Celebrating End of the Year Progress

May 11, 2023 | Posted by Sharyn

The last day of school is almost here! Students’ minds are already thinking weeks ahead about camps, road trips, swimming, and all the other activities that get packed into their short break from school. Teachers are just hoping to survive until the final bell. Memories of my end-of-the-school-year moments include cleaning out my desk and locker, having ice cream parties, watching movies while teachers graded finals, and signing yearbooks. Those were fun ways to celebrate the closing of another school year.

Beyond the movies, ice cream, and cleaning parties, I would like to share a few ideas of how to celebrate your students’ accomplishments in writing with IEW. You might consider hosting a portfolio picnic, creating your own class magnum opus, comparing writing samples from the beginning and end of the year, or just playing some simple games. These are ways to show your students how much they have accomplished during the year and show off their achievements.

Over the course of the school year, students have completed many writing assignments with the IEW curriculum. Gather their completed works in a notebook and have students select several of their favorites. Invite families to a portfolio picnic and ask them to bring a blanket or tablecloth along with a sack lunch. Perhaps it could be a potluck. During lunch students can read aloud several of their paragraphs to their families. There are multiple ways this idea can be modified to fit your situation, but it is a wonderful way to share students’ finished IEW assignments.

The term magnum opus means great works and is the name of IEW’s literary magazine, a showcase of work from students around the world. You can create your own classroom version. Have your students take time to review all their completed assignments from the school year and select their two favorites. Illustrating their written work is a relaxing activity for the end of the year. Place the pages either in order of the IEW units or alphabetically by last name and copy a set for each student. When the magnum opus is given to each student, allow time for everyone to read one of their selections and have a signing party. This collection of great works will be a wonderful reminder of their school year in your classroom.

Even if you do not have time this year to host a portfolio party or create a magnum opus, you can still show students their writing skill advancements. Give each student an assignment they completed early in the year and their most recent work. Encourage them to compare the number of dress-ups and sentence openers. This will open their eyes to how proficient they have become in just one year.

In IEW’s Premium Membership, you will find Dress-ups, Decorations, and Delightful Diversions. This pdf download contains a game called Simile Shenanigans. It is a fun game of creating and sharing similes and metaphors and can be played in as little as 10-20 minutes. Consider playing a rousing game of build-a-man, charades, or twenty questions.

There are many ways to wrap up the school year. While some activities are just for fun and only celebrate the end of classes and schoolwork, other activities can be an opportunity to celebrate your students. They have worked diligently and deserve recognition for their progress as writers.

Sharyn Staggers, BSE, has 20 years of experience in private schools teaching math and science. After being introduced to IEW through a two-day workshop, she began to integrate the program into her math and science curriculum. Passionate about seeing the same standards upheld across the curriculum, she believes that IEW holds the key for successful student writing in all subjects. Sharyn is the Schools Division Director and loves to see teachers become confident in their writing instruction through the IEW methodology.

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