Round-up of End-of-the-School-Year To-Do Lists & Advice!
It's the most wonderful time of the year! No, it's not Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. If you're a teacher, you know exactly what I'm talking about...the END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR! Yay! Feel free to do a little happy dance!
Rather than re-invent the wheel, I'm offering a round-up of useful checklists & general genius articles full of end-of-the-school-year advice. There are so many great ones out there so feel free to take advantage of these before you shut everything down for summer, including your mind.
Round-up of End-of-the-School-Year To-Do Lists & Advice:
1. Google Classroom: Kasey Bell & Shake Up Learning has a great to-do list in the post "Google Classroom Cleanup Tips for End of the Year." While you are over there, sign up for the newsletter. I can not tell you what a great resource these guys are for all things Google. During G-CR cleanup, you might want to take their advice and create a class template for next year. Here's the link to that article with instructions.
2. Last Days Student Activities & Personal Reflections: Scholastic's Collection is applicable to all grade levels and goals. Whether you are looking for activities with your students before that last day or you are looking for your own reflection activities as a professional, this site has it. Bounce on over and take a look at all they are offering.
3. More Professional Reflection: Speaking of professional reflections, "Alyssa teaches" on TPT has templates available as FREEBIES! You can choose to either print them out and fill them in manually or use digital versions. Choices are good. Free is even better! Thanks Alyssa! You can also follow her on Pinterest or at her blogging site: Alyssa Teaches - an Upper Elementary Blog.
4. Summer Professional Reading: I'm sure at this point you've already compiled your to-read books over the summer. No? LOL. Me either. But I know where I'm going to start looking. Jennifer Gonzalez at Cult of Pedagogy has what you need to get started. Her article, "What Should Your Teacher Book Club Read" is perfect for perusing the latest in educational topics & issues and pedagogy. Don't be turned off by the title. This list of books isn't just for book clubs. They are perfect candidates for your summer to-read list all on your own. Or, get a few colleagues involved and do your own small-group book club. You might even consider a virtual book club through Google Classroom or Google Meet. That's the edtechie coming out in me. However you choose to tackle your to-read list this summer, this list is the place to start one.
5. General To-Do List: Not to add another list to your growing to-do list collection, but over at teach4theheart there is a short & concise list of misc things teachers should consider before shifting into the summer neutral gear. On the list is a biggie for me, #7 "Try to leave things as organized as possible." this is a priority for me each year when I'm cleaning out and shutting down my classroom. I KNOW that when school rolls back around in August, I 100% will NOT want to deal with last year's chaos. So prioritize this as one of the most important jobs you have at the end of this school year. It will make the start of next year so much better! Trust me!
6. Google Drive...did you just cringe a little? If you did, you know you need to stop ignoring your out-of-control drive and tackle it head on to get some organization going on up in there. Here is how I decide what goes where and what to do with it at the end of each school year:
Any materials that are not reusable - meaning, materials that are specific to THAT school year - need to go into a folder labeled for that year. For example, all of my stuff that is specific to this school year goes into a folder I created named 2018-2019 Sch Yr RECORDS.
That's the #1 rule I use for starting to clean out, organize, & safeguard all of my ending year school records. This would include things such as grade reports, anecdotal class or behavior notes, specific info about the students, etc..
This will start to organize your drive into reusable stuff such as lesson plans, docs, sheets, templates and yearly records you aren't using but need to keep. I also organize my yearly folders into sub-folders then so if I need to go back into last year's folder, I know exactly where I will find what I'm looking for.
Now, before you hyperventilate on this one, realize that you can not do all this organizing at once. Nor should you because it would take all summer if you haven't already been doing this. But, if you start now, you will be the ball rolling and it will help down the road when the next school year starts. At that point, START YOUR NEW YEAR FOLDER AS THE YEAR STARTS AND BEGIN ORGANIZING WITHIN THAT YEAR FOLDER FROM THE START OF IT.
Finding this process and procedure has taken away that beast at the end of the year known as organizing my Google Drive. It took organizing my drive from days and weeks to complete to a single day.Worth it? You bet!
As for the some other great general organizing tips of Google Drive, here are some places to go:
The Electric Educator
Ladybug's Teacher Files
7. Organizing, Packing Up, & Shutting Down The Classroom: If organizing paperwork and files on drive is the beast, packing up & organizing your physical classroom is its little brother. It's important to know what exactly you should pack up and how. But don't despair! There are so many tips & tricks and shortcuts that can help. If you're lacking motivation to do this necessary evil, remember that when a new year rolls around in August, you will thank yourself for it! At We Are Teachers there's a great list of useful tips & tricks for this dreaded task. I especially like tip #6 "Plan Backwards." We know all about that as teachers. Don't forget to consider where you are going to be or might be next year if you are changing room, buildings, or districts. Even if you are not changing location, it's still wise to pause for a moment and consider what you might not need next year.
Here are some other great articles and advice for cleaning up & organizing your physical spaces:
Brent Vasicek over at Scholastic has a great article that even has a checklist: "Your Closing-the-Classroom Checklist"
Another FREE checklist is available over at Where The First Graders Are...
More great packing-up hacks over at Around the Kampfire
I hope this round-up of resources for the end-of-the-school-year shutdown helps you achieve organizational bliss! It is summer after all. As educators we works o very hard all school year long for all of the students we serve. Take the time to end the year right for yourself with these tips. Then, do enjoy your hard-earned summer!
Note: Google, Google Classroom, & Google Drive are (C) of Google Inc.