The end of the school year is challenging and stressful for all of us.  Sometimes we, as teachers, forget that with all we have to do with tearing down our rooms, finishing report cards, updating files, planning field trips, and so on--that students are anxious too. We know anxiety is on the rise.  Some studies saying that 1 in 8 children have some sort of anxiety disorder. ( Here is a pos t with more information if you are interested). Why is the end of the school year such a challenging time?  Here are a few reasons...and I'm sure you can come up with a bunch more. Some students depend on school for their meals.  Whether this is a hot lunch or a breakfast program, some students have less reliable food sourcing over the summer. Students are "networked" at school.  This is where they see their friends and can interact with their peers. Although some students have summer baseball, summer school, play dates, and more--this is NOT true for all of them.  When school ...
Every year I give my students a questionnaire to complete on the first day of school. Later that night, when I have finally recovered from the excitement of the first day, I sit down with my stack of questionnaires to read all about my new students. My students' responses are such an important piece in getting to know each and every one of them. While there is a whole list of get-to-know-you questions for students to respond to, there are five questions that I make sure to pay extra close attention to: What do you like to be called? This question might seem like an obvious one, but I speak from personal experience when I tell you that this question can make such a big difference for certain students. My name is Rebecca, but as a kid I ONLY went by Becky. Every year, when my teachers would call my name during attendance on the first day, I would simply respond with "HERE", instead of letting them know that I preferred to be called Becky. I was painfully shy as a c...
Is the end of the school year really near?   Finally, this year is over!   Which one can you relate to? How do you spend the last few school days at the end of the year?  My days are jam-packed with fun activities.  We begin the year with fun stuff and end with fun stuff.  So, what are some of these fun activities?  I've compiled a list that you can hopefully grab a few ideas 1.  Write a letter to next year's students Before releasing students to write their letter, brainstorm things that they might want to share with your future students.  Here are a handful of writing stems that keep students focused on the purpose: What did we do this year that you thought was fun... What advice would you give to someone entering our class next year... What should you do to keep the teacher happy... What really upsets the teacher... What will you learn in math, science, or social studies... 2.  Create a video for next year's students Instead of writing a letter, have...