I don't know about you, but the end of the year is always tough for my middle school students! They are ready for summer! We usually finish up our story based literacy with 4-6 weeks of the year left, which gives us a great opportunity to switch things up to stay motivated through the end of school.
This last year, I was brainstorming ideas for more hands-on activities, and we tried something new!
Each of my paraprofessionals was responsible for running a station. I loved this because it gave them a chance to work with every student, every week. I also assigned a peer tutor to each rotation so they could assist students.
Students rotated through each station during the week so they got a chance to complete each activity. I had a daily schedule displayed on the projector so students knew where to go.
I gave each para a folder with their groups, activities, and materials for the full 4 weeks that we did this. That way, I only had to prep once and we were ready for the rest of the year. I listed any additional materials they would need from the classroom so they could gather them before we started. They did the same activity for the whole week, so it was easy for them to grab everything and set it aside.
I also specified the location where I wanted them to run their rotations. I found that making sure I was very clear about the activity, materials, and location helped the transition process a ton!
Rotation 1: Art
We used the Process Art resource by Supports for Special Students from on TpT. This was great for all of my students to participate, even those with more severe motor challenges.
Rotation 2: Motor
We alternated between fine motor activities and gross motor activities each week. For the fine motor activities, I used this choice board, and students were allowed to select the activities they wanted to do. You can grab this for free in my resource library. For gross motor, we spent time outside enjoying the warmer weather and did an obstacle course at a nearby park, and went bowling with my jumbo inflatable bowling set.
Rotation 3: Cooking/ Technology
This rotation alternated between cooking one week and technology the next. This was easier for me as far as purchasing ingredients and reducing the cost of our weekly activities. We used the Visual Cooking Recipes from Mrs. D's Corner. For technology, students used an iPad and worked in apps or Boom cards.
Rotation 4: Testing/ Writing
The last rotation was run by me. I always taught writing during this class period, and I needed to continue to make sure I was addressing students' writing IEP goals. I also used this time to finish our DLM testing.
I loved these rotations! It was such a fun (and functional) way to wrap up the year and switch things up. I think it's so important for students to learn to deal with changes in the schedule and routine, as long as you are supporting them with visuals and schedules to assist when needed.
It also helped my paras, peer tutors, and myself cope with our end-of-the-year burnout by trying new things and working with new students. Win-win for everyone!