The Day’s End

school's outWe think of 12 o’clock in the middle of the day as “noon,” a time when half the day has passed and we are beginning the slide into evening. Some might think of it as the summit after the long climb of morning, and everything after is a downhill slide. Others might think of noon as the start of the most exciting time of the day, culminating with a sunset that begins the grandeur of night. But I’m not here to talk about noon. I am here to talk about 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM, or whenever dismissal occurs and your school day ends.

As teachers, we all have our methods for beginning the day, often marked with the standard idea of “seat work” or “morning work.” The end of the day, too, must have its order, and there are plenty of classroom jobs that must get done. However, the close of a school day presents different challenges. Your students are anxious to leave the building. It’s not time to start learning; it’s time to wrap it up. It’s not time to prepare for a day in the teacher’s world; it’s time for students to return to their world. End-of-the-day dismissal feels a whole lot different than morning arrival for a host of reasons.

I have experienced many different versions of the school day’s end, from serene to chaotic, from quick to protracted. What does the end of a school day entail for you and your students? And what tips do you have for managing this potentially disorderly time in your school day?

I want to know your methods, and so do the rest of us!

5 thoughts on “The Day’s End

  1. I would really like to know what other teachers do because there are days when the end of the day is very peaceful and others are chaotic even though we do the same thing.

  2. A fellow teacher shared with me a great way to end our day on a calm note and make sure everything goes smoothly. 25 minutes before dismissal, our students place everything they are taking home on top of their desks and begin AR Reading (Silent Sustained Reading time) and note story elements in their journals as they read. During this time, I walk around and check assignment notebooks to make sure all assignments are written down. Once I’ve initialed their planners they collect their mail and lunch box and then sit down to continue reading. Individually, I excuse students for classroom jobs that are completed quietly before they return to their desk to read more. They are not allowed to get their backpacks or coats until their transportation is called over the PA system at which time they leave. This keeps the room quiet and calm, allows me to add notes or talk to students one-on-one when needed, and with a glance at the top of their desk I can make sure assignments, needed supplies, and books go home each night. Even better, the time is still used for an educational purpose!! I love this system. 🙂

  3. I am not upper class, I teach preschool. But here is what we do at the end of the day: we discuss what happened during the day, what we learned and how behaviors were. We discuss what we could have did different (that is those that problems with behavior). We make a promise to each other that tomorrow will be even better than today. We have a class creed that says “we will not waste this day, because this day wii never come again.” we try to make the most of every day.

  4. I’ve always had a lot of trouble during the last few minutes of the day, but last year I made these creative writing booklets, and they were a perfect end of the day activity. My students could write during the announcements, as I passed out homework, and as I called tables to gather their things. I was amazed at how engaged and quiet my students were.

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