End of School Year Engagement

Kayleigh Baker

Kaleigh Baker, OFLA Technology Integration Chair
Spanish Teacher, Butler High School

We have almost crossed the finish line in what has proven to be a marathon of a school year. Across the state, schools have been through a variety of plans to continue educating our students. If you returned to in-person learning, you might still be getting to know your students. If you are still remote or hybrid, you are probably a pro at Zoom and digital activities. As the end of the year approaches, no matter what plan you are teaching under, you need to start considering how to wrap up the school year.

At the end of April, I attended the OFLA Mini-Conference and it was inspiring and invigorating. Listening to fellow educators share their experiences and plans as well as Laura Terrill’s keynote speech got me thinking about how to wrap up and end this wild ride of a school year. In my lower-level classes, I decided on the future tense, and in my upper levels, I chose a travel unit for my Spanish 3’s and an autobiography for my Spanish 4/AP students. These units are fun and engaging and will set me up for success in the fall because I can pick up where I left off!

For the future tense unit, students will create fictitious (and often funny) jobs for other students to apply for. These have included a personal bookbag carrier, a daily lunch maker, and a homework assistant. Students will then fill out a job application and write about what they will do if they get the job. I also have students plan for a mini class reunion.  They will write future tense sentences about each classmate.  Then, students will post both the sentences and their picture on that classmate’s Google Slide. I have also had them become fortune-tellers and give a reading on what a classmate’s future will be like. In the fall we can talk about what we will do in the upcoming school year and recycle the job vocabulary by talking about where they worked over the summer.

For my Spanish 3 classes, I love teaching the travel unit because their language output is at an all-time high and I can have them become tour guides to a Spanish-speaking country and create a week-long excursion. They then present it to the class and try to get as many participants as possible to go on their trip. This is a fun activity, and it provides an opportunity to teach commands! When we return in the fall, we can easily discuss any travels they did over the summer and talk about do’s and don’ts using commands for how to start a school year.

For Spanish 4/AP, I really like wrapping up the year by writing an autobiography. As our school has moved to 1:1 with Chromebooks, their autobiographies are now digital and that has made them even more creative and interactive. There are 10 topics total for their writing, and each day we spend time writing and then time watching our favorite tv show, El Internado. It is a really nice culmination of their Spanish career, and a great memory for me because I have had most of the kids for 3-4 years at this point. If time allows during the presentations, ask students to present their favorite entry from their biography.  

Hopefully, these ideas help you plan for how to wrap up your school year. Be it face to face, remote or hybrid, your students will continue to appreciate whatever you decide!

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