#2ndaryELA Chat Summary: End of School Year Engagement

May 13, 2016

The days are hotter and definitely seem longer. The end is so close, but you can't throw your hands up and stop teaching just yet. Middle school and high school English Language Arts teachers discussed final papers, projects, and exams as well as recognizing student growth and achievement, end of the year celebrations, and tips for handling those hot days. Read on for ideas on how to engage students up to the very last day of school.

This #2ndaryELA Twitter chat was all about engaging students at the end of the year in the secondary ELA classroom. Middle and high school English Language Arts teachers discussed final papers, projects, and exams as well as recognizing student growth and achievement, end of the year celebrations, and tips for handling those hot days. The highlights are below.

Final exams and review:
*Make review game based and student directed*Have students reteach a topic
*Use Kahoot!  or Quizlet Live to make your own review or search others
*Give mock finals to prepare students for upper grades
*Use QR code scavenger hunts as a way for students to review while moving around
*Use review stations
*Use varied strategies to prepare students for state, local, or school exams
*Fill balloons with messages inside that have you review something new each day

Final papers and projects:
*Literary Jenga
*Make movies, Public Service Announcements, podcasts
*Do an author study with different groups of students reading different books by the same author
*Design a literary theme park
*Use Storyboard That for summarizing and conflict
*Share student created gods/goddesses and myths
*Take a virtual class trip
*Make a year in review music video by discussing "We Didn't Start the Fire" then creating your own version
*Create a themed poetry anthology
*Have students write a thank you letter to a teacher they had this year
*Other fun end of the year projects such as creating a scrapbook or soundtrack

Recognizing student growth and achievement:
*Compare pre and post-test data
*Reflect on goals and growth seen in conferences held throughout the year
*Compare first piece of writing from the year with the most recent
*Use Seesaw throughout the year to create a digital portfolio then give students time to reflect on all their work and blog about it
*Analyze all summative data and have individual conferences with students about their growth
*Use FutureMe to write goals to future selves and reflect on them when the emails arrive

End of the year celebrations:
*Watch a YouTube graduation speech each day leading up to the end
*Graduation
*Celebration dance
*End of year trip
*Picnic
*Talent show
*Kickball tournament
*Field day
*Awards night
*Play #finishstrong BINGO where students put their tickets for "super" prizes
*Write each student in your class a note to let them know how important they are
*Play Scrabble on the tiles of your classroom floor

What to do on those hot days:
*Turn on the AC and have students get comfy around the classroom and read for pure enjoyment
*Take students outside to read under the trees, play games, or do a descriptive sensory writing
*Give out popsicles as prizes
*Get crafty and make origami after writing out favorite memories
Hope you'll join us next Tuesday May 17th at 8pm EST to talk about reflecting on the school year. We'd also love for you to join our 2ndaryELA Facebook group (even if you aren't on Twitter). 2ndaryELA is a group of middle and high school English Language Arts teachers looking to share ideas and best practices. This group is an extension of our Twitter chat and a place for collaboration, questions, and encouragement. Feel free to post teaching ideas, success stories, resource links, photos, etc. that will enhance our instruction. 

For more end of the year resources:

If you missed this most recent chat, scroll down and read the whole thing below.

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