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End of Year Class Management: Engaged till the Last Day!

Are your kids extra fidgety, tattly, or just not putting any effort into their work anymore? The energy of summer approaching can make end of year class management challenging at times. Some can’t wait for it, and some don’t want it to come.

Well, I want to share what I do every year that can help you maintain (or regain) your students’ behavior, effort, and your sanity!

Have a…..


Our last month of school here in NY is June, so on the last day of May, I let kids know they will earn Tejeda Bucks throughout the month of June. On the last week of school, I have a garage sale where they can use their hard-earned bucks. They’re really motivated to earn these fancy bucks- behavior and effort get right back on track!

Want to see my Tejeda Bucks?

Have fun with these! I included dollar bill templates you can use in your freebie (scroll down)! Just add a picture of your face, print on green paper, and try all the hairstyles you’ve ever dreamed of having. Kids LOVE seeing which hairstyle they will get when they earn them (and I’ve even had kids trade bills! Who knew they’d be such a sensation?)

How they earn Bucks

  • Demonstrating good character.
  • Great effort! (I assign a value to some assignments, for example: If they are writing a persuasive essay, I may say a good essay gets 2 Tejeda Bucks, an essay that lacks effort get 0 or 1, and a super-duper, above and beyond essay gets 3!).
  • If most of the class is extra chatty/ not on task, start handing out some bucks to those who are working quietly. Works wonders! Also, read my post for tips on quieting a talkative class here.
  • Doing homework.
  • Anything else you want to reinforce!

Where to Store Bucks

  • I give each student a labeled envelope to store their bucks.
  • Keep your own ‘bank.’ I keep my Tejeda bucks in a bin by my desk. When I run out of $1 bills, I’ll open the ‘bank’ and let kids exchange 5 for a $5 bill.

Ideas for Merchandise

  • Time to declutter? Go through your junk unwanted items, and use anything that’s still in decent condition (you’d be surprised at what kids want!).
  • Go through your schools’ hallways for items other teachers have discarded.
  • Ask parents for donations! I’ve had parents send in unwanted toys or books, and some even send in brand new items!
  • Go through your own kids’ toys!
  • Visit your local dollar store for multi-packs of little toys.


  • Keep a box for placing things for the sale throughout the month (If you’re really organized, keep things separated by what you’ll charge for them).
  • Start collecting plastic bags for the big day (some kids will have a lot to carry!).
  • If you don’t have a toy cash register, borrow one (I’m sure one of your students has one!).
  • Get kids excited throughout the month by showing them some of the things that will be for sale.
  • The day before the sale, sort and lay all your merchandise onto the tables, according to cost. Print the signs in your freebie, and display them in plastic stands.

The BIG Day

  • Set up a check-out station for yourself.
  • Make a simple cashier visor (I just use a sentence strip and write ‘cashier’ on it).
  • I have kids sit on the carpet as they come in that morning and read a book until we begin. It’s amazing how silently they can read when you mention that you’ll call the quietest kids to shop first.
  • Make sure you thank your customers for visiting ‘(Your name)s R Us’ and wish them a great day!

What a great way to end the year! The FREE ‘bucks’ templates and signs are in my free resource library here. Check my latest email for the current password, or sign up below to receive it!

Want more End-of-Year activities? This end-of-year memory book has a great variety of pages to choose from for a special keepsake. You may also enjoy reading tips to make a unique memory book!

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