21 Engaging End of Year Classroom Activities

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Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

It is getting close to the end of the year. You are tired and the students in your class are cranky, grumpy and acting out! What do you do?

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Keep them busy! Keep them in routine! Create fun activities that will still provide them with effective learning opportunities.

Not sure what to do? Keep reading for some fun and engaging ways to keep them learning right to the end…


Daily STEM Team Challenges

Daily team challenges are a great way to develop problem solving skills and keep their minds ticking! In small groups, have your students take on challenge a day. I found a variety of ideas on Pinterest, here are some that I thought had accessible classroom supplies and would be fun for the kids.

I had a bit of fun creating them myself, especially the pompom drop!


Christmas Tree Challenge

Students have to create a standing Christmas tree using only pipe cleaners. It doesn’t have to look like the picture, as long as it resembles a Christmas tree, and is standing, they have achieved their first challenge!

Christmas Tree STEM Challenge

Idea via: Stem Activities for Kids

Build a Bridge Challenge

Students are provided with paddle pop sticks and masking tape. They need to construct a bridge between two level surfaces. Provide the students with a car to drive across the bridge to test their construction!

Build a Bridge STEM Challenge

Idea via: The Ardent Teacher

Cup Challenge

In this challenge students work in a small group to build a pyramid with ten small cups, they then need to put the man on the top of the tower. Seems easy?

They must do this without touching the cups or man with their hands. They are provided with paddle pop sticks, string and a rubber band.

A great problem solving task!

Cup STEM Challenge

Idea via: Kids Activities Blog

Build a Tower Challenge

In this challenge teams compete against each other to see who can build the highest tower with toothpicks and marshmallows.

You may like to time this one! It’s trickier than it looks…

Build a Tower STEM Challenge

Idea via: The Ardent Teacher

PomPom Drop Challenge

This was so much fun!

Provide students with a pompom, toilet rolls, sticky tape and a cup. They need to create a drop for the pompom and it must land in the cup at the bottom. They can cut the toilet rolls as they wish.

Remind them to keep testing as they add sections to the drop! Who can create the longest drop?

PomPom Drop STEM Challenge

Idea via: Coffee Cups and Crayons

Maths Investigations

In small groups, have your students work on maths investigations. A fun and worthwhile activity that will encourage a lot of discussion! We have some great investigations…


Games Bonanza!

Set up a handful of literacy and numeracy games suited to your students. Each group moves around to the different game stations. You may like to use our Cooperative Working Role Cards to ensure the group games bonanza runs as smoothly as possible.

Once you have the games and role cards this is super easy to set up quickly when you may not have anything planned, especially as it gets close to the end of the year! Here are some examples of literacy and numeracy games that would work:


Write a Class Comic

Students brainstorm and write a comic for the new students you will teach next year. What advice, tips and hints would they give them on how to survive and do well in your class? What were the hardest parts? What did they enjoy?

Use our Comic Book Templates to assist your students with the writing process.


Enjoy Outside

Head outside for some nature walks, fitness, messy play or simply read books outside.

Here are some of our fitness resources that you may like to use:


Share your Ideas

We would love to hear from you…what ideas do you have to keep them thinking to the last minute of the last day?

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Comments & feedback

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Love, love, LOVE! Thank you so much.

Gaynor Smith · Nov 27th, 2017

You’re welcome Gaynor! Glad you find this blog article helpful.

Holly (Teach Starter) · Jan 11th, 2018

Hi, Is there a link for the daily STEM challenge cards for putting on the bags?

Sally Arthur · Nov 22nd, 2017

Hi Sally,

I just typed these up using our one of our word wall templates https://www.teachstarter.com/teaching-resource/rainbow-word-wall-vocabulary/.

Since this blog was written, we have developed some fantastic Christmas STEM Challenge cards as well that may suit your needs – http://teachstart.co/2zFeeAN.

Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Nov 22nd, 2017

These are awesome, thanks!

Shandell Gammon · Nov 11th, 2017

You’re most welcome Shandell!

Holly (Teach Starter) · Jan 11th, 2018

This is GREAT! Thank you very much. As much as I love Christmas and the fun activities, these activities are great for reinforcing what has been taught throughout the year and keeping brains busy and challenged!

Zuriette Du Plessis · Nov 8th, 2017

You’re most welcome Zuriette! I’m so glad you found these activities helpful towards the end of 2017. Happy 2018!

Holly (Teach Starter) · Jan 11th, 2018

A BIG thank YOU for all your creative suggestions! Am sure al the Teachers join me for this!! These activities are a real ‘blessing’, indeed!

Celia Nichols · Nov 30th, 2016

Wow! Thank you so much Celia, it is so nice to hear that these activities are helping classroom teachers at this very busy time!
Take care,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Nov 30th, 2016

A BIG thank YOU for all your creative suggestions! Am sure al the Teachers join me for this!! These activities are a ‘blessing’, indeed!

Celia Nichols · Nov 30th, 2016

This is such a fab post!!! Thanks! 🙂

Rhiannon Fraiia · Nov 25th, 2016

No worries Rhiannon! I hope you were able to use some of these ideas in your classroom!
Take care,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Nov 30th, 2016

Thank you so much for these fabulous ideas! It has saved me doing all of the research. Much appreciated, especially during Report writing time!

Fiona · Nov 22nd, 2016

Thanks for your lovely comment Fiona! I hope your report cards are all done and you can relax! Glad this blog helped you through a busy time!
Take care,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Nov 30th, 2016

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