The end of the school year can definitely be a memorable time, but it can certainly be exhausting (mentally and physically!) What’s most important to remember is that you keep your students BUSY. Have a plan in place for what those days look like, otherwise, chaos will ensue (no joke, the energy on the students when they know summer is coming is endless!) Here are some activities that I put into place at the end of the school year, and I hope that it gives you some good ideas too! For reference, I teach 8th graders, but you can easily adapt many of these activities to any other grade!
Early Finisher Activities
In my class we were working on a huge career research project at the end of the school year that consisted of 5 components (blog post on this soon!) However, sometimes there would be students that finished their work on one component earlier than others, and I didn’t want to introduce the next one until everyone was comfortable completing the one we were currently on. As a result, I created some early finisher activities! These are meant to be quick and engaging and not for a grade. I printed off a few copies of each of the following listed below and had students choose the one they wanted to work on.
I ended up hanging up these activities on the board once students were done with them, and it was cool to see the students pointing out the work that other students did and remembering events that happened throughout the school year!
Here are some fun resources for early finishers:
End of the School Year Bingo Challenge
Another fun way to end the school year is with the End-of-the-School-Year Bingo Challenge. Students choose 5 challenges from the bingo game board horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. You can also have students attempt blackout bingo! This resource also comes with a Top 5 Lists and Letters Template resource for brainstorming AND an editable version in Google slides included to customize for your own classroom!
Getting Student Feedback
Don’t let your students leave before they give you feedback on how they felt the school year went. Help students reflect on your teaching with the Teacher Report Card! Simply print and have students check off “grades” for each teacher criteria. They can write comments too. Or assign this as a digital worksheet in Google classroom! You can edit and customize this any aspect of this report card entirely to their needs.
Let Students Leave Their Mark
Students need to feel that they’ll be remembered after they leave your class. Here are some great activities!
- Letter to a Future Student Mad Libs: This one is a fun and free activity I created. Students fill in the blanks with different parts of speech and create a silly letter to future students.
- Flipgrid Video of Advice: This is a really fun one, and if you haven’t tried Flipgrid yet in your 1:1 technology classroom, you really should! I had my students answer a few questions about their experience in my class and what students should prepare for on camera. I set the video limit to two minutes. I can’t wait to show my future students my former students and the videos they created!
- Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Middle School Slideshow: I had my students work on a collaborative slideshow. I instructed each student to create 1-3 slides that focused on one piece of advice that they could give an incoming middle schooler. They were really enlightening and it gave me reassurance that they remembered some good things throughout the school year 😂
Don’t forget to have fun!
On the very last day of school, we had a lot of fun by setting up minute to win it games. These are short games that really don’t take longer than a minute to complete! I got most of my ideas from Pinterest, but you can easily make up your own with the school supplies you have on hand! Here are some of the games we played:
- Penny stacking: Students used one hand to stack as many pennies as they could in a minute!
- Balloon blow: Students blew and tied off 3 balloons. Whoever could do it the fastest was the winner!
- Card organizing: Students shuffled a deck of cards to begin. Whoever could organize the cards into 4 piles of each suit the fastest won!
- Cup stacking: Students had to stack 10 cups in a pyramid and take them down. Whoever could do it the fastest was the winner!
- Cookie stacking: Students had to stack sandwich cookies on their forehead. Whoever stacked 5 cookies first won!
- M&M transfer: Using a straw, students transferred 10 M&Ms from one plate to another. Whoever could do this the fastest won!
Phew! That was a long post, but I certainly kept the students busy at the end of the year! Hopefully they remember all the fun times we had and the important lessons they learned. How did your school year end? What were some activities you did? Comment below!
Have a great summer!