Five Creative Ways to End Your School Year with Engagement
Students have worked hard all year long to meet their learning targets and skill development goals. We hope students own their learning and goal setting until the very last day and beyond. The end of the school year can be the most rewarding time of year for both mentors and students if we make a few simple adjustments to the classroom. Below are some tips to end your school year joyfully and with high engagement.
- Do a project. While most of our quests incorporate active learning on some level, projects incorporate skills and concepts that engage the students on a deeper, more personalized level. Not only do they help build social skills, higher order thinking skills, and self-control, but projects are an ideal place to practice honing in course skills and essential habits.
- Spice it up with a guest speaker or field trip. Great Quest Forward Mentors recognize when their students may need a change in learning environment. Guest speakers and field trips build confidence in your students that they are worth somebody else’s time and expertise. Also, changing up the learning climate will help to keep students excited and engaged until the end of the year.
- Build an Artifact Showcase or Gallery Walk. Incorporating ways for students to show off all of their hard work gives them the opportunity to share their accomplishments and passions. Students could create an infographic or presentation where they pick their favorite artifacts to share with peers, parents, or outsiders.
- Reflect on quests and plan summer learning. Throughout the school year, students have discovered new skills, passions, and interests through their discovery work with quests. Allow the students some moments to reflect on their favorites, figure out how their horizons have shifted, identify what they have learned, and make a plan for continuing that learning into the summer. This could be as simple as a survey, a whole class conversation, or dive a little deeper with a craft or activity.
- Create a video or creative artifact for new incoming students. Each student sees Quest Forward Learning in a unique way. The end of the school year is a good time to provide an open-ended artifact where current students can make a video or other creative medium sharing their personal quest experiences, tips, and advice for new students.
What is your favorite way to end the school year with engagement? Tell us at email@example.com!
Kelsey Cain is the former Director of Professional Learning at Opportunity Education. She worked closely with schools and OE teams to develop and implement a comprehensive professional learning program for all school-based groups that align with organizational goals and strengthen instructional practices. Prior to OE, she was a classroom teacher and district leader across both urban and rural school districts in the U.S, and taught in Ghana and Costa Rica.