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Surviving the End of the School Year

The end of the school year can be challenging, even for experienced teachers. It can be draining trying to get everything done while still being the amazing teacher that you are. I want to share some tips for surviving the end of the school year, plus some fun end-of-year activities for kindergarten, to help you make the most of your final weeks together!

Tip #1: Be Present While Looking Forward

The first tip is to be present in the moment while looking forward to next year. Your students have grown attached to you over the last nine or ten months of school.

The thought of not seeing you every day or next year can be sad, scary, or unsettling. This is the time to give extra hugs, compliments, and words of affirmation!

You can also help your students get excited about what is to come next year. If you are able to, have a few of the teachers from the next grade level pop in to say hello and introduce themselves.

Meeting these new faces ahead of time can help calm students’ nerves and apprehension about next year.

Tip #2: Practice Patience

Practicing patience is always important as a teacher, but especially at the end of the school year. Understand that your students are just as excited for summer as you are.

They may be more wiggly, giggly, and off-task. Channel this extra energy into productive activities with kindergarten students by playing review games or outdoor learning games. If you need to redirect your students, do it calmly instead of yelling.

Tip #3: Take Time For Self-Care

Summer will be here before you know it! This is a great time of year to practice self-care and give yourself grace, especially since we all know it is a busy time of year.

Don’t forget to take time for yourself. Grab a cup of coffee and drink it before it gets cold. Put your cell phone away and get lost in a Netflix series. Whatever self-care is to you, take the time to do something for yourself. It’ll make surviving the end of the school year so much easier.

Tip #4: Remember and Reflect

At the end of the school year, it’s important to set aside time for end of year activities for kindergarten students to talk about and reflect on their school year. They can write about their experiences, draw a picture, or simply talk about it with their friends and teachers.

Memory Books are a fantastic way for students to reflect on the year and document their thoughts and experiences from the year. Students will have a blast being creative while remembering the special times they’ve had.

Tip #5: Attitude is Everything

Even though you may be stressed out, worn out, and on the verge of checking out, it’s important to keep a positive attitude. It’s so easy to get upset or frustrated over an unexpected schedule change and snap at your kiddos. Try your best to go with the flow, have a back-up plan, and keep cool.

Instead, play music, do a brain break, go outside with your students, and do something fun! Eat a piece of chocolate if you need to! 

Above all else, remember why you became a teacher. Take time to enjoy the last days of school. You will never have that exact same class or group of students again. Celebrate them, enjoy them, and love them.

Tip #6: Activities on the Fly

One of the best tips for surviving the end of the school year is to plan ahead and have a few creative, no-prep activities with kindergarten students that you can pull out at any time.

Maybe you have a few minutes to spare between the end of a lesson and the start of an assembly. Have students make a welcome banner for your class next year. Make an autograph page for their peers to sign. Something quick and easy!

If you’re looking for quick and fun activities you can easily put together, these no-prep math and literacy worksheets can help you review key skills students have learned. 

Tip #7: Routines Are Important

Just because the school year is winding down doesn’t mean routines should change. In fact, this is one of the most important times to keep your routines consistent!

Changing routines leads to behavior changes. Stick to your normal routine of having morning meetings, read alouds, literacy and math rotations, etc. Keep working on key skills and learning with fun, engaging summer review activities for kindergarten.

Now is not the time to be too relaxed or make big changes in your schedule. Doing so will cause more stress than it’s worth!

Tip #8: Brain Breaks Are a Must

Just like you, your students are working hard to survive the end of the school year. They will likely struggle to stay focused for extended periods of time.

Instead of pushing students into the frustration zone, get them up, moving, and actively learning! Incorporate fun activities and games into your day. Have dance parties. Play Simon Says. Practice counting with jumping jacks or spelling CVC or CVCe words with squats. Be sure to incorporate plenty of brain breaks.

If you’re looking for a fun class game to get your students up and moving, try these FREE End of the Year Class Games!

Tip #9: It's Okay to Start Over

Seriously, it’s okay to review expectations for the last month or week of school. Sometimes a reminder of the rules and your expectations is needed.

You might have to remind students how to sit on the carpet, how to walk in the hall, how to handle classroom materials, or how to behave during specials and in the cafeteria.

If your students are extra chatty in the hallway, try these activities with kindergarten students. As you walk down the hallway, have them think of their favorite thing about school or their favorite read aloud. When you return to the classroom, pick a few students to share what they were thinking.

Tip #10: Plan Something Special

Whether you do an end of the year countdown or just plan a few special days or activities planned, give your students something to look forward to.

You can ask your principal to read your students a story. Plan a lesson that can be done outside. Have students bring in a stuffed animal and have a picnic that day. 

You can even hold an end of the year awards ceremony and award each student a special class award. This is a great way to celebrate each student.

Tip #11: Get Students to Help

There’s so much to do at the end of the year, so let your students help whenever possible.

Students can help sort classroom manipulatives and puzzle pieces. They can sort markers to find the ones that are dried out and don’t work. They can toss empty glue sticks, wipe down tables, sort crayons and pencils, etc. Think of easy jobs that they can do that will save you time!

Summer will be here before you know it! Incorporating some of these end of year activities for kindergarten will help you survive the end of the school year!

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One Comment

  1. I loved your picture so much about summer’s for teachers. I just shared it with my whole school! Thanks for that laugh!

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