Academic Engagement in the Home Stretch

You’ve made it to the last few months of the academic year! From spring fever to state testing, there are lots of reasons why students might need a nudge to stay engaged in academics around this time of year. Here are some tips that can help!
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How’s Your Reinforcing Language?

Once June arrives, it’s tempting to focus on the more leisurely days ahead. That’s important to do—we all need rest and rejuvenation. But before you begin that well-earned downtime, pause for a…
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Joyful Endings: The Last Few Weeks of School

Although we hope that our students’ learning won’t stop just because school does, it’s good to help them reach a sense of closure during the last few weeks of the year. Good…
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Class Memory Books

On Move-Up Day, a rite of passage for the children at my school, I tend to feel a bit wistful as the second graders I've been teaching head off to meet their…
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Reflecting on Your Teaching Year

At the end of another school year, it's tempting to count the days left, wave goodbye to my class, pack up my room, and mentally check out for the summer. I've earned…
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Wrapping Up the School Year

You can do this one in conjunction with packing up the classroom library: each child chooses a favorite book and tries to convince classmates to read it over the summer. There are…
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Celebrating Friendship

Take time at the end of the school year to help children reflect on how they have worked to get to know each other, efforts they have made to be kind, and…
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Reflecting on Hopes and Goals

As the school year winds down, how will your students reflect on the hopes, dreams, and goals they set for this year? Many books could inspire this sort of reflection, including those…
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Read-Alouds for Remembering

How has your class grown this year? What acts of kindness have they done for each other? What have they learned? What do you hope they will remember? Children's books can be…
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Bringing the School Year to a Strong Finish

The end of the school year is an emotional time. By this time, many students (and teachers!) are eager for summer vacation, yet many children have mixed feelings about leaving the comforting…
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Read-Alouds for the Last Day

What do you read to your class on the last day of school? I always put so much energy into that last choice. I wanted a book that would celebrate the community…
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Behavior Challenges in the Homestretch?

It's April. It's tempting to think that by now students understand our expectations and know how to behave, so we can all just coast to the end of the year. But, in…
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The Last Days of School

Endings can be difficult for both children and adults. As the last days of school approach, the children in my first grade classroom and I will be feeling a range of emotions,…
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A Focused Finish

Q: What's the most important thing to focus on during the last weeks of school?A: Showcasing students' learning and celebrating the community you've built together should be the focus at the end…
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My Hope and Dream for You

A few weeks before school ended last year, I wrote my fourth grade students notes stating a “hope and dream” for each of them as they moved on to fifth grade. My…
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Success Night

When Kyle and his grandparents walk into Summit Elementary School on Success Night, the hallways are already buzzing with children and their families. Kyle’s grandmother catches sight of his second grade teacher…
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Recognizing Students’ Accomplishments All Year Long

Publicly recognizing children’s accomplishments can benefit their learning and the overall school climate. But how do you do it without setting up a competition among students? This is a question that many…
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“Look At This Lemon”

As each school year ends, I look for ways to highlight for my students all they’ve learned during our time together. Last year, I found a quick, fun way to do this…
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The Last Six Weeks of School

The school year is drawing to a close. It’s been a year filled with many learning experiences for the children and for you. Though learning doesn’t end just because school does, it’s…
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Ending the Year on a Positive Note

Question: What's something you do with students to end the year on a positive note?A: A few years ago I decided to make sure my class would have time for saying goodbye…
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Looking Ahead to Next Year

For students, teachers, and parents alike, few events bring more hope and nervousness than the start of a new school year. As the summer winds down, many teachers begin to have conflicting…
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Looking Back, Looking Forward

Question:The end of the school year offers a unique opportunity for students and teachers to reflect on their year of learning together. It’s a time to recognize efforts, celebrate achievements, acknowledge challenges,…
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