The end of the school year is fast approaching in the Northern Hemisphere. Why not culminate all the wonderful learning that’s been happening in your classroom with some memorable blog posts?
Here are ten ideas that you could weave into your end of year activities. We’d love you to add your own ideas or examples in a comment!
1) Turn Your Blog Into A Book
Thanks to Richard Byrne from Free Technology For Teachers for reminding Edublogs users how to export the content from their blog.
Unlike some other blogging platforms, exporting from a WordPress based blog is easy!
Below are the instructions for turning your blog into a PDF with BlogBooker. This tool is free for exporting up to 3 blogs with low quality images. You can convert one year’s worth of content if you’re creating a PDF. Otherwise, it’s 6 months for Word document conversions. You don’t need to sign up to use BlogBooker.
2) Top 10 List
Listicles are a popular format for blog posts. Students could work individually or collaboratively to create a “Top 10” countdown of their favorite or most popular blog posts from the year. They could link to each post and perhaps include a summary or quote from the post.
Alternatively, you could create the top 10 lists as a teacher and invite students to add their own thoughts in the comment section.
(Tip: If you use Edublogs Pro or CampusPress, look in Dashboard > Statistics to see which posts have been most popular with readers. Find out more).
You could also create “Top 10s” about other topics such as those listed in the Year In Review activity below.
3) Year In Review Reflections
As a class, brainstorm a list of topics from throughout the year. Then have students choose a number of these to write about.
You might use ideas like:
- Excursions/field trips
- Teacher memories
- Best books
- Favorite subject/lesson
- Recess activities
If you have a class blog, you could simply add students’ reflections as quotes, like the students at Hallet Cove South Primary.
There are so many ways that you can use the blog for end of year reflections. Perhaps you or your students would like to create a special video to reflect on the year.
A talented grade six student at Berwick Lodge Primary School wrote this song for their graduation. What an inspiring way to commemorate their education!
4) Write A Sentence About Your Classmates
Becky Versteeg recently blogged about a great activity she ran with her grade two students. The title of the blog post was When 20 People Write 20 Sentences About Each Other…
Here’s one example from her young students.
What a nice way to raise the class morale at the end of the year!
Becky sent the paper copies of this activity home as a Mother’s Day gift. Perhaps you could use this content as an end of year gift.
This “write a sentence” activity could work for any age group. Students could write their messages on paper and pass it around. Then a photo of the document could be added to a blog post.
Alternatively, this activity could be done digitally. Perhaps via comments on students’ blogs or using a tool like Padlet (Tip: Richard Byrne has listed 5 useful alternatives to Padlet. Check out number 5 below for more information about using Padlet).
5) Create Thank Yous
There are so many people in the school community who have worked tirelessly throughout the year — principals, administrators, cleaners, volunteers, bus drivers etc etc.
Students could show their appreciation publicly by creating a thank you blog post, video, or podcast.
Tip: If you’ve never podcasted before, it’s easier than you might think! Check out our Edublogger’s Guide To Podcasting.
Padlet could also be a great tool to create public thank yous. Note: recent changes to Padlet means you can only have three walls on the free plan.
Richard Byrne has created this video to demonstrate how to add audio, video, and picture notes to a Padlet wall. The whole class could collaborate on one ‘thank you’ wall or different individuals/groups could work on a wall for a specific person.
6) Teach The Class
You’ve been busy teaching all year. Why not give students a chance to create their own mini course to finish off the year?
This could be to revise topics studied in class, begin next year’s content, or explore students’ passions.
Blog posts can become courses, as you can see from our Teacher Challenge series of courses. You can add information to a post via text, videos, embedded slideshows etc. Participants can be “assessed” via an embedded quiz (e.g. Google forms), or they could be simply asked to leave a comment to complete a task.
7) Write Your Own Report Card
The end of the school year might be when students receive a final report card from teachers. Having students create their own report cards about themselves, their friend, or even their teacher could be a worthwhile activity.
If these ended up being too personal to add to blog posts, you could always create a password protected post or just include extracts in a post.
One way students could create their reports is by creating a Google Sheet that’s then embedded in a post. You can now add checkboxes to spreadsheets which would be handy so the mock report card could have a scale and comments.
This could be a fun way to evaluate and reflect!
In the past, I’ve created a survey for parents to reflect on my own practice. This included a request for feedback on things like:
- Student engagement and most memorable activities
- Effectiveness of communication (including the class blog and email newsletter etc.)
This sort of feedback can help you tweak your approaches in the following year.
Of course, you could survey your students as well to get a more rounded picture of how effective some of your classroom practices have been. We want our students to continually improve through a feedback cycle, so this can be a good idea for teachers as well.
You could also make a poll or survey that’s just for fun! It could be a vote on highlights from the school year or a way to collect memories and quotes.
Note: you can use Polldaddy directly on the Polldaddy website or via the plugin.
9) Write To The Next Cohort Of Students
Here’s an idea I used to find worked well, and I’m sure some of you have tried it as well. At the end of the school year, I used to have my students write a personal letter to an individual student who will be joining my class the following year.
The current students enjoyed being “experts” and sharing their words of wisdom, while the incoming students usually appreciated the insights.
Take a look!
Tip: If you want some ideas on how to create visuals like this, check out our post on The Edublogger about quotes.
10) Holiday Ideas
No doubt, you and your students are looking forward to the holidays. It can be fun to post something to keep the blog “alive” over the break.
You could publish a list of ideas for activities to try over the summer. This could be a list that the class comes up with together, or if you’re short on time, feel free to use ours!
You’re welcome to add this image to your blog post. Or, if you prefer you can download a PDF copy.
Students could be invited to comment over the break to tell their classmates about the activities they’re trying.
This idea is inspired by Rachel Palmer’s blog.
You might also like to check out The Summer Reading List by Gwyneth Jones (The Daring Librarian) and her students.
It could be great to leave some book suggestions on your blog and invite students to comment if they read some of the recommendations on their break, or if they have other suggestions.
These ideas are only the tip of the iceberg in regards to the different ways that blogging can be incorporated into end of year programs.
If you have any additional ideas, or you try out any of the suggestions listed, be sure to leave a comment and let us know!