I can't believe so many of my fellow contributors here on Who's Who and Who's New are entering their last days of school. As a Canadian teacher, I will be working this year until June 27th. I realize that we don't start school until later in September (after the Labor Day weekend) but when I hear you are nearing the end, I can't help but be a bit envious. I thought today I would post about some of my favourite activities I will be using to finish out the school year and hopefully they might help give you some new ideas for your class. I also have included a freebie!
1. Memory Lapbooks
Last year was the first time we made these and what I loved the most about them was that the students worked independently to complete them which gave me some much needed time to check a few items off my long list of "things to do" at the end of the school year. I teach grade 5, however I think with some guidance even younger students would be able to make them. I made a sample of what the final product should look like and they used that to complete their own. If you have used foldables this year your students would probably be used to making most of these anyway.
2. End of Year Powerpoints
If you have access to a computer lab with enough computers for each student or at least enough that students can share a computer then this is a great activity. I always take pictures of my students during the school year to make an end of the year slideshow. Students love receiving them and their parents have loved them even more. A different take on this same idea is to have students create their own end of year powerpoint using some of the same pictures. I put a small sampling of the pictures taken during the school year in a student shared folder on our computer network. The technology teacher at my school always helps me to set it up. Thank you, Kevin!
After the pictures are posted and I show my students the basics of Powerpoint they are set free to create. I am always amazed at their final products. Students who don't always like to write during the year always add lots of detail in describing the pictures. After all the projects are complete we show the final projects on the SMARTboard in the classroom. We do up a schedule and show four or five a day during the last week. You can hear a pin drop as the students look to see what pictures were used and what each student highlighted as their favourite memories.
3. Basketball Review
All you need for this fun game is a small basketball (I got mine at the local dollar store) and an empty trash can. We move the desks to each side of the classroom to make room for our basketball court. Place the trash can at one end of the classroom and then mark off three throwing lines on the floor. Each line should be a little further back on the floor. If a student threw the basketball from the furthest line it would be worth 3 points, the next line which is a bit closer to the trash can would be worth 2 points and the closest line is worth 1 point.
Students are then divided into two teams. When it is a student's turn they have the choice as to which line they will throw the basketball from. Before they get to throw the basketball they have to answer a question based on material covered during our school year.
I have written and sorted the questions into three piles based on difficulty before the game starts. The harder questions are worth 3 points while the easiest questions are worth 1 point each.
Every student gets a turn to throw the basketball and the team with the most points wins. My students always have a blast playing this game!
4. End of Year Display
Every year I always like for my students to reflect on their year and then select one of their most favourite memories to write about. This year my grade 5 students are really into "selfies". I thought it would be fun if I used this popular theme to capture their attention. It worked! They loved drawing themselves in their smartphones with their favourite things about this school year drawn in the background. We have received many compliments from staff and students on this one. If your would like to try it out you can get it here.
And finally a little freebie to use with your class! Who doesn't love an activity that gives you a few extra minutes at this time of year? Get it here. Enjoy!