Primary Chalkboard: End of the School Year Tips (to be SUPER prepared for next year!)

End of the School Year Tips (to be SUPER prepared for next year!)

Every June, I lock up my classroom for summer and FEEL like I have left everything ready to go when August rolls around. Yet, every August, I unlock those doors and realize how much work I have on my plate to get my stuff together for another school year. THIS year, I will set myself up for success for the next school year. I need to repeat that...


My schedule is just about to hit the crazy fan, but here in my tenth year of teaching, I have learned that my August self will be much happier if I can stick to the following five goals:

1. {I will} Keep some student work for my August bulletin boards.

I learned this tip while student teaching but there have been many "doh!" years where I forgot to keep something that can decorate the bulletin boards. My mentor teacher suggested that I have my students write letters to the future students. They are cute, not to mention easy! I created the following FREEBIE letter writing paper for you to use in your own classroom. The download includes letter templates for grades K-5. Click here to get in on the goodness! (P.S. it is a google doc so no registration needed. Yay!)

2. {I will} REFLECT on what worked and what did not.

This year I have had a goal that I have {mostly} kept up with, which is keeping better records of what I taught and how it went. I have an awesome grade level team and we have all been on each other's tails about maintaining our reflection notes. But now when things are crazy, this is when we need good records to keep us straight for next year. Now, most of my notes are simply a scribble fest on a yellow pad. But this system seems to be working. Even as I move into my last four weeks of school, I am stickin' with the goal of writing down my steps for planning stuff like:
  • Last day of school
  • Cleaning schedule
  • Celebration of Learning (parents visit the classroom and reflect on learning with students)
  • End of the year party
  • My final teaching units

I will be a happy camper to not have to make up these plans in busy May 2015.

3. {I will} Clean out the junk and stuff I don't use.

I have a whole shelf in my tiny classroom closet dedicated to the olden style geoboards, even though I have a new set. Not needed. Neither I, nor my students, have touched them in two years. This year they will find a new home. What about that box of old fabric scraps that we seriously do not touch. Oy vey. GONE. Little hands love helping on projects like this. I have a group of girls that would BEG to do this during their lunch hour!

4. {I will} Be ready to start student work portfolios on the first day of school. 

Student growth portfolios are a huge part of our classroom and school. The students each create a book with work samples and reflections on their growth. Even though this is supposed to be a year-round project, the bulk of the work happens in our last trimester. I always push the reflections and organizing of the book until the month before the end of the year. BUT, next year everything is changing. I am keeping a sample of a portfolio that is perfectly organized and put together based on what I used as an example this year. This will help me when I know that in October, we need to reflect on our Small Moment writing samples or our math journals, or in December we are checking in on our reading progress. Everything is fresh in my mind now which is the perfect time to write down what I have re-figured out in terms of organizing these bad boys.

There you have it! Even with only four tasks, this is a lofty goal. But if followed, hopefully our return to school is a little smoother. What do you think? Are some of these goals attainable for you this year?


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