That's a Wrap: Movie Day

I did it!

I survived my fifth year teaching, and I can genuinely say that I did my best to make every last moment count.

I was totally inspired (and convicted) by The Cult of Pedagogy's article about the last week of school: What To Do On Lame Duck School Days. In her post, Jennifer provides a categorized list of low-prep, medium-prep, and high-prep ideas for the last week of school, standardized testing days, or really any time that you are tempted to show a movie.

Of course, videos have their time and place. And the last day of school - at my school at least - is always "movie day." Jennifer's article got me thinking: How can I do better?

I wanted my students to feel challenged - even on the last day of school - and get excited about learning something new. I wanted them to put into practice all of those skills they mastered throughout the year one last time before the potential summer slide. I wanted my students to have something meaningful to say when their parents asked what they did that day. 

I present to you my twist on movie day. Take it or leave it, tweak it as you see fit.

For morning work, students were asked to work on the K and W sections of the KWL. I had already covered my bulletin boards for the summer, so I decided to put that paper to use. 

I allowed the kids to choose partners, then split the students into 2 groups due to technology constraints. For our first rotations, groups had 20 minutes for each task: making movies and researching movies. 

If you've never used Telestory, download the free app now! It's always a hit. Students laughed all the way through recaps of our favorite books!

We briefly talked about the walk of fame and why people were recognized with starts on the famous street. Students were excited to have a mini walk of fame in our own classroom.

The stars were a sentimental keepsake for students to take home with them. Hello, character trait and adjective practice!

Chatterpix is another class favorite, and it's free too! We use Chatterpix all the time, especially with historical figures in social studies, but we had never done book characters. Students loved making mini movies about their favorite book of the year. 

Notice that both activities were posted on Seesaw, that way parents could see what we were up to on the last day! 

We made time for some game time by playing movie Kahoots. 

As you can see, our KWL chart filled up quite a bit! We even made some time for some short movies  featuring behind the scenes production secrets. Two favorites from YouTube were The Magic of Making Sound (hi, science standards!) and Zootopia: Character Animation (integration of art). 

I have to admit, it was the BEST last day of school I've ever had. Kids were engaged and laughing while practicing academic skills all day long. They learned a lot and were able to make memories with their classmates, and I will still able to work on cleaning my room for the majority of the day.

What do you think? Any other ideas? Share your thoughts in a comment below! 

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