No more pencils, no more books…wait! There are still valuable year-end activities to help you learn from your students!
Exams are finally over and the grades are in. Though educators might have gone through all of their lesson plans, the time for learning isn’t over! Create new lesson plans with the following year-end activities to make the most of these final school days.
After a year of homework assignments and required exams, it’s time to show kids that their opinions matter. Go around the room and ask students to name their favorite part of class that left the largest impression. Maybe one student enjoyed learning how to play chess and another thought watching TED Talks was fun. A number of students will likely remember the effort teachers have given after the school-bell sounded or times when the classroom borders were extended beyond the building.
School-Year Student Memories
It could be the time after the school play when they realized their love of the arts could lead to a STEM career, or the time they spent serving as a mentor – each student has a memory from the school year that stays with them. Combine this exercise with the aforementioned student choice for a wonderful year-end activities review.
LOL (Learn Out Loud)
Ask students to prepare a speech, song, poem, or video reviewing their education experience as a class throughout the year. They can cover the year in review by touching upon many important moments in class and highlight some of their individual accomplishments. Through this exercise, teachers will learn more about their students and how lessons influence children. While presenting their project to the class, students will refine their public speaking, teamwork, and presentation skills.
You Think You Know (But You Have No Idea)
Ask students to reveal a fact about themselves that they don’t think their teacher knows. The prompt can be something as simple as “I wish my teacher knew…” and responses can be shared publicly, privately (in a short, written report that lists a name and will be collected), or with complete anonymity (through a short, written report that will be collected, but does not list a name). By sharing these glimpses into their personalities, struggles, and self identities, students will learn to share with and open up to adults. Through personally investing time into learning students’ stories, teachers can forge trust with students.
Create Unlikely Pairings
As students engage in year-end activities through which they reveal facts about themselves to their teachers, students might also be able to learn a bit more about each other. Often, kids choose their own friends, creating groups or cliques. Plan new friend pairs in groups of two students. Switch students’ seats, allowing each assigned pair to sit together and work as a team throughout the day’s tasks. As one of the final homework assignments, have each student write a report that covers five of the new friend’s positive attributes and share these findings with the class.
Take time to relax and reflect with students through year-end activities. Establish bonds and create memories that will last for years to come. For year-end activities that promote STEM education, see these lesson plans that will provide a scholarly sendoff to summer.