10 end of year templates to help students thrive

ByElizabeth J. Bohn

May 6, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


At the end of the year, it’s easy to get focused on all of our to-do’s. 

Take tests. Do projects. Wrap up all those last lessons. Grade things and submit those grades.

It’s easy to lose sight of a powerful practice that helps learning stick AND helps students grow as learners.

Reflection.

Reflection makes meaning. As educators, it is our job to help students make meaning of concepts and ideas. A reflective process helps students have a full-circle learning experience and become expert learners.

John Dewey is often cited as saying, “We don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.”

If we sprint to the finish line, completing as many tasks as we can and checking off boxes without stopping to reflect, students miss out.

Thankfully, some simple prompts can help. It’s even better if they’re in copy-and-assign templates you can give to your students right away — for FREE. Right?!?

This post will give you some ideas for reflecting at the end of the year AND lots of templates to get started.

End of year reflection strategies and ideas

The end of the school year is the perfect time to reflect on student learning. What have we learned? How has it affected us? What do we still need to know? How far have our skills come?

In this video, I discussed student reflection with The Infused Classroom’s Holly Clark. We share key ideas for reflection as well as practical ways to use them.

Jump straight to a specific section of the video with the time stamps below:

  • 6:00 – Why should we reflect at the end of the year?
  • 8:20 – ISTE Standards that support the importance of reflection
  • 10:00 – Why reflection and how we can do it in the classroom?
  • 15:05 – What ways can student reflect?
  • 21:40 – For/Of/As Assessment
  • 23:00 – Video example of a student’s reflection
  • 25:30 – 5 reflection ideas for the classroom.
  • 27:30 – How do we encourage cognitive struggle?
  • 30:20 – Apps to use for reflection
  • 31:00 – Thinking routine: I used to think, now I think
  • 31:50 – Thinking routine: Step inside
  • 32:00 – Thinking routine: Unpack the layers
  • 32:30 – Thinking routine: See, think, wonder
  • 34:00 – How do we give feedback to 125+ students?

1. Summer Priorities template

As students finish up the school year, summer starts closing in. It makes me think of the first words of the theme song for the Disney animated series, “Phineas and Ferb” …

“There’s 104 days of summer vacation ’til school comes along just to end it. So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it.”

So … how should they spend it? If they just walk into summer vacation without thinking about maximizing those 104 days (more or less), it’ll pass them by before they know it.

This template includes draggable tiles with summer priorities. All are customizable. Students drag their activities to prioritize them and then write about their plan for the summer.

2. Learning Dossier template

Let’s debrief some of your students’ best work! When they reflect on what they’ve done and how they did it, there are LOTS of benefits:

  • identifying what works well so they can do it again
  • identifying struggles to learn new strategies to use next time
  • seeing how they handled the struggle to increase resilience
  • feeling pride in a job well done
  • identifying under what circumstances they do their best work

Plus, as the teacher, YOU get to see the thought process and the “behind the scenes” that you might not otherwise.

In this Learning Dossier template, students take a photo or screenshot of work they’ve done and place it on the left side of the folder. They can rotate a horizontal image 90 degrees so it’ll fit. (There’s even a draggable paperclip you can put on top!

Then, the student drags red numbered dots onto parts of the image they want to describe in detail. On the right, they write about the assignment, the details for each numbered dot, and a reflection on the activity.

3. My Learning Awards Board template

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on students’ favorite moments from class. They can get a sense of pride for making something worthwhile. Plus, they can get great guidance for future successes by examining what worked well in those projects.

The My Learning Awards Board template is a simple one. They pick out three of their favorite things they created or did in class. Then, they describe each and why they were a success. 

You could repurpose this in lots of ways: top moments of class, top lessons learned, top discussions, etc.

To change the title on this template: Click View > Theme Builder. Find the title and double click it. (It’s just word art.) Change the text and hit enter.

4. Prioritize Your Week template

At the end of the year, the work can tend to pile up on students. There’s a lot to keep track of … and that doesn’t end in the classroom! End of year activities and events make the calendar pretty full.

It’s helpful to get everything planned out in one place, and this template can help.

The Prioritize Your Week Template lets students list all of their upcoming work for the week in the left column — AND their obligations for family, clubs, teams, and other events in the middle column.

When they make a plan for what they’ll do when, they can use draggable circles to prioritize. They use a common, simple protocol: A for most important, B for next most important, and C for important but not pressing. You can prioritize each category with numbers. 

For more space, students can write in the speaker notes or add comments to any one entry to add details or descriptions.

5. What’s Going on This Week template

At any point during the school year — but especially at the end of the year — it’s crucial for students to organize, plan, and prioritize their work.

These What’s Going on This Week templates give them lots of space to write things out so they can make a plan. Plus, they include some tips to help students plan.

There are two versions of this very simple template: 

  • a horizontal calendar (with less space) with space for classes and upcoming work for the week for them
  • a vertical calendar (with more space) with a space for upcoming work for the week

You can adjust any of the text on the template by going to View > Theme Builder.

6. Prioritize Your Day template

Above is the Prioritize Your Week template. This Prioritize Your Day template drills down into one day, helping students focus on just the tasks at hand.

It has just two columns: Classes and the work they need to do for them. 

This one also has draggable circles to prioritize. They use a common, simple protocol: A for most important, B for next most important, and C for important but not pressing. You can prioritize each category with numbers. 

For more space, students can write in the speaker notes or add comments to any one entry to add details or descriptions.

BONUS: Prioritize Your Work bundle

The three templates above — Prioritize Your Week, What’s Going on This Week, and Prioritize Your Day — work so well together! Students can have all of those templates together so they can work in conjunction with each other in this template.

They can look at their week in the big picture, drill down to the day, and prioritize everything.

To make plans for each individual day, students can duplicate the Prioritize Your Day templates for each day.

7. Reflecting on My Learning template

When the activity, project or lesson is over, the learning isn’t over. Reflecting on how it went — the good, the bad, and the struggle — can help students in the long run. It helps them think about the content in a new light. But it also helps them think about themselves as a learner and how they can succeed in the future.

The Reflecting on My Learning template gives them choice on how they reflect, providing 18 reflection prompts. Students copy/paste six of those reflection prompt tiles from one slide onto the activity and respond to each. That way, they can self select which prompts fit the work they did — and the lessons they learned individually.

8. More Than a Score template

When we get to the end of the year, it means lots of things. State assessments. End of course projects. Final exams. Lots of things at the end of the year are given a score. But we want our students to know they’re MORE than a score!

This remixable template in Adobe Creative Cloud Express creates a STUNNING visual … and it’s super, super EASY to do. The quick tutorial video on this page has helpful step-by-step directions.

Have your students add an image and lots of words of affirmation to remind them of how unique and important they are!

Click here for more Adobe Creative Education Challenges like this one.

9. Year in Review template

This Adobe Creative Cloud Express template is very visual and a quick way for students to display some of their end of the year reflections: successes and challenges, ways they’ve learned and grown!

Just open the template to remix it. Replace the image and add text, images and anything else. Then export it as an image file to do with it what you please!

Click here for moClick here re Adobe Creative Education Challenges like this one.



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