Here is a compilation of some of the best ideas I have found on the Internet for ways to keep kids of all ages engaged even on the last day of school! (Scroll to the bottom of this post if you are looking for award ideas and resources to write positive and effective report card comments.)IDEAS FOR ENGAGING PROJECTS:
a note about end of the year behaviors:
My plan for the end of the year madness fits right in with the ideas for developing intrinsic motivation in this edutopia article by David Palank. If one of my middle school students acts up, I pull them aside and tell them that they will not be participating in the sculpture project until they write a one page essay about HOW THEY PLAN TO BEHAVE from now until May 25. ("Self Persuasion")
I ask them, "What are you going to DO? What are you NOT going to do in my class?" Then, I look the student straight in the eyes and say, "If this happens again, there will be a discipline assignment and a parent contact. Do you WANT that to happen?"
I know, I know - consequences are technically a form of extrinsic motivation, but the above strategy works because it lays responsibility for misbehavior squarely on the shoulders of the students. There is no reason for ME to get upset with their behavior and lecture and scold. The one who should be getting upset with the behavior is the student!
I have divvied out several of these quick essays in the last few weeks: students understood exactly what they were doing that was inappropriate AND they outlined specific ways to behave that were better choices! (There have been a few students who went home with a discipline assignment to be signed by their parents - they lost art participation time as well in order to write the discipline assignment.)
So far, the end of year misbehaviors in my middle school classroom have been very mild - the kids have been respectful to me, are working hard, and are taking responsibility for their actions.
I had been dreading these last few weeks of school because of the wild behavior I have seen in the past; not anymore! Mischief managed!
This year, after the art supplies were put away and the kids helped me clean the room, I showed them the below video and they went to town! All my middle school kids loved it, even the ones who said they "didn't want to do a friendship bracelet" wound up making one:
How To Make a Friendship Bracelet With a Cardboard Loom, Youtube
40 End of the Year Cleanup Jobs For Your Students, by Jennifer Borel, theartofed.com
How a Student Survey Can Improve Your Classroom, by Suzanne Capek Tingley, wgu.edu
4 Engaging End of the Year Projects To Keep You Sane, by Tracy Hare, theartofed.com, middle or high school
Feeling a Bit Like An Artist Magician, by Peter Sansom ... upper elementary, middle, or high school (this blog post is about repeated drawings in a pattern...)
5 Legitimate Reasons To Take Your Students Outside, by Lindsey Moss, theartofed.com ... upper elementary, middle, or high school
6 Innovative Ways To Use Up Leftover Paint, by Abby Schukei, theartofed.com ... upper elementary, middle, or high school
How To End the School Year In Peace and Harmony (Or How To Keep Them Engaged Until the End!), by Amy Zschaber, artfulartsyamy.com ... middle or high school
5 Super Fun End of the Year Projects, by Michelle East, createartwithme.com ... middle or elementary school
End of the Year Activities, Cassie Stephens, Youtube ... elementary school
Floating On to _____ Grade!! End of Year Project!, by elementaryartfun.blogspot.com ... elementary school
Scrap Paper Art, by Sheryl Depp, primarilyartwithmrsdepp.blogspot.com ... elementary school
6 Activities To Make Your Art Room Even More Fun, by Alicia Eggers Kaczmarek, theartofed.com ... elementary or middle school
Pre-K - K End of Year Art Projects, by Audra Wallace, scholastic.com
Save The Best For Last, by Jessica Balsley, theartofed.com ... elementary school
Other ideas for engaging, low mess projects for the last few days of school:
- Stations: Have a variety set up for kids to choose activities such as drawing books, puzzles, games, Legos, etc.
- Photography - alphabet scavenger hunt outside
- Texture rubbing contest outside - all you need is paper and crayons; who can find the most textures?
- Paper Airplane contest; students can throw them at the teacher on the last day of school!
- Pop Up Cards or Books (link takes you to the Pop-Up channel on Youtube)
- Flip Books
- Art Games - link takes you to a listing of a variety of art games
- Drawing Games (Exquisite Corpse, etc.)
- Sculpture Games (Sculptionary with modeling clay, marshmallow challenge, etc.)
- Paper Dolls or Characters: directions on craftsy.com or directions on jampaper.com (use patterned paper, wrapping paper, wallpaper samples, etc. for clothing and for younger children cut out templates to trace for shirts, pants, etc.)
- Youtube playlists; here is mine on sculpture
- Roll a _____ Games: (Below is a design by art teacher Hannah Smith - more designs can be found on Pinterest)
- Scrambled Art Grid Puzzles: more examples can be found on Pinterest
Class Awards and Unique DIY Awards, Create Art With ME; Michelle East
|Certificate Designs by Leanne Godbee:|
|Abby found these plastic party favors in the party supply section of Hobby Lobby. She painted them gold and added the jewels.|
Click on this link, Art Award Template, to download a DIY paper template to make this nifty art trophy! The design is from Leslie Gould at heythatsmyartteacher.blogspot.com
IDEAS FOR WRITING REPORT CARD COMMENTS:
101 Report Card Comments To Use Now, by Genia Connell, scholastic.com
100 Report Card Comments, educationworld.com
Comment Ideas For Report Cards, by Chantal Latour, teachnet.com
"Wait... That's All?" Why That End-Of-Year Art Portfolio Isn't Thicker, by Mrs. Joanna Elliott, mrselliottart.blogspot.com
article by Mrs. Anna Nichols