12 Activities to Help Teachers Wind Down the Academic Year

Posted on Fri, May 16, 2014 @ 12:05 PM

  • academic yearMystery Skype is an educational game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions. Mystery Skype is suitable for all age groups and can be used to teach subjects like geography, history, languages, mathematics and science.

  • Hand out postcards (stamped and addressed) so that your students can tell you about their summer.

  • Find a picture book without words and write your own story. Not sure where to start? Try The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher by Molly Bang. It’s a classic.

  • Create travel journals. Even if your students don’t end up traveling, they can still use pictures, drawings, articles, receipts, and brief journal entries to document the things they did and saw when they weren’t in school. Kim Rankin’s blog Catching Foxes offers an excellent travel-journal tutorial.

  • Here’s one we borrowed from Kim Haynes over at Teacher Hub: Split the class into groups and assign each a specific topic you studied this year. Give them time to go over their topic and invent a goodend of year activities review activity, which they have to grade. You assess them on whether they get their facts straight and how effective their review activity is.

  • Read Last Day Blues with your students. You’ll love the ending.

  • Before your outgoing students leave for the summer, have each student write a letter to your incoming students. This will give your current students the opportunity to reflect on their experience in your class and share their best pieces of advice for your new students. 
  • Most of us have fun units that we always wanted to teach, but never had time to get to. Now is the time.

  • end of yearHere’s an idea we grabbed from the Farnsworth Family Blog: Have one person sit in front of a white board while the others write a positive phrase about them. Take a picture to give it to the student (one student a day for the last month of school).

  • Create a summer bucket list.
  • Invite your students’ new teacher to visit your room so that s/he can interact with the students.

  • Or try this: Meet the new teacher’s current class. One way to ease your students’ fears about their transition is by having them each interview one studentin their new teacher’s current class. They might ask questions like:
    • What’s it like having Mr. X for a teacher?
    • Did Mrs. M assign a lot of homework?
    • What was your favorite memory this year in Mr. X’s class?
    • What should I know before starting the new school year?



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Topics: Best Apps for Educators, classroom technology, apps for educators, classroom management, end of the year activities

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