The end of the school year is upon us and you have pulled out every tool in your toolbox. “What now?” you may be wondering to yourself. I have been there and am here to help with these fourteen ideas for making the most out of the end of your school year.
Start a Countdown
Whether you choose to have a plain numbered countdown, a student of the day countdown, or a balloon pop with a treat of the day type countdown they are a fun way to build excitement and give students something to look forward to each day.
Create a Collaborative Piece of Art
Anything that allows your students to work together to create a piece of art is a win in my book. I love to create class portraits through tear-art. Each student uses torn pieces of construction paper and a template to create their own portrait and then we hang them all together to create a class masterpiece.
Full directions for this activity can be found in my End of Year Activities pack.
Make Compliment Capes
Each student has a piece of paper taped to their backs and students take turns writing compliments on them while traveling around the room. At the end of the activity, students have a paper full of nice things about them!
Review with Team Placemats
Team placemats are a great way to build relationships among students while reviewing content throughout the year.
To complete this activity, each team will need a large piece of paper. I like to use the butcher paper from a roll. Each member then gets a section to write everything they know about their team’s assigned topic which is written in the center. Teams then present their placemats to the class.
Unwrap a Book Collection
This is a popular idea before the winter break, but I love doing it at the end of the year too! Choose books you want to share with the class and wrap them up. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just enough to hide which book it is.
Each day, unwrap and read one book as a class.
You could use this to revisit your ten favorite books from the year, or even have your students nominate and vote on books and then be surprised when each one is revealed.
Complete Teacher Evaluations
A huge part of the end of the school year is reflecting on all the year has held. Using simple evaluations students and their families can fill out about their thoughts and feelings on the year can help you to become a better teacher and give you insight into what is going well and where more work needs to be put in.
Write Letters to Next Year’s Students
This is a classic activity, but is a favorite!
Play a Review Game
When in the classroom, I was always really stringent about keeping the learning and content going all the way through the last day of school. This didn’t mean it couldn’t be fun though!
Using a review game, such as Digital Stinky Feet, is a great way to have some fun while reviewing.
Build Relationships Through Commonalities
I know you have been building relationships with and among your students all year long, but keep it up!
Using cooperative learning strategies such as Find Someone Who or Quiz Quiz Trade are a great way to keep students learning about one another ahead of the summer break.
Check out a whole pack of relationship building activities here.
Build Reading Forts
One of my favorite days of the school year was when we would hold a read-a-thon! All day long was focused around reading. We had read alouds, guest readers, independent reading time, and buddy reading.
My students’ favorite part of this day was building reading forts. Each student brought in a pillow and blanket to build a reading fort using their desk and chair. They would climb underneath, each in their own fort, and read for days if I let them!
Have students partner up and interview one another and then write a mini-biography about their partner. It is amazing what they learn and to hear what kind of question they ask.
Clean Up the Classroom
Look, the classroom can become a bit of a chaos zone throughout the school year, and since it is their classroom, students should help to clean it up. I am not talking scrubbing floors here, more along the lines or organizing and making sure everything is where is belongs.
Student-Created Awards Ceremony
I have a love-hate relationship with awards ceremonies, but I have a love-love relationship with student-created ones!
Students each reflect on what they learned throughout the year and what makes them proud. Then, they create their own award based on it. This means that awards are completely individualized and more meaningful to the student.
I have the certificates all ready to go and fill in the information students share with me. During the ceremony itself I say a few words about the award students chose and how proud of them I am for working hard too.
Another classic. The school I worked in not many students bought yearbooks, so I would make memory books for each student instead. They were quite simple with a class photo on the front in color then one or two pages of black and white photos on the inside from throughout the year along with a few blank pages for students to write notes to one another.
Before handing out the memory books I wrote a letter to each student with a personal note from me. This usually took me a couple of weeks to complete, because I wanted it to be meaningful.
End of the School Year Blues
The end of the school year can be a joyous time, but it can also be a bit of a bummer for our students. By participating in some closure type activities you can ensure students are ready to go forth all while knowing you and their peers have their back.
Ready to Go End of the School Year Activities
Want some ready to go end of school year activities that are sure to engage your students and keep relationships strong? Look no further than this pack! It includes a multitude of activities in different formats that will keep your classroom going until the last moment of the last day!