When summer is just around the corner, classrooms undeniably take on a new energy. Prevent that energy from wreaking havoc in your classroom by using it to your advantage. Consider the following four ways to wrap up the school year neatly.

Use new surroundings to keep students’ attention focused.

Warmer weather offers an opportunity to move a lesson outside. Sometimes, a simple change of scenery can make content more engaging and memorable.

Offer engaging group work to promote content retention.

For example, if students play a content-based game in groups, they’ll be likely to remember the game (and information) for future use — perhaps during the summer. Games are also a terrific outlet for that “here comes summer” energy.

Evaluate this year.

Reflect on the successes and challenges of the past school year. Encourage students to journal, draw, or discuss their experiences. Join them in this activity: Evaluation is critical for students and teachers alike.

Prepare for next year.

Students transitioning to middle school or high school may be anxious about this change. Discuss strategies for success in the next grade or school. If possible, invite teachers from the next grade level to visit your class and answer students’ questions. Finally, don’t forget about your own preparation! As the school year winds down, create a designated place for information, notes, materials, and ideas that will help you begin another year of teaching. (It will be here sooner than you think!)

These ideas were suggested by Cathy Marziali, Rip Marston, and Grant E. Mabie.

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