I guess we can't blame them... they're mentally wiped, we're mentally wiped. No one really has the brain power to do anything too challenging, right? But then we don't want to let them loose with "free time" as that is a recipe for disaster.... am I right?!
Well the last few weeks after testing don't have to be all about crowd control and just trying to make it to the end, really! It is possible to actually have a calm classroom, to enjoy the time with your class and reflect on the good times and what they learned. Here are a few ideas for having a calm and reflective end to the school year!
1) If you know me well, you'll know that I am a big advocate of mindfulness colouring. There are so many studies that prove its effectiveness at reducing stress and helping with concentration. If you're interested in learning more about this, check out this page here where I share more! I also have a whole range of teen friendly mindfulness colouring pages and they are all based around positive quotes or Growth Mindset: you can see the whole collection of colouring pages here!
This set here is the latest to be added and it's something a little different as it's in a mini booklet form! The idea is that each page is calmly coloured in and then students write their reflections on the school year in the blank space on the colouring page (as seen on the right).
Simply cut out each page and staple the booklet together (as seen on the left). You print the booklet double sided (but be sure to use thicker paper though as some pens do bleed through regular copier paper) or you can do it single sided like I did here and let your students get creative and use the back page to stick on photos and other memories for example! There are 11 different colouring pages in total in this set - you can use them all or mix and match as desired!
The best bit is that these are all positive reflection prompts, and the fact that students can take some ownership in expressing themselves by colouring in these in will mean they have their own unique stamp on their end of year memory booklet!
3) The third idea for ending the school year on a high with these relax and reflect colouring pages, is to get your students to do a little bit of circle time with them! Even big kids love some circle time :)
After your students have coloured these pages in, you could get your class in a circle and get everyone to share something from their booklet, for example their favourite memory of the school year. This really helps with bonding and promoting positive feelings in the group
A wonderful extension to this would be to create a collage or wall display using these pages - how wonderful would a collection of favourite memories or random acts of kindness be!
4) I have also included this bonus 11th page reserved just for "autographs" but really it would be wonderful as a page for special comments from friends or teachers who have meant a lot to them during their year. You might find you want to print more than one page of these if they want to get a comment from everyone in the class! It's perfectly customisable to your students!
To get the most out of this page, you could spend a few minutes encouraging your students to think of a favourite memory with each classmate so they can write something of real value, or at the very least, offer a compliment!
I believe how we finish the school year is just as important as how we start. By making the end a relaxing and reflective experience for our students I'm confident we'll leave them with fond memories and excited about the next step!
How are you planning on wrapping up the school year? Leave a comment below, I'd love to chat more!