Tuesday, June 3, 2008

End of the year culminating activities...

The last weeks of school can be stressful. Students and teachers alike are ready for summer holidays, and in most cases, students’ brains are on “off” mode. Here are some ideas to end the year positively.

• K-6th grades: Mi libro de español/Memory book: a compilation of a year in learning. With the guidance of a teacher/parent, students may include what they have enjoyed learning throughout the year. Topics may include: nombre, edad, preferencias/qué te gusta hacer, la familia, dónde vives, los amigos, el colegio, etc...

• 3rd grade-higher: Libro de autógrafos/Authograph book (adapted from Marty Crutcher’s lesson plan. See http://www.lessonplanspage.com/OEndOfYearAutographBookIdea14.htm)
Use either a stationary program, or even Word (format option for borders and shades, clipart, etc) to design a cover sheet titled "Mi libro de autógrafos" with a cute graphic and a place for their name and date. Then design several pages for the center of the book. Examples are: Mis amigos/Friends in my class, SOLO NIÑOS/BOYS ONLY page, SOLO NIÑAS/GIRLS ONLY page, MI PROFESORA DE ESPAÑOL/SPANISH TEACHER PAGE, and a page at the end of the book for names and summer phone numbers. On each page, students should sign and depending on the level of proficiency in the language, write a comment in Spanish. Optional: check with other Spanish teachers and allow the students to go to other classes or use recess time to get other autographs. This is also a wonderful way for teachers to write one final positive comment to each child. It also gives the child a great souvenir from this year. (Thanks to Marty Crutner for this fabulous idea!)

• Any grade: Poster
(model may be found at http://www.abcteach.com/MonthtoMonth/poster.htm)
Make a poster highlighting all the fun learning experiences you’ve accomplished throughout the year! Photos, samples of students’ best work, and field trips!

• Any grade: ¡Concierto!
Create a mini-concert and present all the songs you’ve taught the students over the course of the year. Invite other classes to be your public. This is a great way to encourage students to be proud of their language studies.

• Any grade: ¡Fiesta de fin de año!
Fiestas are always a hit! Spanish music, food, dancing…but instead of having students bring the typical goodies to class (chips, sodas, and junk food), give them a healthy recipe of a Latin American or Spanish dish and have them prepare it with their parents. This is also a good way to know of ingredients used (in case of any allergies in the class). Of course, invite the parents to your FIESTA!

• 3rd grade-higher- Noticias/Newsletter
Create a newsletter for parents and school in both Spanish/English. This is the time to show off all your work in Spanish class! Topics may also include: plans for the summer, reading lists, resources for parents, and more...
This culminating activity may take 3 weeks, depending on how elaborate you’d like to make the newsletter.

Hope these ideas will help you and your students reflect on a year's worth of fun. If you’d like to add, omit, or change any of these suggestions, I welcome your constructive comments.

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