As our school year winds down, I thought I’d share a few ideas I’ve used in the past along with some I’ve recently come across that can create fun and meaningful opportunities to reflect on the learning and overall experience in our classrooms this year.
END OF YEAR BOOKLET: This booklet is geared toward junior students but can easily be modified for primary grades. This booklet is a way for students to think back on the various aspects of their year and includes tasks that involve creativity by adding artwork. Students enjoy reading each others’ booklets and sharing them with the class at a year-end party.
END OF YEAR AWARD: Students create their own award to present to anyone they wish. They decide what the award is celebrating and the recipient can be someone in the class, the school, their family, or community. You can make it fun by having students draw each others’ names and create an award for their classmate which they present at an end-of-year award ceremony. This often becomes very humourous with some silly awards being created.
TEACHER REPORT CARD: I can understand why some teachers would be wary of having their students do this but I actually find it very helpful and the students love giving me feedback. I spend so much of the year assessing them and sharing descriptive feedback about their learning so why shouldn’t they do the same with respect to my teaching? Students are quite insightful and honest. Some of the reports I’ve received have been eye-openers and got me thinking about how to better my program the following year.
LETTER TO NEXT YEAR’S STUDENTS: This gives the current students the opportunity to reflect on their year and think of advice to give to the students for the upcoming school year. Both the students writing the letter and those reading it the following year really enjoy this opportunity to get a sense of what can be expected.
LET STUDENTS TEACH A CLASS: You can split the class into groups and assign each a specific topic you studied this year. Give them time to go over their topic and invent a good review activity, which they have to grade (or not, if it’s too much for the end of the year). You assess them on whether they were able to re-teach the concept or skill and how effective their review activity is.
STUDENT CREATED QUIZ SHOW: Have students come up with questions for a quiz show about concepts, skills, facts, or anything they learned throughout the year. Create categories (ie. like Jeopardy) for each subject area and have students organize their questions. Enjoy the quiz show as a class competing against the teacher or form teams of students to compete against each other. Prizes can include a longer recess, extra gym time, or some frozen treats at the end of hot June day.