21 Handy Tips for Teaching in May

It’s time to get organized for May and the end of the year!  Let’s see if I can help break down some end of the year stuff as your personal teacher’s assistant. {wink}

So, let’s take a day to really plan and organize your schedule.

21 Handy Tips for Teaching in May

Here are some of the things to do in May!

How to Organize

1. Finding materials quick will hep you save on prep time, so add a few printable classroom organization labels to make it happen!

When you organize your art project materials, teacher folders or cupboards you easily save on time looking for what you need when you need it. I’ve got more organization ideas to spark your interest and help make it simple for you!

If you’re feeling in need of an organization overhaul, then here are more tips like…

Appreciation and Gifts

2. Send a note of encouragement to a fellow teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week that’s easy on the budget with this teacher appreciation poem from one teacher to another.

3. With the end of the year rolling around, many times teacher love to give end of the year student gifts. Consider what would be memorable and inexpensive so that you can celebrate the end of a hard working year with your entire class.

Many gift ideas can be created from extra books, photos or even inexpensive toys like dice!

4. Mother’s Day is just around the corner and you’re sure to find a quick Mother’s Day project here that’ll be special to send home with your class.

Personal Assistant

Have you already got your end of the year teacher shirt? Here is my current favorite. Hurry – there’s still time to order.

5. With end of the year craziness, keep your head by having it all written down and check it off your end of the year checklist.

You’ll be thankful you wrote it all down and feel relaxed when you turn off the lights for summer knowing each item was crossed off. Cumulative files, report cards, writing portfolios, check.

6. Plan something fun for yourself. You’ll be so thankful to have time to recharge doing what it is you love to do and this will help you continue to be the best teacher, mom, self, wife, etc.

So make time to get that pedicure, night away, or scrapbooking session and recharge your batteries.

7. You’ll LOVE yourself if you create a list for back to school while it’s on your mind right now. Find a place to jot down those notes for yourself this last month of school all in one place.

You’ll better reflect on what you wanted to accomplish once you’re ready to start up school again and you’ll free up mental energy for the summer knowing it’s written down so you won’t have to remember it.

Remember to Jot down ideas about Teaching Procedures

End of Year Activities

8. Get your students writing and keep them motivated by creating memory books the last week or two of school. Students can jot down memories, reflect on their year and parents will appreciate these personal yearbooks.

There are many free printable memory books to choose from like and for various grade levels like

9. Craftivities are a way to get kids writing and active at the end of the year. When you attach a craft or art project, it lends meaning and interest to the writing portion.

Like “the berry best thing about ___ grade,” memory makers or “I’ve had a blast in ___ grade!”

If you want to start a countdown or find more craftivities, then you’ll love this collection of 26 Fun and Memorable End of the School Year Celebration Ideas

Pass out end of the year papers with this really fast with this tip.

Memorial Day Activities

10. With Memorial Day being in May, many teachers like to incorporate patriotism and remembering soldiers into their curriculum. Interviewing a soldier may be a great activity for your second or third grade students.

11. Show your own patriotism or use this printable poster that says, “I am proud to be an American” as a way to generate and start a Memorial day class discussion.

Generate lots of vocabulary too with a Memorial Day Rhyming activity.

12. Write different kinds of poetry for Veterans like cinquain, haiku and rhyme. These would be great for a display or to send to a local soldier support network.

13. Create a wall of honor by connecting student lives with those who serve and also bring in the word memorial through a Memorial Day word building activity.

All students can create a patriotic mystery picture while practicing their parts of speech to add to the display.

Classroom Management

14. We all know that classroom management almost feels like a “Classroom Management? What is that? We’ve only been in school for 160 days and we all know how to do this…” type of season in any given school year.

So, change it up! Keep it fresh for your students and for you by adding additional positive behavior management strategies.

Try adding positive behavior bracelets or great work bracelets to keep finding the good in your classroom.

Need more ideas to survive? Check out these 10 Positive Behavior Ideas and Procedures in the Classroom

Worksheets for May

15. Have a summertime word search ready to go for your last personal day since it’s a no-brainer to use with a substitute teacher.

16. Use brain boosters with a summer theme for early finishers or to send home as a packet for second through fifth graders. Printables at the ready make end of the year planning faster.

17. If you continuing to keep your days packed with learning, then a summer sight word memory game is a great way to bring the sunshine into your classroom for first grade.

18. Create an end of the year mini-poem emergent reader to keep your reading groups going by having them highlight and circle the blends and sight words they now know. The book will be full of markings and show so much growth!

19. If you like to re-read First Day Jitters to reflect on how far you’ve come in a year or wrap up with Last Day Blues then this Last Day Blues story elements worksheet may work for you.

20. Keep your readers practicing their fluency and sight words in play with a S’more themed roll and say game that is quick to teach and is great practice.

21. Reading can go beachy when you practice reading words using a fun beached themed spin and read digraphs game.

Want to ditch the worksheets? Break out the sidewalk chalk for some learning hopscotch instead.

Father’s day is coming up next month! Be sure to share your tip or idea by uploading it to the Teach Junkie community so we can ooh and ahh over it! No blog needed, but if you have a blog, be sure to leave your link so we can read more there if you have more to share. {wink}

What helps you be prepared for ending the school year?

Let me know below in the comments or we message about it on the Teach Junkie Facebook page. I love to hear from you and really want to help you plan your month. {that way I can have your back!}

More Handy Tips

Leslie {aka the original Teach Junkie} loves learning new things to make teaching easier and more effective. She enjoys featuring creative classroom fun when she's not designing teacher shirts, making kindergarten lesson plans or planning her family's next trip to Disney World.