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Our school year is just about over.

Here are two activities I’ve done in my classes that have seemed to go well.

One is having students create a slideshow answering some questions shared by The New York Times Learning Network.

Here is the assignment:

Pick five of these questions, answer them, and create a slide for each one:

What do you want to remember about this school year? Why?
What surprised you?
What challenged you?
What successes are you most proud of?
What did you learn, whether in or out of school?
How have you grown?
How could you build on that growth next year?

Students then shared them through “speed-dating.”


The second activity was even more simple.

We finished Finals early in all my classes, and then watched a movie (“Ferdinand” in my ELL Newcomers class since we used “The Story Of Ferdinand” as a model in our storywriting unit: “The Truman Show” in my Theory of Knowledge classes because we studied Plato’s Allegory of the Cave; and “Megan Leavey” in ELL U.S. History, which is connected to our study of the Iraq war).

Prior to the showing the movies, I shared and discussed these instructions:

During the movie, Mr. Ferlazzo will briefly meet one-on-one with students who want to meet with him. He will share what he thinks your strengths are, and offer suggestions of areas where he thinks you might want to improve. These meetings are NOT required. Just come up to Mr. Ferlazzo during the movie if you want one. 

About forty percent of the students took me up on this invitation.


I’m adding this info to The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong.