End-of-the-Year Ideas for Your Classroom (All Grades and Subjects!)
Can you believe the school year is almost over? Who are we kidding? Of course you can! We know it has probably been a long, challenging, and hopefully fun year. With the final days ticking away toward summer, you and your students may be getting restless. Keep the momentum going all the way to the final bell with these fun, end-of-the-year activities.
Turn Students into Teachers
By now, students know the flow of your classroom, the rules, and the procedures. It’s a great time to let them take the reigns for a day while creatively teaching them new material. Break your students into groups and assign each group a topic to teach to the rest of the class. The “teachers” will be responsible for researching the topic, preparing teaching materials and classroom activities, assessing the activities, and providing grades and feedback to the class on the work they complete. Extra bonus points if students impersonate you as they teach!
A great way to learn what your students have gained this year is by having them create a brochure for the kids who will be in your class next year. They can share their tips and tricks, favorite memories, things to look out for, and the lessons they learned throughout the year. Let older students be creative by making their brochure from scratch or by using web resources. For younger students, there are a lot of fun printables you can use, like this one.
After spending the full year with your students, you know them pretty well. Host a classroom awards day and make each student feel like a superstar. You can get creative by basing the awards off of literary characters from books you have read as a class or historical figures (“and the Shakespeare award goes to…”). For an added twist, create a homemadephoto booth and take photos of students with their awards. You can even make a “classroom superlatives” printout for kids to bring home.
Have your students create a resume, cover letter, or portfolio that showcases the skills they have acquired throughout the year, including academic, athletic, and/or personal accomplishments. Students can reference their writing or art portfolios, include a video of their solo in chorus, site their personal blog or photography page, or include recommendations from their teachers and/or friends. This is a great activity to get kids thinking creatively while continuing to develop key 21st century skills that they need to succeed. You can even have students participate in mock interviews with you, other teachers/supervisors, and/or their peers!
Problem-Based Learning (PBL)
By the end of the year, it can be difficult to keep students focused. Finish up your last unit with a creative, PBL activity that will keep students engaged. Problem-based learning (also referred to as project-based learning) requires students to define a problem, brainstorm a product that will solve the problem, design and test the product, and revise the product based on their tests. PBL can work in any grade or subject; you just need to be creative! The ideas are endless. Check out this Advancement Courses PBL lesson using The Three Little Pigs.