Preparing for the Next School Year
Check out our list of tips for preparing for the next school year.
Remember that learning doesn’t stop at the end of the school year. Create a plan for the last few weeks of school that focuses on the following: 1. A daily plan for achievement. It is simple to develop an attitude that learning doesn’t matter anymore. 2. Maintaining routines, expectations, and rules. 3. Encouraging learners to stay on task, give their best effort, and work for quality. 4. Talking with your learners, staying positive, and motivating your learners to do their best until the last day.
Get extra copies of handouts, work- sheets, and practice sheets. Learners misplace and lose papers; you will want to keep some in your files for next year.
When you near the end of the school year, help learners to reflect on the year by asking them to pen an essay about their favorite memory in your class. Collect the remembrances in a class memory book to be distributed on the last day of school.
Write a personal letter to your students with a story, highlight, or accomplishment of the learner that happened dur- ing the school year. Instruct the learner you enjoyed having them in class and that you wish them well next year.
Throughout the last day of school, ask students to provide feedback as they reflect on the school year. Have them write you a letter or provide short answers to open-ended questions. Allocate learners to do this individually or in small groups.
Plan an autograph party. You can have a yearbook signing party if you have a school yearbook. Alternatively, you can have learners make books where they can write private messages to other learners and sign their names. Model for the learners the type of messages they can write in the books. If you have been taking pictures throughout the year, you can include several pages of class pictures.
If learners are transitioning to another school, the school year’s conclusion can intensify their anxieties about leaving behind their school for a different one. Assist them in dealing with their emotional stress by providing chances to discuss planning for the following year. If the school does not have transition plans for learners to visit the school or for the educators to talk to the students, ask to set up a time to tour the school or invite the educators to talk to the learners. The more prepared learners are for the new environment, the easier it will be for their next school year.
Have learners print their names and addresses on postcards. Throughout the summer, take some time to write the learners a short note about your summer and to ask about their summers. Take this opportunity to remind students to keep reading.
After the school year, design a letter writing lesson that will address the skills in letter writing by communicating with learners in the grade above or below. Students will ask learners in the grade above questions about what to expect next year. Learners will describe to learners in the grade below their school year and offer suggestions for success.
Gather materials such as worksheets and book lists that learners can take during summer. Include a map to the closest library and a calendar with specific weekly activities.
For older learners, provide a book list. Your media specialist or librarian can make a list of books to read that are appropriate for your learners. Identify books by categories: recommend books for college, books for enjoyment, non-fiction books, and how-to books.
At the close of the school year, organize and save your files on the computer. Remove any old emails, put documents into folders for filing, and unwanted trash items. Back up necessary files on the server or on a disk. Usually, over the summer, computers are cleaned and repaired as needed.
Take time to organize your paper files. If you don’t use it, toss it. Clear away all stacks of papers. Save, file, or toss. Put confidential files in safe places. This will save you energy, and you won’t be greeted by incomplete work when you return from the summer break.
When you reflect on your school year, remember the people who helped you throughout the year. Send each of them a thank-you note for their assistance, compassion, and guidance. They will appreciate your thoughtful- ness, and you will feel good about acknowledging very important gestures.