Ending the School Year on a Positive Note

It’s that time of year when most of us start thinking about summer vacation.  I learned a very valuable lesson from one of my Principals relating to the importance of ending the year on a positive note with students.  Her belief was, if they left for the summer having had a great end of the year experience, they would be more excited to return when school started again in the fall.  So, our school started the tradition of spending most of the last day of school doing all sorts of outdoor activities.  It was a ton of work but it was a great day for students and teachers alike! 

Even though you may not want to plan an all school event, I encourage you to think about what you might do differently during those last couple of weeks of physical education classes to make sure your students are not only excited about coming back to school in the fall, but also are excited about staying active over the summer.  The list is endless but here are a few ideas to get you started!

  • Get out some of equipment that you don’t use often but are things students love to use (fling it nets, hippety hops, fox tails, pogo sticks, etc.).  Let your students just have fun using the equipment!
  • If the weather is appropriate, play some water games.  One of my favorites was squirt bottle tag.  Purchase some small plant spray bottles, fill them up, give them to a few kids and watch them run! 
  • If it was hot, I kept a bucket of water and a water sprayer of some sort (those that look like a big crayon are awesome!) handy and would have fun “cooling” the students off during class.  It was always fun to get their classroom teachers a little wet when they picked their class up as well! 
  • Teach a few games that students can play at home (hopscotch, 4-square, sidewalk tennis, etc.).
  • Have students brainstorm a list of summer activities then create an activity calendar with those ideas to send home at the end of the year.

I realize the end of the year offers unique challenges but I encourage you to do a few different and unique activities with your students.   Make sure the goals of your lessons include having fun and promoting a summer of staying active!

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