An Off-ramp to the End of the Year: Support for Before, During and After Testing

The final weeks of school are upon us. You will be waving goodbye to your students for the final time this school year before you know it. As you exit into summer, keep in mind all the ways that you can ensure high engagement for the final weeks of instruction. 

Preparing for final exams, tests and assessments are an inevitable focus in these final weeks, but it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Using a variety of strategies keeps students engaged as you wrap up the year. You can use the data you have collected throughout the year to form groups and to determine what areas to target for review. Consider resources like The Teacher Toolkit, NC DPI EOC and EOG information, 36 awesome review strategies, and The Game Show ClassroomGraphic Organizers can also be a great way to review. Check these out! As you plan, share ideas with your co-workers to prevent redundancy and support engagement, particularly if your students see multiple teachers.

Whew! Now that testing is over, what can we do now?  Take a look at some of the activities you can incorporate into your lessons during those final days of school, that are meaningful, engaging and FUN!  Look no further for things to do in the afternoons of testing days or on the days after the last assessment has been administered. 

As you wrap up the year for your students, you will be doing the same for yourself. There are lots of resources to help you prepare for discussing your progress with your administrators. Take the time to review your past evaluations, and the information that NCDPI provides, so that you can enter discussions with the knowledge needed to advocate for yourself. Your coach is also a valuable resource for support as you prepare for your summative evaluation. 

At this time of year, it is also important to think of all that you have accomplished. Above the Line/Below the Line is an easy way to capture your reflections on the year. To start, draw a line horizontally across your paper. Think about your students, reflect on your instruction, colleagues and your professional experiences. Write the positive experiences above the line and your struggles below the line. Celebrate the positive and congratulate yourself on your successes! Are there things within your control that you can do to address the struggles below the line, so you can improve those experiences next year? Are there things that your coach can help you work through?  How could this activity help your students? Finally, you all deserve a big thank you for the work that you put in this year!

Contributors: Kathy Fields and Kathleen Harrell, UNC-CH

NC NTSP Blog Team: Bradley Sasser-ECU, Jackie Aponte-UNC, Lori Best-UNCW, Kathy Fields-UNC, Jami Graham-UNCP, Maghan Kirschner-Charlotte, Todd Stephan-WCU

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