Tuesday, April 25, 2017

5 ideas for finishing the year strong - #lastbell

End of year by TheCompelledEducator.com

For many of us, we're about one week away from starting the last month of the school year. If you're like me, you're still wondering why time seems to go faster and faster every year. With the last month of school approaching, it's the time of the year when teachers know their students best, students know classroom routines and their teachers, and it's a great time to finish the school year strong!

Last year around this time, I was part of leading a movement on social media called #lastbell. It's a reminder that time in classrooms in May is just as important as the first few weeks of school. Our voxer group for female leaders in education saw a need to motivate, encourage, and support educators as we enter the month where teachers, students, and parents are tired and want to pass on learning. You can read about how #lastbell inspired a district last spring, and we hope that you will join us in May as we lift up students and educators everywhere!

Here are some resources and ideas for #lastbell as we head into May:

Literacy buddies  
If you teach older elementary students, partner with a younger class for literacy buddies. Let the older students read to and with the younger students. End the year with a literacy party to celebrate number of pages and/or books read.

Take it outside! 
Take a box of sidewalk chalk and the lesson outside. Let students capture their ideas in writing on the sidewalk. 

Practice gratitude. 
Supply your students with colored paper, markers, stickers, and anything else they might need to create Thank You cards for another teacher in the building. Have them to sign their name to the card, then place the card in the teachers' mailboxes. Don't tell the other teachers what you are doing.

Class Awards from TheCompelledEducator.com

Celebrate your students!
Everyone likes to be recognized. Feel free to download and use certificates I created, or create your own. If your school allows, also share pictures of students with their certificates on social media. 

Practice Random Acts of Kindness
For a week or a month, have a RAK of the day. Listen to the stories your students share about the joy they get out of performing these acts of kindness. 
Here are some ideas:

  • Make a thank-you card for a custodian
  • Help pick up trash in the hallway or lunchroom
  • Say hi to a new student
  • Smile at everyone you see
  • Hold the door open for someone
  • Write a thank you note to a lunchroom worker, secretary, or nurse
  • Tell someone they're doing a great job
  • Give someone a high five

We hope you will join in the #lastbell fun starting next week! Be sure to share on social media using the hashtag!

Official button for #lastbell. (Right-click to download)
Share in your email signature, on your blog, & social media.

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