Saturday, April 23, 2022

5 Ways to UP the FUN factor during the end of the school year


The end of the school year can be difficult at best and disastrous at worst.  Your students are ready for summer, and you are anxious to close the year out without incident.  The standardized tests are over for most of you, so you are probably looking for alternative activities to keep your students interested and learning until the end of the year.  Here are some ideas:
  1. Have a designated games time, usually at the end of the day or week. Your students need something to look forward to… or earn!  Motivation is FUNdamental to success.  The games can be competitive or cooperative.  Personally, I prefer cooperative, but you can determine what the current class of students would find most interesting.  Games can be both inside and outside, and still be educational if you plan well.  Try these games that are appropriate for any age and ability: Games, Games, Games
  2. Offer choices for research activities.  Offer choices for the research topics. After all, you’ve probably finished the main curriculum, so now you can offer some fascinating or FUNky enrichment topics for your students to explore.  Buy into their personal interests and hobbies for their presentation methods, as well. Let them work in groups of their choosing – friends can now work with friends rather than your pre-assigned groups by ability.  Here are some ideas for project-based learning topics that may not have been part of your curriculum: Project Based Learning or come up with a list of your own.
  3. Make clean-up day fun!  Give crazy names to the FUNctional tasks.  Doing inventory? Call it a treasure hunt to find lost resources around the room.  Re-organizing files?  Call it the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. (or Mr. ___________________.  Read the book by the similar name while you are reorganizing.  Decide what else needs to happen before you all walk out of your classroom door for the last time until the next school year and give it a fun name.  
  4. If you need to scrub desks, offer rewards for a clean inspection.  Find something that won’t cause any other marks on those desks!  Some ideas for cooperative cleaning include a certificate, a sticker (consider making a sticker book for ALL the activities at the end of the year), a small toy, or gift certificate to a local store (sometimes those stores will be eager to get kids in so they will buy more than what your gift certificate is worth and will give them to you for free!) Perhaps you can award the FUNniest way to clean a desk!
  5. Make memory books to take home.  If you started this at the beginning of the year, you’re one step ahead! If not, ask your students to brainstorm the most memorable parts of the school year, then create a digital or hand-drawn booklet showing the highlights of the year.  Ask students to show their booklets to their parents and maybe grandparents to share what they learned over the past year.  I think you’ll find that your classroom really was a FUN place to learn!
For more FUN resources, browse my Teachers Pay Teachers website: All-American Teacher Tools and look for my new FREE resource: Alphabetical activities for the last 26 days of the school year.

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