Testing is finally over! Yay, I’ll say it again for all the tired teachers in the back!! TESTING is over!! I love when we get to this point in the year. This is when we can get a little creative in our lesson planning. I know we all still have standards to follow, and stuff that we must teach. But if you are like me you have a million things you wanna teach after the test, fun stuff. Here is my list to help you narrow down what to teach after testing.
Science is really my jam anyway so for me this was a no brainer!. Spend time after testing teaching STEAM, or STEM. Students love doing science activities that are interactive. When you add the A into STEM you will also engage students who excel at art. Find simple projects that allow students to really think, discuss and interact.
Host an Unofficial Science Fair
Science fair is a lot of work, I know. I have done official science fairs in my former school for years and it is a lot of work. But Guess what that is NOT what we are doing in our class. This is an unofficial, get your feet wet, kinda science fair. This will be done simply to introduce the science fair process to your students.
I love to teach this after testing because there is less pressure on my students, they can take time and actually enjoy the project and so can I. Science fairs are so fun and students learn so much. My trick is to make it more about the project then the report but of course the report is still required. If you teach younger students, do this as a class. You CAN host an official science fair with judges or just allow students to display and explain their project to their class. You could even display these in the hall and allow your student to present to different students in your school.
Host an Experts’ Week
In a normal school year I would host experts week in the beginning of the year. In this topsy- turvy year I am hosting this week at the end of the year. During the last few weeks of school, when they kids are all SO over being at school. I introduce Experts Week. During Experts Week I talk about multiple intelligences. Each student gets to figure out which one they may be. After that each student picks something they are good at to teach us.
Schedule a Low Cost Zoom with an author
During the pandemic several authors began hosting free or low-cost Zooms for students. This is an experience I have yet to try with my students. As I have talked with my teacher friends, students have really enjoyed this. There are even authors who offer free 10-15 minutes zooms with students. Spend some time exploring the author you choose, before your interview. Teacher about the author and read as many of their books as you can. This seems like a really exciting thing to enjoy and teach after testing.
I know that you probably have taught your student cursive by this time of the year. If you haven’t this is the perfect time to do it. My goal is to, at least, make sure all of my students can write their first and last name in cursive. I would love for them to be able to write and read cursive by the end of the year, too.
Write “Thank You” letters
Spend the end of the year teaching your students to write a letter. This is a skill you may have taught already but it will give them a chance to practice their cursive. This will also give students an opportunity to thank anyone who has donated their time or supplies to your class this year.
Hit Social Studies Hard
I don’t know about you but I have spent most of the year focused on reading, math and writing.We’ll be covering states and capitals, landforms and all the other social studies we didn’t quite get to cover. I taught a bit of social studies while teaching African American History using my Done for You template but that was it. These last few weeks we will be researching our all states and creating fun lapbooks to go with them.
Art is one of those things that tend to get left out of education especially in a year like this one. What is so great about art is that it can be interwoven into almost any content area and any subject you discuss. During these last weeks of school my students will be creating a mural to hang in our hallway. It will describe all the ways we have soared this year.
There are so many wonderful things you can teach after testing. I want you as an educator to take this time to teach your students with love and care. Create the space in your lesson plans to get a little crazy in class in these last weeks of school. Teach them something you love or something you think they will love. Remember you are building a relationship with these students that they will remember forever even if you don’t.