Students are antsy, teachers are tired, and everyone is looking forward to the end of the school year. Summer vacation can’t come fast enough, but you still have a few weeks (or maybe even months😬) of school left. What can you do to keep your students engaged in meaningful activities while saving you prep time? Here are three ideas on how to make end of the year review effective, fun, and easy.
Why Review is Perfect for End of The Year Activities
The end of the year is the perfect time to review all of the skills your students have learned. And reviewing skills is really important for long-term learning. If you take the time to incorporate meaningful review activities, your students are more likely to retain, so they will carry the knowledge they learned into next year. Plus review can be used as an opportunity to apply skills in more meaningful ways, so students will more likely appreciate how these skills actually help them in life!
Three Meaningful and Engaging End of the Year Activities
1. Escape Rooms:
Escape rooms are a great way to review the skills and strategies that your students learned throughout the year. Escape rooms incorporate fun themes, technology, and media that are sure to keep your students engaged. In addition, they also give your students time to collaborate! Collaboration and teamwork are key life skills students will need as they get older.
I created my Reading Escape Rooms and Math Escape Rooms with these concepts in mind. If you are looking for the right escape rooms to integrate into end of year activities in your classroom, check these out!
And if you would like to learn more about using escape rooms, check out my post on How to Use Escape Room Resources for Effective Review.
2. Project Based Learning:
Project based learning is an effective way for students to practice a wide range of skills by applying them to real life challenges. Many project based learning activities are flexible enough to complete in a collaborative setting or independently. Some project based learning activities are more structured and based on a specific skill- such as my Pizza Fractions activities for 1st grade and 2nd grade. But others are much more open-ended and require students to research, think critically, make decisions, and utilize skills from cross-curricular subject areas. For example, my Plan Your Dream Vacation activity requires students to make decisions (fun decisions! Who doesn’t want to choose any destination to travel to?), research, budget, and apply math, writing, and art skills. Sounds fun, right? Best of all, this will help students see the meaning behind why we learn these skills and that they can actually be applied to real life!
You can check out all of my Project Based Learning Activities or use your own ideas to create similar activities for your students.
3. Author Study:
Towards the end of the year, I loved to take time to do an in-depth author study. My team would select an author and begin with a read-aloud from the selected author. In 2nd-5th grade, I would have students choose a book by the author that they would like to read about in a literature circle. We did literature circles in place of guided reading. Students had a blast! Giving them autonomy and the ability to choose empowered them to love literature circles. After groups finished their books, they would complete a project based on their book to present to the class. You can read more about my process for implementing literature circles here.
Give these End of the Year Activities a Try!
Hopefully, these strategies help your end of the year be seamless and fun. If you do give one a try, please leave a comment to share how these ideas worked in your classroom!