"I can't wait to finally be done with testing so we can start having fun!"
Why!? Why do you have to wait until May to start having a fun environment in your classroom? Projects, PBL, hands-on activities, outdoor learning environments, unconventional teaching strategies, increased use of technology, etc... can all be utilized throughout the ENTIRE school year!
If you haven't started yet, how about starting now? Instead of busting out a countdown clock, or crossing out dates on a calendar until the last day of school, how about trying some of the great teaching ideas listed below!
During this time of year, I always felt like it was an entirely new year. A "second chance" to make right any failed attempts during the year. We were done with testing, positive attitudes took over, engagement and student inquiry went through the roof, and my students were having fun! Here are some of my ideas followed by a couple helpful links to some more great suggestions:
How about letting students explore their Google Drive. Let them learn how to upload, create folders, and organize their Drive. Let them explore with Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides, Drawings and more! Give mini-tutorials or even let you students create tutorials to teach peers in the class. Have your upper-grade students go down to the lower grades with their Chromebooks and teach the younger students how to use them before next year.
Have students create end of the year Posters in Google Draw. Or let them create a newsletter in Lucidpress exploring their recent school year or what their plans are for this summer! Have them create a Google Slide Presentation over a content TEK they had trouble with this year but now have mastered. Talk about what confused them about the objective, misconceptions they had, and how they finally mastered it.
Create and plan a summer connection series with your students through Google Classroom. Fun summer assignments, book study, or even summer journal assignments to increase writing/typing skills. Send home summer tutorials about next grade level objectives, standards, or TEKS that they will see at the beginning of the next school year. Share with them bios about their awesome new teachers coming up in the new school year.