As the end of the school year approaches, it can be tempting for both teachers and students to lose focus and let the year fizzle out! But as an elementary teacher, you know that every day counts and that finishing strong is crucial for your students' success. That's why we've compiled a list of tips and engaging end of the year activities to help you and your students power through to finish the school year with energy and enthusiasm!
There's still time to make a big impact on your elementary students! Finishing the school year strong helps to ensure that students have learned and retained the necessary material, and that they are prepared for the next school year. You can make sure your students are prepared by reviewing key concepts and skills from the current school year, providing end of the year activities for students to practice and reinforce their learning, and encouraging them to continue exploring and learning over the summer.
5 End of Year Tips For Finishing Strong
From creating a positive classroom environment to setting achievable end of year SMART goals, keeping students engaged and motivated, celebrating achievements, and planning fun end of year activities this post has got you covered. So let's dive in and explore some effective and easy ways to ensure that you don't let the school year fizzle out, but instead finish it strong and set your elementary students up for success!
1. Stay positive and enthusiastic.
As the end of the school year approaches, it's natural for both teachers and students to start feeling a sense of exhaustion and burnout. Your attitude can have a big impact on your students. Stay positive and enthusiastic, even as the school year winds down. This will help to keep your students motivated and excited about learning. Try these activities:
Gratitude journaling: Encourage students to write down three things they're grateful for each day. This can help them focus on the positive aspects of their lives and build a sense of optimism.
Acts of kindness: Have students participate in random acts of kindness, such as writing a note of encouragement to a classmate or helping a teacher with a task. This can help students focus on the positive impact they can have on others and build a sense of empathy and compassion.
Positivity Posters: Have students write compliments on each others’ posters. Something the student is good at, something you like about their personality, or something that makes them fun, special and one-of-a-kind! This activity gives kids a self-esteem boost while remind them of how great it feels to be kind and compliment others.
2. Set goals for the remainder of the school year.
Setting goals with your students for what they want to achieve before the end of the school year will help to keep them focused and give them a sense of purpose. These SMART goals can help students stay motivated and focused, and give them a sense of accomplishment as they complete their final assignments and assessments.
Reflection Journaling: Encourage students to reflect on their progress so far in the school year, including their strengths and weaknesses. Then, ask them to set specific goals for the remainder of the year based on their reflections.
SMART Goals: Provide students with a SMART goals activity that helps them set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals. This goal setting activity helps students break down their goals into manageable steps and measure their progress along the way.
Try this easy to implement SMART Goal Setting for End of the Year & Summer Mini-Unit; it will encourage goal setting and promote a growth mindset in your students. Help your students set SMART goals for the end of the year and throughout summer!
3. Keep students engaged.
At the end of the year, students can become restless and disengaged, making it difficult to maintain focus and productivity in the classroom. However, by implementing a variety of engaging activities, teachers can keep their students motivated and excited about learning until the very end.
F-U-N! Incorporate fun and creative activities into daily lessons, such as educational games, group projects, and hands-on experiments. Also include team-building activities into their lessons. These end of year activities can include collaborative projects, games, or challenges that require students to work together and support one another.
Student Choice: Provide students with a sense of autonomy and choice. By allowing students to make decisions about their learning, such as choosing their own research topics or selecting from a list of possible assignments, they will feel more invested in their education and more likely to stay engaged.
"Teach the Teacher" Day: Have each student prepare a lesson about a topic they know a lot about to teach you and your class. It does not have to be academic--any hobby, interest, or skill will work. Let them create a basic outline of what they are going to teach, what supplies they might need, and how they are going to teach it.
4. Celebrate achievements.
Take time to celebrate the achievements of your students, no matter how big or small. Celebrating their accomplishments will help to build their confidence and encourage them to continue striving for success. It is a fun and engaging way to wrap up the school year and give students a sense of closure.
End-of-Year Showcase: Host an end-of-year showcase where students can display their best work from the year. This can include artwork, writing samples, or science projects.
Awards Ceremony: Create personalized awards for each student in your class, such as "Best Attitude" or "Most Creative Thinker." Present the awards in a ceremony where students can feel recognized and appreciated.
Memory Book: Have students create a memory book to reflect on their accomplishments and memories from the school year. They can include photos, writing prompts, and illustrations.
We’ve got you covered! These End of the Year Memory Books are the perfect end of year activity! These easy to assemble flip books will guide elementary students on reflecting on their year by responding to a variety of prompts and questions. (A bonus end of the year activity is included - A Letter to Next Year’s Students template!)
5. Make time for fun!
While it's important to keep your students learning, it's also important to make time for fun. Plan engaging and enjoyable end of year activities that will help your students to relax and have fun while still learning.
Class Project: Try making friendship bracelets, decorating t-shirts, hats, or make a class book or video.
Themed scavenger hunts: Create clue to find around the school or in the classroom.
ABC Countdown: This is always a favorite with elementary students. Count down the last 26 days by doing a fun activity that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
Finishing the school year strong is vital to ensure that elementary students have a solid foundation for the following year. By staying positive and enthusiastic, setting achievable end-of-year goals, keeping students engaged, celebrating their achievements, and making time for fun activities, you can help your students power through to the end of the school year with energy and enthusiasm.
With the tips and engaging activities provided on this page, you can create a positive and memorable end to the school year that will leave a lasting impact on your students. Let's finish the school year strong and set our students up for success!