Welcome to Week 2 of the End of Year Challenge!
This week we will plan and organize to prepare for summer break and for the next school year.
For an overview of the End of the School Year Challenge, read this post here.
Table of Contents
As the end of the school year approaches, it’s natural for you to feel relief (and perhaps excitement) that another year has finished and that a summer break is near. The final weeks of school are the perfect time to start planning and organizing for the next year. In the previous blog post, I shared ways to reflect and set goals for the new school year. Now we will use that information to plan and organize so that you are well-prepared for a stressless summer break and a successful start to the new school year.
Plan for Next Year
While this school year is still fresh in my mind, I like to make a simple list of ideas to save for the next year. When I come back to the classroom in August, I have an organized list of ideas that I want to include in my plans for the new year. A great way to do this is in a Google Doc.
Take some time to think about what worked well in your classroom this year. Did your students respond positively to the décor or seating arrangement? Did a particular organization system help keep the classroom tidy and efficient? What routines worked and what routines need to be improved? Whatever it may be, make note of it so that you can incorporate it into your plans for the next school year.
Use any feedback gathered from your students to make a list of activities and teaching methods that were successful throughout the year and should be kept for the next academic year. This can include anything from a particular lesson plan or project to a specific classroom routine or activity. By keeping these successful elements, you can build upon what worked well and create a strong foundation for the upcoming year.
You can make a separate list of things they would like to add or improve based on student feedback. Perhaps there were areas of the curriculum that students found confusing or difficult, or maybe there were suggestions for new classroom activities or projects. By taking this feedback into account, you can jot down ideas for the upcoming year that focus on areas that need improvement and consider incorporating new ideas and activities.
Organize & Clean
Go through any accumulated papers and file the ones you want or need to keep. Toss the rest!
Recruit you students to organize supplies, cabinets, drawers, and clean out desks, and shelves. Students love to help clean! Write a list of tasks on the white board or on anchor chart paper to display and have students cross tasks off your list when completed.
Make a plan
Make a plan to organize and clean your classroom. Create a list of tasks that need to be done and prioritize them according to importance. Start early. Don’t wait until the last day of school to start cleaning. Start organizing and cleaning at least two weeks before the last day of school.
Ask students to help you with cleaning and organizing tasks. This will not only save you time but will also teach them responsibility. I write a list of student cleaning tasks on the whiteboard and have students check off the tasks as they are completed.
Get rid of items you no longer need or use. Donate or recycle items that are still in good condition.
Sort and label, files, and other teaching materials. Keep them in a place where they are easily accessible.
Have your students sort and organize supplies. Give your students the tasks of:
- Organizing and checking classroom library books
- Testing every marker and discarding any that don’t work
- Going through crayons and color pencils to discard any broken ones
- Sorting and organizing paper clips, pens, pencils and other supplies
- Cleaning and organizing all drawers, cabinets, and shelves
Take inventory of all classroom supplies (another great task for students) and make a list of things that need to be ordered for the next school year. Add it to your Google Doc so it’s easy to find at the beginning of the school year.
Take home personal items of value
Pack up and take home any personal items that you wouldn’t want to lose.
Leave a clean slate
Plan to leave your classroom clean and ready for the next school year. Take down bulletin boards and any décor you don’t plan to use next year. This will make it easier for you to start fresh when you return in the fall.
As the school year comes to an end, it’s natural to feel relief and excitement for the approaching summer break. Now is the perfect time to plan and organize for the next year. Reflecting on our goals and utilizing the information shared in the previous blog post, we can ensure a stress-free summer and a successful start to the new school year. By assessing our strengths and weaknesses, enjoying a rejuvenating summer break, staying organized, and preparing in advance, we set ourselves up for a fulfilling academic journey ahead.
This week plan to do at least one of these things in your classroom and mark it off as completed on the End of the School Year Choice Board!
Looking for a no-prep end of year activity for your students? Have your students create a booklet of advice for your next year’s students with this End of Year Writing Activities Bundle.