[For the most part...] 1. One purely fun activity each week
I'm doing mine on Fridays... and in case admin comes in, I can justify it as a 'fun friday' activity. I asked my students to take a few minutes to jot down suggestions for class dojo prizes when we 'redeem' our points at the end of the week. Some of the suggestions included coloring/drawing time, so I figured a coloring sheet for 30 minutes would be a great way to end our first Friday back while I help students with their dojo point choices. I used this one (pages 2-3, I did a front/back, 1 page copy).
I've also been doing more fun, hands-on projects like shape monsters and incorporating more games, although they aren't purely fun- they've still got an academic purpose with those.
[Not Yet!] 2. Parents write 1 goal they have for their child to accomplish before May
Honestly, I forgot about this one. Can I say I crossed this off since our school participates in APTT? During APTT, parents come up with one reading and one math goal for each child. But now that I'm thinking more about this goal and whether or not I want to do it, I think I want to write something up to send home (something quick for both parties to encourage participation-which I will share with you all!). Having the kids focus on one goal will hopefully push them during these last few months.
[Trying my best!] 3. Give each child a compliment daily
This one is hard to keep track of, but I think I've been trying more to implement this. Whether it's because someone is trying their best, have made improvements, or I really like their shoes, I try make sure these kids feel loved! (I try not to focus on complementing their appearance, but I have to make note when someone gets a new haircut- it's a big deal to them!)
[Yes!] 4. Try at least 5 new motivators for behavior (like reindeer games, etc.)
The first day back, I started using table points (tried and true... not a unique one!). However, it seems to be working fairly well. I reward the table (or tables in case of a tie- I have 5 tables total) at the end of each day with something small- they get to pick a GoNoodle brain break, 7 dojo points, or a small piece of candy, etc. After a few weeks, I stopped using this and strayed from this one. But, I'm about to introduce a new one that I've been thinking about/working on for a while- a month of kindness! Be on the lookout for a post with more details soon!
[Pretty on top of this one!] 5. Try at least 5 new lesson/review ideas (like plickers, etc.)
I still haven't tried plickers with my kids, but I've been trying to introduce some lower maintenance things (at least to get started), like some strategies from Making Thinking Visible (another blog post coming in the future on some takeaways and strategies I loved). I also want to try a review bingo since my kids are alllll about the bingo!
[I still want to do this] 6. Make a class picture powerpoint
I want to do this, but I'm also thinking about having the students create scrapbooks as a really long, last-month-of-the-school-year project- just dedicating a few minutes each day for the scrapbook. I would have to print a bunch of photos, but I could probably do that for relatively cheap. Maybe create a class powerpoint for the parents (mostly), and have the kids create the scrapbook for themselves (mostly)... especially since they don't have yearbooks.
[Not yet, but definitely happening...] 7. Feature a student photo wall
I forgot about this! But, Mother's day is next month and I'm still keen on having the class do this for a gift. It's powerful and would make any mom/grandma/caregiver so happy! Plus, I know the kids will have fun with this. If I do this in the next few weeks, we can hang them up first before giving them as gifts, which will increase the excitement.
[Didn't happen- but could later?] 8. Host a march madness book tournament
Okay, the last two years, I've wanted to do this and guess what? It's still not happened. I guess I should've done this update sooner to catch this!! March is just a crazy month- spring break, testing, and end of the quarter... So unfortunately, I can't really do this, unless I do a similar book tournament but change the name. We'll see! ;)
[On the to-do list] 9. Make the last week of school the most memorable
I still have a while before school is out, even though we're finally on our last quarter. So, for that reason, I haven't been paying too much attention to the last week of school, but I think I want to do a reading camp similar to this where students read most of the day in a really fun atmosphere.
[Bringin' out the big guns soon!] 10. Emphasizing positive behavior
My idea for kindness month has come just in time! Taking a month to really focus on kindness will definitely check this off, and that will be in addition to my already positively-phrased reminders to make good choices, and really paying attention to the good that everyone does!
[Not so much...] 11. Cultivate a warm atmosphere
I haven't investigated how I can create a warmer atmosphere (I already use a wax warmer, dim the lights, and play some classical music), but it's next on my list! Anything to help combat the end-of-year wiggles!
[Lately, YES!] 12. Focus on the joyful parts of the day
After the last week in March, it should be pretty much smooth sailing. I had a few rough patches with this one, however, I feel like lately I've definitely found my groove and I almost DON'T want this year to end! So instead, I'm going to be intentional about my time with them and make it the best! It helps to incorporate more fun learning activities that both the class and I look forward to.
[Check!] 13. Go all out for the 100th day of school
I definitely had a big celebration that you can read about here. We read a lot of books, completed 100-themed activities like worksheets, and anchor charts, and 5 themed centers- it was a blast! I want to keep doing this every year and incorporate more treats.
[A fail so far, but hope is not lost] 14. Try at least 10 pinterest ideas
Oh man... I was super excited about this one but I still don't think I've really done any Pinterest research. I might've accidentally done one or two things, but not intentionally so I need to keep this in mind when the class and I are really feeling the end of the year blues. I need to keep them on their toes, and I think Pinterest will help!
[I've been getting so much better!] 15. ORGANIZE
It's crazy that I had to make this a point on my list because I love being organized, but it's taken me a while since I'm new to teaching. Along the way though, I've been slowly finding what works for me and I've found a love for subject binders with a tab for each child, and a 'catch-all' binder that has conference papers and important things that were signed. I still need to come up with a better system for MTWRF papers, but at least I've been better with printing papers out and keeping them somewhat organized!
[In due time...] 16. Try PBL (project based learning) once
I am on my way to making this one come true! I should have something at least started this month! I'm not sure what it will be yet but I'm very excited to try this and see how my students respond to it.
Let me know if you're trying the 16 before 16-17! It's not too late, especially if you don't get out of school until June! I'd also LOVE to hear any ideas or suggestions you have for any of my categories.
What do you want to incorporate in your classroom before the end of the year?
I would LOVE to see your own 16 before 16-17 lists! If you make one, please share it with me via comment below and/or on instagram @oshirodesigns #16before1617 - it would make my day :)