How to {Tackle} the End of the Year!

Happy End of the Year! It's hard to believe that the end of the year is in sight. There is officially only 9 more days  (12 if you count post-planning) until I'm a stay at home mom for the summer! Definitely a perk of the job! As much as I love teaching, I love spending the summer with my own littles!

I don't know about your class, but my students are SO excited about summer! It's usually this time of year that I see the most behavior problems and the shift from learning to playing!  I wanted to share some of the things I do at the end of the year to keep my kids focused on learning and all those behavior problems kept to a minimum!

The first thing I do is plan FUN and engaging lessons! It's the end of the year- testing is over and everyone is excited! But, that does not mean that teaching and learning needs to end! I'm going to be honest, I'm just as ready for summer as the kids! So, it's important that I find lessons that I'm just as excited to teach as they are to learn!

I absolutely love doing some type of author study or novel study the last few weeks of school! In the past I've always done a Robert Munsch author study and used Amy Lemon's cute units, but this year I wanted something different! I decided to use Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I'm so glad that I did!

I look forward to reading chapters from the book each day, and I created some super cute activities to go along with the book! Not to mention, my students are absoultely LOVING it!

To go along with our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory unit, I created a new behavior incentive! My school is a PBIS school, so students have been earning tickets all year for good behavior. In my own classroom, students earn coins to use at our classroom store. However, for the last few weeks of school I needed something new to reinforce positive behavior.

Students have been earning Golden Tickets for {golden} behavior! During a morning meeting, I introduced the new behavior incentive and explained that students would be earning golden tickets to attend a Chocolate Factory in our classroom! As a class, we came up with the number of golden tickets that students would need to earn in order to attend. Some students thought 5 or 6 would be a good number and others thought 15-20 tickets was a good number. So, we agreed upon 10 tickets! I explained that in order to earn these tickets, students had to show {golden} behavior since it was the end of the year and I expected more from almost third graders. I sent a letter home to families explaining this new incentive and told them to ask their child each night how many tickets they have earned! So far, it's working great!

For the entire year, we've been doing math from 9:45am-11:00am, so why change that at the end of the year!? Kids love (and need) structure and for a lot of my students the structure in my classroom is probably the most structure they have in their little lives. So, it's important to keep that as long as I can! While math games are fun, they can also be chaotic! So, for this particular group of students I needed something fun and engaging, but also to keep the focus on learning! 

I found this amazing End of the Year Math Review from Briana Beverly and it has been a lifesaver! There are practice questions on Powerpoint to use a mini-lesson and then students are able to complete review questions independently or with a partner. It's been a great review of all the concepts we learned this year! 

I think it's always amazing to have something to look forward to! As much as I'm looking forward to summer (and I know my kids are too), I needed something in class to look forward to! Enter, the Kids Choice Awards! 

At the end of every year, I host the Kids Choice Awards in my classroom! For these awards, students are in charge of the voting! Each student gets a class list and a voting sheet and they choose who deserves each award! Then, I tally up all the votes and figure out who wins each award!

Next, comes the fun part! Students are given lines that they must memorize for our celebration. One of my former colleagues created the cutest little script for students to present their awards to each other! It takes a lot of work, but it's so worth it!

We invite our families, lay out the red carpet, and celebrate our year with the Kids Choice Awards! It's the absolute BEST way to end the year! I'll make sure to write a post all about how I do these awards in my classroom!

How do you tackle the end of the year in your classroom!?

Happy Teaching!


  1. How do you " get away" with giving them food/ candy during the day? We have some serious strict rules at our district.

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