Passport to Success
Finish the School Year Strong!

Closing out the school year strong will make you and the students feel great! You will be ready to relax, enjoy the summer and know that you did your best. Your students will leave your class with closure and feeling successful about the year!


Try the following suggestions during the last few weeks of school to close out your school year with a nice bow. I've tested them all and my students have appreciated each one.

READ 180 End of Year Open House and Celebration
My students are always thrilled for an opportunity to share their classroom with guests. Think about how different an end of year open house is versus the beginning of the year. Students are excited to share what they’ve learned. At our recent READ 180 Open House and READ 180 Celebration, visitors from across the district came to witness the curriculum experienced in READ 180. Teachers, administrators, school board trustees, parents, and staff learned about READ 180 through a guided tour conducted by the students. We received many notes and rave reviews from our fans! 

Read Aloud Wrap-Up 
Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss and The Flower Man by Mark Ludy.

Students can enjoy, learn from, share with family and friends, be inspired to go out into the world to make it a better place, and to go after their hopes and dreams after reading these books! Yes, these two books can do all that and more!
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Discuss what life has to offer in the summer, after graduation, and other life milestones. Encourage students to think about their future. What are the more likely to do now than they would have prior to READ 180? Have them discuss in a Think-Write-Pair-Share. Consider using the following prompt:
You have a whole life ahead of you. It will be filled with happy, easy, hard, and difficult moments. How will you respond to these moments and live your life?
The Flower Man by Mark Ludy
Share the author's interpretation of The Flower Man and each of the illustrated windows with your students. Your students, too, will be inspired to "give a flower". Encourage them to think about this opportunity to give back. Help students to brainstorm ways they can make their community, school, friends, and family bloom.

Ask students to think about who can make differences and then guide a class using the following discussion prompt: How can one man make a difference? Literally look and find out throughout this wordless picture book.
Check out the following videos to spark more discussions.
Phone Home
Adults and children love positive feedback. Your students will smile broadly when you tell them you want to call home and share with their parent or guardian how much you enjoy having them in class! Many of my students respond that their parent/guardian doesn't speak English; and therefore, they wouldn't understand the good news. That's when I decided that I was going to say the message in their native language, but knew that I would need to ask for their help! I quickly realized that this gave them two reasons to feel respected and recognized.  Here's how I got this to work: I typed out my message, asked my students to translate the message into their native language, and then practiced saying the statements. One specific tip that I learned was to have my students translate the message with dialects and word choices that they were accustomed to so the parents would understand. I practiced a few more times with the student before making my phone calls. Sometimes it was a race for me to complete the call because as you can imagine, the students often wanted to share my message with their parents when they get home from school.

This year I read the message in Arabic, Bengali, Spanish, French, and Vietnamese. The parents cried and were so excited that I was speaking their language!
Example of My Parent Message
My name is Andrea Barnes. I am _____________ ‘s teacher.
I only know how to say this message in __________________. 
I am calling because I have loved teaching your child!
He/She is polite, well mannered, and works hard on their assignments.
Thank you for raising a fantastic student!
I wish you a wonderful day.
Thank you.

Onion Peel
Get everyone reminiscing about the class, books, friendships, and summer plans in this nine-question activity. The Onion Peel will prove to be layers of fun for everyone!

1. Write nine questions on nine separate sheets of paper.
2. Take one question and crumple it up.
3. Take another question and wrap it around the first question. You are now growing your onion.
4. Continue this process until all of your questions have been wrapped into the onion.
5. You and your students are now ready to peel the onion.
6. Toss the onion to a volunteer student and have them un-wrap one paper. The student stands and reads the question aloud. This student may answer the question, or they may pass it to the student on their right to answer.
7. The student answers the question and then passes the whole onion back to the teacher, but keeps his/her question.
8. When the onion has been peeled, the students that have papers crumple them up and throw them in to a basket the teacher is holding.
9. The students are just as excited to end the activity because they like to throw paper.
Ready, Set, Go......"Peel an Onion!"
Students will volunteer, share, and participate in this fun activity. Chart the information and create an End of Year Anchor Chart for students to see the trends. 

Want to see the Onion Peel in action, check out this video:
Letter to New Students
Have the present students write a welcome letter to the new students. The students can share about the three small group rotations. The students can write about their favorite Topic Software, a fun book to read, an interesting Workshop selection, and some facts about you! Have your bilingual students write a P.S. in their native language. Your new students will feel at home reading their home language at school. It will be a welcome and comfortable feeling after a busy day of carefully listening to and comprehending a foreign language. Then, on the first day of school pass out the letters to the new students so they can learn about the class through their peers.
Enjoy the much-needed time off so you will be ready to get back in the classroom and be your best in August and September!

Stage C READ 180 Educator

Philosophy of Teaching All of my life, I have enjoyed working with children and have always desired to teach. It is my belief that no matter what socio-economic background, everyone deserves to achieve his/her educational goals. It is my ambition to facilitate this process.Growing up in the Houston area, I have always been aware of the Cypress-Fairbanks School District. The district's reputation of excellence is well known, not only in the Houston metroplex, but throughout the state of Texas. As a professional educator, it is important to be associated with a school district whose goals for its students are aligned with my philosophy of teaching.

  • Awesome! I am glad you found my blog and am happy to hear you like it! I post twice a month! Stay in touch!

    Hi Andrea, I am so happy to find your blog, albeit at the end the year! I've been longing to find an active community of READ 180 high school teachers, but you are the first one I've come across....completely by accident. I LOVE the peel the onion idea and look forward to more of your posts and willingness to share successful high school implementation next year. I'm looking to completely reboot my 180 classroom for next year and open to all ideas!

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