I want to end the year with a productive but fun day. Suggestions?
Something to keep them calm. Something positive, enjoyable, useful and educational to give closure to the end of the year.
I suppose a video and an assembly are out of the question?
I hope we can do better than that.
OK. Try activities, reflections and plans. Activities such as hangman, word searches and Pictionary are fine. More fun is making paper models (no glue, no paint, no mess). And what about one or two-minute speeches? If you were an animal, what would you be? The hardest thing you've ever done? The best dream you've ever had? Invite questions and answers.
A good start but I'm interested in "reflections"
This is a time for looking back and remembering. Create a yearbook of memories. Each pupil creates a page with best memories of the past year. Include pictures and photographs. Publish as web pages so everyone can see it. Or, make a working wall poster for everyone to add "what we liked most", "what we're proud of", "what was fun". Hold a graduation day. Recap successes, memorable moments and everyone gets a certificate for "Best..." awarded by the whole class. Go "back to back" pin a large card to each child's back and pupils write positive comments and memories for each other to take home. Write thank you notes to people who helped make a successful school year.
Thank you. And plans?
Letters to next year's pupils. Tips for success in your class, explaining anything a new pupil needs to know. Publish on the school website or make them into posters so new pupils have something from the start. Write a letter to themselves with advice for next year. Open on the first day of next term. Make a list of activities to fill the summer for themselves and for whoever is looking after them. And don't forget cleaning and tidying. Lots of children enjoy wiping tables, cleaning equipment and shifting furniture. A community effort that helps the whole school.
And, later, a large glass of wine?
Duncan Grey is author of The First Aid Kit for Teachers, 100+ Essential Lists for Teachers and Getting the Buggers to Learn (Continuum)