End of the Year - Teacher Tips for Middle & High School

Every year I can't believe how quickly time has flown by... it seems like just yesterday I was getting ready for a new year with new students, new ideas and new curriculum.

I know how crazy the end of the year can be for teachers and students alike... it's an endless list of school events to attend, meetings to go to, paperwork to be filed, grading, report cards and cleaning up of all my mess!  #mydeskisadisaster #willieverbeabletodigmyselfout

Here are some of the things I do to help make it through the chaotic last month or two of school.
Clean up
I go through all of my piles (I seem to have sooo many piles!!) and sort them into three categories.  
Then (and this is key for me!) - I deal with all three piles right away!  I SHRED all important documents that don't need to be kept... I march out to our recycling station and RECYCLE my pile of papers into the bin... and then I file all of the papers that I need to KEEP.
I know this may seem a little (or a lot crazy!)... but if I've got time, I like to get as prepared as possible for next year.  Where I teach in British Columbia, Canada we don't get any paid prep time at the start of the year.  We can go into school early to set up our classrooms, organize our curriculum, photocopy papers etc... but it's all done on our own time.  However, we do have a few days in June to prep for next year and I take full advantage of them to do what I can.  It helps make my summer a little more enjoyable.
Give thanks
I spend some time with my students asking them to reflect on their school year and who helped them along the way.  I think it's important for students to spend a few minutes writing a thank you note to a teacher or staff member in our building thanking them for support, assistance, encouragement or help during the year.  I provide a 'thank-you' note template photocopied on to colored paper - I let them choose the color and the template.  About half of my students want to deliver the note themselves, the other half ask me to do it.  I don't grade their letters, I don't read their letters... it's all up to the students what they want to say.  My coworkers LOVE to receive the notes and it's fun to watch how excited my students are to share them.  Grab a FREE copy of the templates and lesson plan and get started today!

Student activities
Lastly, I try to find student activities that are low prep for me, engaging for the students and don't require any grading (or very little).  Here are some of my favorite activities to help you get through the last few weeks of the year!  Click each image below to check them out!

I hope you have a fantastic summer!!


Quotes for Kindness - Free Writing Prompts for Your Classroom

I teach middle and high school age students and they're great.  They're really great. BUT sometimes they can be downright awful to each other. The drama we see in middle school students can be out of control!!

I value the classroom community I create throughout the year - I value the open communication, the easy joking, the laughter and the fun.  But... I know my students need reminders.  Reminders to be respectful, reminders to be kind, reminders to show empathy...

Here's an easy and FREE set of writing prompts to help remind your students of the value of kindness, the value of friendship and the value of respect.   It's amazing how far a little reminder can go with my students.... and I hope with yours.

Click HERE to grab your copy of the writing prompts that have been inspired by quotes from famous literature. Use these quotes as bell ringers, inspiration for a longer essay, paragraph practice, an anti-bullying unit or a class discussion!

As an extension activity I have includesd a blank version of the writing paper so that you or your students can add your own writing prompt.  Why not ask them to find a quote about kindness or empathy from their favourite book, a famous movie or from a well-known historical figure.

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