Creative Ideas For Winding Up The Class Day And Academic Year

Creative Ideas For Winding Up The Class Day And Academic Year

Have you ever wondered, why does my classroom seem more chaotic towards the end of the day? Is there a way to handle that constructively?

Misbehavior among students when the day nears the final bell is more frequent because there is a connection students make with classroom culture and the last few minutes of the day. It’s the teacher’s responsibility to lead students at that time, purposefully and with calm direction. Not doing this can cause problems that may last for more than a few minutes.

Here is how you can organize your class wind up on a daily and annual level, as well as your individual responsibilities.

End of Day
It is critical to wind up each school day with a routine, happy and peaceful dismissal. One common way to do this is to ask students to record their reflections, in a journal, about what they had learned that day. Then ask students to pair and share what they wrote. The pair could note key points and hand it in to you on a note card. Also important is the end-of-class homework reminder. The routine you share with students could look something like this:

  • Plan a time for daily homework
  • Take home all the things you will need
  • Choose a quiet place to study
  • Read and follow all instructions
  • Ensure your work is neat and that you do it carefully
  • Ask for help if you need it, but do the work yourself
  • Keep your homework in a safe place and return it on time

The key thing is to find a calm and efficient method. A good way to involve your students in the process is to make a child-friendly version of your checklist and put it up in the classroom, so they can remind themselves of what needs to be done, and when. You can come up with a “Daily Wind Up Checklist” to do this, tailored to your students. Ensure that you are consistent each day with whatever routine, you find works best.

End of Year
As the last few days of the school year near, most teachers find themselves at a loss because they are running out of ideas to enhance teaching and include fun activities. During the weeks that run up to vacation time, students turn increasingly fidgety, giggly, unruly, and are more challenging to manage than usual. It is good to remember that this could be a reflection of the anticipation of vacations or even of increasing stress that is prevalent at homes during the season. Additionally, schools may have special events like plays or end-of-year showcases. Such changes in routine do affect students’ behavior. Keeping that in mind helps a teacher’s expectations of her students to be realistic. Here are some ideas for the end-of-year:

  • Stick to your usual routines as much as possible to retain the shape of your day at school. If unplanned events do happen, announce it to your students and let them know that things will return to schedule
  • Plan “turn and talk” sessions or partner chats to help your students. Alternate active periods with not-so-active ones
  • Keep a lookout for fun, recreational and learning activities. Teachers could look up some creative fun activities, like Scavenger hunts or scrapbooks. On one of the last days of the year, ask students to bring a white T-shirt to school. Paint each student’s hand with bright-colored paint. Teachers could even have them sign their names on the t-shirts and wear these on the last day home. This is a memorable activity that your students will treasure.

Teacher Windup
As students end their year with good memories, teachers will be faced with a lot of responsibilities to complete. During the vacation time, while it is crucial for teachers to take a proper rejuvenating break from school, it is very helpful to spend some time reflecting on the year before they take a break. One effective way to do this would be to make a “Reflection Sheet” and record plans for the following year.


Like this article for teachers?

Browse the Professional Learning Board COURSE CATALOG to find related online courses for teachers in your state. Professional Learning Board is a leading provider of online professional development classes that teachers use to renew a teaching license or renew a teaching certificate.

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