12 Awesome Ideas for Ending the School Year

The end of the school year is approaching fast! Before the year ends I aim to get students to review, reflect, and connect. Some of your students are probably super excited to begin their summers or might be restless from testing. The activities below will motivate your students to reflect, help others, move and learn, and think creatively. These activities help your students to keep their learning momentum and your energy going till the end! 

End of the Year Activities

1. Advice to future students– Get students to share advice for the students who will attend the class the following year. This is one of the goals in my book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers. Below are free web tools and examples to accomplish this:

  • Get students to write a letter to another student and stick this in an envelope to give to a student next year. You may get students to write a few extra just in case your class size increases! 
  • Check out Buncee’s free template to easily assign students. The template includes 5 key facts they will learn, 3 ways to keep the teacher happy, and possible field trips they will go on. 
  • Students can also share advice using free web tools, such as Google Slides, SwayVoicethreadVoki, and Genial.ly

2. Digital portfolios and reflections– Before your students leave they should reflect on how much they’ve grown and set some future learning goals. Discover my digital portfolio templates you can copy and edit, examples, free web tools, and tips here!

3. Create a Digital Textbook– Get students work in pairs or small groups to design a digital version of the curriculum. Each pair can take a chapter or unit and design assessments or activities to make the unit more engaging. This is one of the ideas suggested in my book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch Edtech Missions in Your Classroom. Discover more resources and ideas here!

4. Book and Web Tool Reviews– Get students to create short audio or video trailers of the books they read in class or from the library. They can even create reviews of their favorite apps, games, websites, web tools, units, or activities. Future students can watch these the following years as an introduction to your lessons.

  • Get students to view these trailers by attaching them to a QR code so students scan and view them. Find student book trailer examples and lesson ideas here

5. Get to Know You Icebreakers and Games– Chances are your students are going to continue to be classmates for years. This means they always benefit from continual relationship building and bonding.

  • Copy my Get-to-Know You Bingo and End of Year Reflection handout here
  • Find tons of get-to-know you activities and icebreakers I’ve created here
  • These are get-to-know you activities specifically for young learners and children. These are get-to-know you activities for teens and adults

6. Rebus fun– Rebus stories and puzzles combine words, visuals, and logic. My students loved solving these puzzles then inventing their own. Copy and edit my free handout here.

7. Digital storytelling– Get students to design comics or storybooks.

8. Coding– My elementary students are currently ending the year completing Tynker coding activities. I also recommend Kodable, Lightbot, Code.org and Made With Code. Find more coding apps and web tools for any age group here!

9. Makerspace time– Bring in a cart of materials donated by parents or the community and provide students with different design missions to accomplish, such as a robot, space car, maze, new sport, or new game.

10. Memories slideshow or book– Get students to design a slideshow with their favorite memories and accomplishments. They can add images, music, and have their peers and teachers include personal messages. Try Magisto (iOS, Android, and web app), Kizoa, Photopeach, iMovie, Windows Media Maker, BunceeSway, Voicethread, or Genial.ly.

11. Creative yoga– I’ve seen the importance of teaching my young learners and toddler how to meditate and relax themselves when they are feeling very intense emotions, anger, or a surplus of energy.

  • My daughter and I love the Cosmic Kids Yoga YouTube channel with tons of videos that tie yoga moves into an animated story. 
  • We also enjoy this video, Yoga for Kids, which demonstrates movements with simple animations. 
  • For other brain calming activities or brain breaks try Go Noodle
  • In this post I list several websites and resources for active learning. 

12. Art breaks– One of my students’ favorite activities is when we draw then create stories based on these drawings. Below are some of my favorite websites:

  • Art For Kids Hub is a website where students learn art and how to draw from listening to instructions from a video. This website also has several arts and crafts for children to learn to do. 
  • Quiver Vision combines coloring and augmented reality with learning. 
  • My students love Google’s Quickdraw web tool where they help a machine learn how to recognize doodles by drawing what the vocabulary word they are told.
  • Also try these websites for tons of free art lessons- Artful Parent and the Art of Education

Challenge: Try any of these resources to continue the learning momentum in your classrooms! 

cross posted at teacherrebootcamp.com

Shelly Terrell is a Technology and Computer teacher, education consultant, and author of books including Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom. Read more at teacherrebootcamp.com.

Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at teacherrebootcamp.com