Get Organized To End The Year


     Even with testing dates still looming ahead, many teachers are eyeing the end-of-year tasks that have to be done before leaving the classroom for the summer. I always did and really dreaded it. It was a lot of work for little profit. When I realized that I could use this time to not only take care of these tasks, but to give me a head start on the next year, it energized me and changed what and how I did things. Take a look at this list and see if it might help you this year.
1. Plan, put up, and cover your bulletin boards for the new school year. I spent so many hours and days putting up bulletin boards each fall when I should have been working on lesson plans and activities. Walking into a classroom, tearing off old newspapers, and rolling up my sleeves for other tasks was such a feeling of power! I highly recommend that you think about your boards, start cutting out the components, and get those boards up!
2. Let the kids help you! Obviously, this depends on the age of student that you teach, but especially in upper elementary grades, students looooove to help do tasks and chores that I would loooooove for them to help me with! Let them collect and organize text books, write names and numbers into books, sort out the mess that your construction paper has gotten into, clean out cabinets, collect and organize art materials, sharpen pencils (please!), and otherwise tidy your classroom.
 3. Send home papers and portfolios that you kept as soon as you can. Many schools require teachers to keep student work portfolios as evidence for promotion/retention. Send home other graded work whenever you can.
4. All those extra worksheets from the year? Have students sort and divide them, then send home packets with students to keep skills fresh. Parents often appreciate this little extra.
5. Ask kids for suggestions for next year. From the arrangement of the classroom, to routines and procedures, to organizational systems, your students are the ones who use your stuff - see what they think about how the year went.

Want some more suggestions for a successful year-end? Check out these blog posts from my friends Mary at Carrberry Creations and Lisa at All Things Special Ed!
Carrberry Creations
All Things Special Ed
     Best wishes as you wind down your year!
Pat McFadyen
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