The Final Push: End-of-Year Reflections and Activities

We are getting close to the end of the school year and the Final Bell is about to ring, which means BRING ON SUMMER BREAK! Whether you have 50 days or 10 remaining, the end of the school year is approaching and there are several things on your checklist to complete. The students are tired, and you are tired. Standardized testing is in full swing or just took every ounce of whatever physical and mental energy was left in our student’s bodies. Student engagement is dropping drastically both in and out of your classroom. Teachers are taking the students outside for brain breaks, extra recess or staying outside after recess for an extra 10 to 15 minutes.

For me, the end of the year is about as crazy as the beginning of the year. At the beginning of the year, we have teacher workshops, planning yearly curriculum, district responsibilities, organizing and implementing our school’s “Fun Run” fundraiser, Walk to School Day, we have kick-off assemblies, and I am busy training a new set of 5th grade students in Patrol duties. The end of the year brings our 5th grade Track and Field day at the high school, our school-wide Field Day and a school-wide Discovery Days event. The end of the year is also an important time for me to reflect on the curriculum map I made at the beginning of the year, clean out my desk and office, organize the equipment room, finish grades, and organize my google drive.

Plates are full at the end of the year and we are all pushing through each day to provide our students meaningful learning opportunities while both teachers and students are ready for the well-deserved summer break. These two ideas will help you create meaningful P.E. opportunities while also providing time and space for your students and yourself to enjoy the final days of the school year.

Reflections and Feedback: “Highlight Reel!”

I share this google form with my students in grades 1st through 5th grade.

EOY

This survey gives me feedback directly from the students on what they learned, what they enjoyed and what they did not enjoy. I can sort and review the data with a google spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is saved, so I can return to data from previous years to see if there are any trends or if there are improvements/declines of interest. I can look at the trends and determine if

something needs to be removed or added. The data allows me to see if there was something within a unit or school year that may have helped or hindered a student’s interest level in Physical Education.

It is easy to take what students enjoyed and give them more, but it takes levels of humility to be able to own that there may have been something I did or was doing that affected a student’s Physical Education experience. We know for many students we are their favorite, but for others, it is not. We certainly can’t make every wish or dream a reality, but it’s helpful to hear how students are feeling towards what I am teaching. I try to ask myself, “Do I need to add or remove pieces to help make Physical Education meaningful for ALL my students?”

After having the students finish their Google form, transfer the data into a spreadsheet and create a “Highlight Reel Unit”

for the last few weeks of school. This is also a good time to consider trying out requests from students to see if it’s something that could be implemented into the next school year.

Student-Led Activities: “All on the Table!”

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  • Take out sections of your equipment room and have the students create activities. Little do they know, you are also able to use this time to do inventory!
  • Great time to look it all over!
    • Is there anything that needs to be replaced?
    • Are you short of any equipment that needs to be filled back up? Noodles?!?!?!
    • Is there anything you have that you realize you don’t use and the students didn’t grab for creating their activity?
  • This is also a perfect time to clean out the shelving and find any random balls, papers, trash, and dust bunnies.
  • When students are finished, take time to return the equipment how you would like.

For the final week of school, students are often outside more than they are inside. It can be warm come June, so many students really enjoy still staying indoors.

Take advantage of your classroom!

Everyone knows this time of the year presents challenges, but as Physical Educators, we still can press on, push in and provide opportunities for students to maintain interests while safely engaging in educational opportunities.

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