5 Activities to End the School Year on a High Note
by Brianna Richard, on Jun 2, 2021 12:02:47 PM
As the school year is winding down it is a great time to pause and reflect on the wild ride it has been. It is a great time for the class to get closure, reflect on the high and low points, and celebrate the tremendous amount of growth. It is safe to say that just about everyone is exhausted. Teachers, students, parents, and administrators are most likely welcoming the summer with open arms. Everyone should feel a sense of pride and personal achievement going into the summer. Navigating new ways of learning and teaching is a huge accomplishment that we can all take time to appreciate as the year is coming to a close. Here are five great ways that the class can end the school year with style.
Write a Letter to Next Year’s Class
This activity is simple but so powerful. As students are leaving one grade and going to the next, they all have a little advice they can share. Maybe they have a tip on the best way to prepare for a test or a book for a book report they absolutely love. Have the class reflect on advice and what makes a good piece of advice. Give students fancy paper and envelopes and let them write a letter to the incoming class. These letters give students a sense of pride that they are leaving one grade and entering the next. It allows them to reflect on what they have learned both inside and outside of the classroom. Not to mention this will also make students feel helpful by addressing incoming students on how to perform in this classroom. And they are also pretty fun and eye-opening for teachers to read over the summer.
Create an End of the Year Time Capsule
A time capsule is a fun activity that gives students a lasting memory of the school year. Students can bring a shoe box to school and fill it with a few items that remind them of the school year. Students can write each other letters to put in their time capsules. Students can journal things that they are interested in or a favorite memory. I often like to write each student a letter so they have something from me in their time capsule. It is a great way to kill time the last week of school and make great memories in the process.
Create a Summer Bucket List
A summer bucket list is an awesome way to teach students to set goals. Talk with the class about setting realistic and reasonable goals. Come up with goals that are fun, educational, or involve spending time with families. For younger students, this can be turned into a craft by creating an actual bucket out of construction paper and writing the goals on the front. Older students can write an opinion essay on why they picked different activities for their bucket list. Encourage students to start their summer off strong with a great bucket list!
End of the Year Feedback
Student feedback can be valuable for teachers. It's powerful to hear what students remember. Occasionally, I will get feedback that students remember and enjoy specific activities from the beginning of the year. I always make notes to repeat activities or lessons that students really liked. It also gives insight into what students struggled with or did not like. This feedback helps me adjust for the next year and give the class a better experience. Students also benefit from giving feedback. It gives them ownership over their learning and experience of the school year.
Hopefully some of these ideas give you inspiration on how to fill the last weeks of school in a meaningful and reflective way. Have any ideas for end of the year activities? Leave a comment below!