Finishing the Year Strong

Project and Purpose

Students analyze advice for teachers to finish the school year on a strong note and create a list for themselves and their peers.

Essential Questions

What should students do to finish the school year strong?



Note: This lesson should occur near the end of the school year, but before the very last week.

1. Tell students you have noticed their end of year behaviors and you wish you could join them in these same behaviors. Explain that it is just as challenging for teachers as it is for students. Teachers get support to make it to the end of the year from the administration, each other, and sometimes teacher blogs and articles.

2. Form eight groups and tell students they will each receive one piece of advice for teachers from the article “How to Finish the School Year Strong” from Their job is to translate that piece of advice into advice for themselves and their fellow students. To do this, they should analyze what the advice means for the teacher and determine if the same advice applies to students. If so, how will they reword the advice? How will they adapt it or create advice that is more appropriate for students?

3. Give the groups time to write their pieces of advice neatly on the same page as the teacher advice.

4. When the groups are done, have them tape their teacher/student advice somewhere in the room where everyone can see.

5. Tell students they will get a chance to vote on the best piece of advice

6. Distribute eight pieces of each color Post-it notes to each student. Determine which color is “best teacher advice” and which color is “best student advice.” Have students go around the room silently, read the teacher and the new student pieces of advice, and post the appropriate color note next to the teacher and student advice for a vote. Their votes can be on different pages (in other words, they can vote for advice #4 for teachers and advice #8 for students).


Have students return to their seats, notice the sticky note votes and discuss: What should students do to finish the school year strong?

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