Posts Tagged ‘Language Arts ideas’

Filling the last few days with meaningful material can be challenging. Restless students need to release the extra energy created by summer anticipation. Consider forming small groups and assigning each one a reader’s theater. Make sure there are at least one or two strong readers in each group, define the guidelines, then pass out the scripts. While they practice, you’ll be able to get some last minute grading done. Circulate periodically to check on their fluency, allow them to bring in some simple props and your last day can be productive as well as fun.

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ABC Countdown

If you are looking for a creative way to close out the year, this alphabet countdown could be just the thing – especially for the primary grades. Each day for the final 26 days there is a fun focus. Send a note to the parents so they can be prepared.
A: animal. Bring a small stuffed animal to keep you company today.
B: book. Bring a book to share with a friend during reading time.
C: clean. Clean out your desk today.
D: dance.
E: exercise.
F: face painting day. Ask for parent volunteers and offer suggestions for simple designs.
G: games. Learn some new math games.
H: Hawaiian day. Wear your most colorful island wear.
I: information. Learn something new on a walk around the school.
J: jump. Spend extra time outside with jump ropes.
K: kick. Play a game of kickball outside or in the gym.
L: lunch. Each lunch together in the classroom.
M: move. Change seats, just for the day.
N: new. Make a new friend from another classroom. Send them a handmade card.
O: outside. Spend extra time in the outdoors.
P: picnic. Eat lunch together outside.
Q: quiet. Spend time reading silently.
R: remember. Write a story about your favorite memory from the year.
S: step up. Visit the grade that you’ll be going to next year.
T: teach. Teach the class something you have learned.
U: unhealthy. Okay, it’s your day for a piece of candy.
V: video. Learn something new via video.
W: write. Write a letter to one of the office staff.
X: xtra play. Spend some extra time playing games.
Y: yearbook. Bring yours to sign or use provided paper to collect autographs.
Z: Zoom on out of school into summer!

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As you plan out your last few days of school, consider having your current students write a letter to your incoming class.  Encourage them to include what their favorite projects were, what they learned, what they liked most, etc.  Put one letter on each new student’s desk in August as part of your welcome packet.  Ask your most prolific writers to do an extra letter or two, in case you have more students next year.  These letters will not only give you an extra way to greet your new students, they will give you a window into your impact upon current class.

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Next week is the end of the third quarter.  Before the whirlwind of the final quarter hits, it’s a great time to reflect over the year.  Carve out an hour or so to look through your lesson plans, let your eyes wander around the room and just look out the window.  Ask yourself:

What do I wish had gone better this year?

What do I still want to accomplish with my students?

What remaining experiences in my classroom will have the biggest impact on their lives?

What can I do differently next year so that I can build on what I have learned this year?

Who needs just a little more of my time before they leave my care this year?

Your impact and your sense of fulfillment will grow as you give thought to these areas.

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On days when you take standardized tests, you don’t want to overtax the students but you also don’t want to waste time doing things that won’t benefit your students in the long run.  How about giving them some brainteasers as examples and then time to see if they can create one of their own?  Here are some ideas to prime the pump:

1. Do they have a 4th of July in England?

 2. If there are 7 months that have 31 days in them and 11 months that have 30 days in them, how many months have 28 days in them?

3. How many birthdays does the average man have?

 4. What is boiled then cooled, sweetened then soured?

5. A woman gives a beggar 50 cents; the woman is the beggar’s sister, but the beggar is not the woman’s brother. How come?

Find the answers on teach-nology.com.  It’s fun!

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Today was painful.  My students are in the editing phase of a journalism assignment.  How much easier it would be if they each had a computer to work on.  Some of their writing is good – really good.  They just need to move a sentence from here to there, strengthen a verb, eliminate an extra adjective.  They would derive so much more pleasure from writing if the process wasn’t so hard.  Instead of “cut and paste” on the computer, their notebook papers are filled with red arrows, crossed out words, stars that link to a note on the bottom of the page, etc.  I fear that their enthusiasm towards expressing themselves will be dampened because so much energy is required to copy and recopy.  If only there was some way to convince the school board that the expense of computers in every room is worth it. 

I’m thankful that my students are learning self-discipline and endurance as they carefully write their final copies.  I just hope the joy of writing remains along the way.

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Mondays mean a crowd around your desk, with everyone hoping to fill you in on the details of their weekend.  If you manage to avoid that, then someone wants to share during Morning Meeting time.  You want to listen, but your schedule demands otherwise.  Two Word Weekend gives every student the chance to share and also forces them to think. 

Start anywhere in the room.  Each student has to describe their weekend in exactly two words.  Examples:  “Grandpa visited,” “Dad’s birthday,” “Great restaurant,” or “New puppy!”  It’s a great way for everyone to input in the space of one or two minutes.  If time, you can draw one or two names or numbers for elaboration.

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