. To get started, you can use some of the prompts below for inspiration:
- Adaptability: What are some changes or challenges you faced this year? How did you adapt to these changes, and what did you learn about yourself in the process?
- Communication: What are some ways you improved your communication skills this year? How did you communicate effectively with others, and what were some challenges you faced?
- Problem-solving: Can you describe a challenging problem you faced this year? How did you approach the problem, and what were some steps you took to solve it?
- Empathy: Can you think of a time when you showed empathy towards someone in your class or community? How did you demonstrate empathy, and what was the outcome?
- Integrity: How have you demonstrated honesty and integrity in your classwork this year? Can you give an example of a time when you made a difficult decision that was guided by integrity?
- Learner's mindset: How have you demonstrated a growth mindset in your learning this year? Can you think of a time when you faced a challenge, and how did you use a learner's mindset to overcome it?
- Collaboration: Can you describe a time when you worked with others on a project? How did you contribute to the group, and what were some challenges you faced? How did you overcome these challenges, and what did you learn from the experience?
By giving your students the opportunity to reflect on their progress and set goals, you can help them take ownership of their learning and feel confident about their abilities as they move on to the next grade.
4. Community Service Reflection: In an Activity, prompt students to reflect on their community service initiative from the school year. Encourage them to share their experiences, the type of work they were involved in, and their overall thoughts on the experience. Ask them to identify their personal growth and development that resulted from their involvement.
Students should use the following prompts to form the basis of their reflection piece:
- What did you learn from this experience?
- How did your service initiative impact the community and the people you served?
- In what ways did your service initiative challenge you to grow as an individual?
- Did this experience inspire you to continue to serve the community or to become more involved in social issues?
- What challenges did you face during the initiative and how did you overcome them?
B: “My tank is half full.”
You've made it this far, cruising through the school year like a pro! But hey, even the smoothest journeys could use a little turbo boost to go out on a high note. We're about to explore some strategies to elevate your classroom activities and bid farewell to the year in style!
1. Exit Portfolio:
Ask students to review their Portfolio Individual Space and select their top 5 work samples they are proud of from various subjects. You may choose to have them select posts solely based on the learning objectives you focused on as a class.
In the Comments section of each work sample, students will explain their selection using text and/or multimedia tools, with these questions in mind.
2. Virtual Yearbook: Think of this as a yearbook for the whole class to share, but digital! Create an Activity prompting students to celebrate the school year with the following topics in mind:
- Memories from the school year: Students can reflect on their favourite moments from the year, including events, trips, and experiences they shared with classmates and teachers.
- Gratitude messages: Students can express their gratitude towards teachers, mentors, friends, and family members who helped them through the school year.
- Inspirational quotes or messages: Students can share a quote that resonated with them throughout the year or an inspiring message to uplift their classmates.
- Advice to future students: Students can offer advice to incoming students on how to navigate the school, make new friends, and get involved in extracurricular activities.
- Goals and aspirations: Students can share their goals for the future and what they hope to achieve after graduating from the school.
- Thank you notes: Students can write thank you notes to classmates or teachers who made a significant impact on their lives during the school year.
- Personal anecdotes: Students can share personal stories or experiences that made the school year special to them.
Encourage students to include media files in their submissions and to leave comments on each other’s Activity posts after you have published them.
C: “I'm BUZZING and ready to go out with a bang!”
If this is where your energy levels are at right now, you're basically the superhero of educators – a dazzling combination of the Flash's lightning speed and the unstoppable stamina of the Energizer bunny. Fueled by an infinite supply of coffee and an unwavering passion for teaching, you're like a force of nature in the classroom. While your fellow teachers are trudging along, you're bouncing around with boundless enthusiasm, cracking jokes that keep your students on their toes and entertained. You're like a supercharged Energizer bunny, searching for new challenges and tasks to conquer. These ideas might require a little extra effort, but let's face it, they're right up your alley! You're ready to take on the last few weeks of the school year, one energetic step at a time.
1. Year-end Newsletter: Get creative and use a Canva template to send a year-end newsletter to the Family Channel on SpacesEDU! In your newsletter, you can address some common topics that families may be interested in as the school year comes to a close. For example, you could share what your class has learned this year, suggest ways to support learning over the summer, and offer advice on how to prepare for the upcoming transition to the next grade.
By sharing your insights and tips, you can help families stay informed and involved in their child's education even after the school year ends.
Teacher tip: The Curriculum Tags feature in the right panel of your Feed provides a summary of the learning objectives that your class has been working on throughout the school year. To create a useful summary, consider selecting the top three most frequently used Curriculum Tags to highlight in your summary.
2. Goal Setting (The Power of “Yet”): Begin by introducing the concept of "yet" to your students. Explain that adding "yet" to the end of a sentence can change the meaning from negative to positive. For example, "I can't do this" becomes "I can't do this yet". It means that they might not be able to do it right now, but they're not giving up, and they will be able to do it eventually.
Have your students write down their SMART goal and the steps they will take to achieve it. Encourage them to think about the resources they will need, the obstacles they might face, and the support they will need to be successful.
Next, ask your students to write down the negative self-talk or limiting beliefs that might be holding them back. For example, "I can’t understand fractions".
Have your students add "yet" to the end of each negative self-talk statement, changing the meaning to something more positive. For example, "I can’t understand fractions" becomes "I can’t understand fractions yet".
Encourage your students to reframe their negative self-talk as an opportunity for growth and learning. Ask them to think about how they can turn their negative self-talk into a positive affirmation that will help them achieve their goals.
Finally, have your students create a visual representation of their goal and the steps they will take to achieve it. This could be a poster, a vision board, or a digital collage. Encourage them to include their positive affirmations and the power of "yet" in their visual representation.
This activity can help students to develop a growth mindset and learn the power of perseverance and resilience. By reframing negative self-talk as an opportunity for growth, students can build confidence and achieve their SMART goals.
Teacher tip: Consider attaching external resources.
- Elementary: Sesame Street: Janelle Monae - Power of Yet
- Secondary: The power of yet | Carol S Dweck | TEDxNorrköping
- Elementary & Secondary: 31 SMART Goals Examples for Students of All Ages
3. Summative Portfolio: Bookmark evidence of learning across all Spaces into the Reporting Space for each student to celebrate learning and highlight achievements. Personalize each student’s Summary Statement and Areas of Learning to commemorate academic accomplishments, awards, and personal growth. To further contribute to student success, consider including a “Next Steps” category under the Areas of Learning.
Teacher tip: Download and share a copy of the Student Summary with families.
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