The end of the school year can be hard to keep students engaged and on task. They are anxiously awaiting Summer break (as are you) and need more opportunities for movement breaks and FUN. I realized when brainstorming for this blog post, that I already had so many posts for the end of the year. Here’s a compiled list of ideas, activities, and FREEBIES to make your last few weeks a success!
First, help your students review skills, stay engaged and motivated, all while having fun with these ideas.
1. Shaving Cream Writing – A favorite end of the year activity is shaving cream writing. It helps clean your desks, while giving students a chance to have fun learning. Use this for many reading or math skills. For added fun, try these scented and colorful kids shaving cream.2. Fluency & Fitness® – Keep up student participation all the way up to the last day of school with Fluency & Fitness®. I have some End of the Year Review Fluency & Fitness® for Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade. These activities help students review skills they’ve learned this year, while getting in some exercise during the movement breaks. Great for literacy and math blocks, brain breaks, transitions, inside recess, and more! If you love these, I have over 70 skills to last your entire year.
3. Ghost Painting – This sight word painting activity can keep kids engaged for quite awhile and can be easily differentiated. You can write sight words, letters, math facts, etc. in a white crayon on white paper. Then, students simply paint over the page with watercolors to reveal what’s underneath. Learn more about this and find other sight word games and activities.4. Fluency Find It – Another way to keep students highly engaged is with Fluency Find It. I love these activities because students can review skills, get in some movement, AND build teamwork. Students simply work together to see what’s on the screen and hunt for the answer on the worksheet. When they see the “switch slides”, they simply go to the end of the line and trade turns. Check out my Review Fluency Find Its for Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade. I also have many of these resources for your whole year as well.
5. Get Outside – Now that the weather is getting nicer, take your learning outdoors. You could go on bug hunts, write with sidewalk chalk, or simply find a grassy area to do your lesson. One day, I put compound words on butterfly cut-outs and hid them on the playground. The kids had to go hunt for them and record their answers. Another favorite outdoor activity was when we would pair up with our 4th grade buddies and read outside together.
6. Writing Prompts – Wrap up the last few weeks by letting students write about their year with these FREE writing prompts. I have prompts for K-5th. The layout of these prompts are similar to ones in my writing center. If you really want to keep students motivated, let them use these Frixion erasable markers. They are my favorite, but I did also have a set for students to use as well.
End of the Year Bulletin Boards
I always loved doing bulletin boards, even up until the last month of school. Here are a few ideas of boards I’ve done in the past. Of course, this was before Cricut and Silhouette machines with cute fonts and graphics. 🙂
1. Sea What We’ve Learned – During our Ocean unit, we made a variety of ocean animals crafts. I hung them up and had students write 1 thing they learned in Kindergarten. I added this next to their animal and added the title Sea What We’ve Learned. Look at the date on this….2007! That would’ve been at the end of my 1st year teaching.2. Popping into 1st Grade – Next, is one of the most fun activities I’ve done at the end of the school year. I made a Summer countdown board with balloons. Pop a balloon each day and do the special activity inside. Read more about my End of the Year Countdown and grab a list of FREE activities to put inside each balloon.3. Summer Bucket List – Another end of the year bulletin board is to have students write what they want to do over the Summer. You can add these to a bucket & shovel with the title Summer Bucket Lists. I added their school picture to the shovel too. Easy-peasy!
The Last Week of School
The last week of school can be CRAZY! Here are a few ideas for you to do with your students those last few days, as well as prep for Summer.
1. Field Day – We always did field day the last week of school. I did a whole post dedicated to some fun games we’ve played in the past. Grab some FREE and EDITABLE signs for your field day stations! Be sure to read about this Drip, Drip, Drop game. It’s always a favorite!!!
2. Gift Ideas – If you’re looking for gifts for co-workers, student teachers, your child’s teacher, etc., check out this list of ideas that any teacher will love. These ideas fit all budgets too!3. Classroom Clean-up and Organization -Put your students to work! The last 2-3 days of school I always had students help organize the classroom and get it ready for Summer and next year. Students can throw out old markers, crayons, re-organize books, games, etc. Find out all the ways I let students help me do a classroom clean-up.4. Summer Calendar – Lastly, help students keep learning over break and prevent the Summer slide with this EDITABLE Summer calendar. The skills already included are geared more toward Kindergarteners going into 1st grade, but you can easily change the skills out. It also come with a parent letter.
I hope you have found all of these ideas helpful! Enjoy the last few weeks with your students.
There are some affiliate links in this post to help you easily find materials I’ve used.
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