8 Amazing End of the Year Activities

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The end of the school year is a special time.  It’s brimming with excitement and promise, while also garnering reflection over the year that passed.  When this time rolls around teachers are mostly done with their core curriculum and find themselves with more time to try new and creative lesson ideas they couldn’t otherwise do.  However, this time shouldn’t be squandered or eagerly passed, there are really useful lessons to be had.  Here are 8 amazing end of the year activities every teacher must try!

1. Go Out with A Bang… or a pop?

Leave a lasting impression of your creativity with your students.  Make the last few weeks of school something to be remembered and longed for (is this possible?). I love the idea below. The idea is: to have a balloon for each day left of school.  Every day a balloon is popped only to reveal a fun activity for the class to do.  Customize the activities to your liking and voila, you have a creative memory to leave your students with.

8 amazing end of the year activities every teacher must try! Your students will be reminiscing about their year and looking forward to the next.
(Taken from First Grade Nest)
Balloon pop countdown.
(Taken from First Grade Owls)

 

 

2. Write Letters to Future Students

 

This is a great activity, because it will benefit you next year as well.  Have your students reflect on their year by writing to next year’s class.  I’ve used student letters during open houses for parents to see, and obviously I’ve shared them with my future students.  It’s a great way to end/begin your year.

8 amazing end of the year activities every teacher must try! Your students will be reminiscing about their year and looking forward to the next.
(Taken from Runde’s Room)

3. Set goals with the help of your students

As you’re wrapping up the year, it’s an incredible opportunity for you to be on the receiving end of a report card (of sorts).  Conduct mini surveys to see what you were most successful in, and what to improve on for next year.  For example: did your students love your creative lesson planning, but feel too overwhelmed with homework?  The best of us need to improve, and this is a great way to do it.

A list like this will give you a good idea on which lessons/units resonated with your students.
A list like this will give you a good idea on which lessons/units resonated with your students. (Taken from What The Teacher Wants)
End of the Year Parent Survey
If you’re comfortable you can also involve parents in this. (Taken from Teachers Pay Teachers)

 

4. Take a trip down memory lane

Allow your students a chance to reflect on all their accomplishments throughout the year.  Which friends did they make, what lessons did they learn and what new experiences did they encounter?  All of these are memories worth revisiting.  Here are some ways to encourage your students to reminisce about their year.

Memory wheels.
Memory wheels. (Taken from Middle School Math Moments)
A farewell graphic organizer.
A simple graphic organizer. (Taken from Fabulous In First)
8 amazing end of the year activities every teacher must try! Your students will be reminiscing about their year and looking forward to the next.
This could also be a brown bag activity. (Taken from Teachers Pay Teachers)
8 amazing end of the year activities every teacher must try! Your students will be reminiscing about their year and looking forward to the next.
(Taken from Mrs. D’s Corner)

5. Celebrate the bonds that were made

It’s common for teachers to celebrate their students’ achievements at the end of the year, and with this you can go an extra step.  Have students share their appreciation with each other.  It’s heart warming to see what they notice about each other.  Here are some examples:

Create a mystery person challenge, with little facts about a classmate. Everyone will have to guess who the mystery person is.
Create a mystery person challenge, with little facts about a classmate. Everyone will have to guess who the mystery person is. (Taken from Katie Lately)
Students make awards for their classmates. To be fair, you can assign names or have students pick from a hat (just to make sure everyone gets an award).
Students make awards for their classmates. To be fair, you can assign names or have students pick from a hat (just to make sure everyone gets an award). (Taken from Teacher Idea Factory)

6. Look to the future

Remind your students that they will take all they’ve learned and make a leap towards their next grade.  Looking towards the future will have your students feeling excited and giddy at the possibilities.  Here are some ways to do this:

Create self portraits with giant glasses that look in to the future. This could be: their upcoming summer, next year or their future careers.
Create self portraits with giant glasses that look in to the future. This could be: their upcoming summer, next year or their future careers. (Taken from Blog Lovin)
Talk about the exciting adventures of summer!
Talk about the exciting adventures of summer! (Taken from Teachers Pay Teachers)
Read aloud, with a balloon making activity which attaches to a written future goal/place they'll go.
Read aloud, with a balloon making activity which attaches to a written future goal/place they’ll go. (Taken from Buggie and Jelly Bean)

8 amazing end of the year activities every teacher must try! Your students will be reminiscing about their year and looking forward to the next.

7. Create collaborative art

Since you’re not likely to be grading, it’s much easier to create team efforts that are very informal.  Allow for collaborative arts and crafts to get your student having fun while working together.

A class mural.
A class mural. (Taken from Experiments in Art Education)
A class mural.
Colorful group work. (Taken from Art Class With LMJ)

8. Read

Because who doesn’t love a good read aloud.

Read aloud for the last day of schoolRead aloud for the last day of school

What are your go-to end of the year activities?

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