Essential End-of-Year Reflections

Illustration by Kate Moore

Illustration by Kate Moore

The end of year is fast approaching with its field days, and concerts, and celebrations, and final projects. But before students fully succumb to the lure of summer, help them remember that learning is an ongoing journey. Learning doesn’t stop when school lets out and even an unscheduled summer will hold many moments of inspiration, awe, and growth.

As the year rushes to a close, we want to help our students develop an awareness of their educational journey. We’ve designed some simple templates to help your students pause, honor the year, and let key learnings sink in and take root. You can easily do all of these activities in a single class period or pop any of these slides into a lesson to help them lock in those ah-ha moments and encourage a growth mindset.

Remember an Ah-ha Moment

Use this template to help students remember one of those great ah-ha moments from the year that sparked their curiosity and excitement. Even with one foot out the door, we can remind students of that joy that comes from learning and growing.

Remember an Ah-ha Moment

Mark those Milestones

September seems so long ago and so much has happened that students often don’t notice their own growth. Use this template to help students take stock of the year. Ask students to think back to that first day of school. What were they like back then, what hadn’t they learned or experienced yet? Now, what about today — what’s different? Then have them mark the moments during the year that changed them. Was it an experience? Was it an accomplishment? Was it an ah-ha moment that sparked a new idea or way of thinking?  

Mark Those Milestones

A Growth Moment

It’s important to remember that not all moments of growth begin with a positive achievement. Some of our biggest lessons can come during a time of failure or hardship. Even things we feel the least proud of can actually be times of tremendous growth. Rather than run from mistakes, this activity helps students identify a moment that helped them grow.

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Appreciation and Gratitude

Another way to look back on the year is to remember the people or moments you feel grateful for. Ask students to think about peers, teachers, or parents who helped them out this year or supported them with love and encouragement. Were there any experiences they feel grateful for having had this year?

Appreciation and Graditude

Each of these templates provides a different lens to reflect on the year and acknowledge all the positive, sometimes invisible, growth on their year’s journey.

How are you wrapping up the year and encouraging reflection? Share your challenges and success stories with us via Twitter and tag @PearDeck!