The months are turning into weeks and you’re nearing the end of the school year. It’s the final countdown (I hope you sang that in your head!) You want to make sure the last week of school is a memorable one in your classroom. There are so many fun things you can do during the last week of school. There are also many things you need to have in place to make it run smoothly and allow your students to wrap up their year successfully. I’m sharing tips on how to survive the last week of school. Plus, I’ve created an awesome list of 20 activities that your students will love and will make the last week of school unforgettable!
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20 Ideas to Survive the End of the School Year, click here!
How to Survive the Last Week of School
As you finish up your end-of-year testing and reviews, you might find that you have more freedom in your lesson plans. There may be some space to squeeze in some fun, unique activities with your class. The last week of school is a great time to celebrate all of the accomplishments of your class from the school year and let them have some fun with their classmates.
Last Week of School Checklist
In order for this plan to work, you’ll want to have your end-of-year checklist handy! Here are just a few things I suggest having in place. These will help the last week of school run smoothly so can really enjoy those last few days with your kids!
- Know the school or district schedule, especially if there are any assemblies or school activities planned that will take away from your classroom time.
- Have a process in place for student locker and desk cleanout. Be sure the students bring bags or are prepared to take home any belongings or work from the year. (I always underestimate how long this actually takes!)
- Don’t forget any projects or letters that were created to be completed at the end of the year and block time for these. (For example, memory books, letters that students write to themselves, yearbook distribution, etc.)
- Confirm that you won’t have any students who plan to miss or skip the last week of school. If so, you’ll want to be sure you can send home any of the activities and help them get their space and belongings packed up earlier.
- If you’re completing any activities that need a larger space (the gymnasium or multipurpose room) or outside space, be sure to schedule that so you know it’s reserved for your class when needed!
- As you near the end of the school year, you’re probably finding that your students are a little more energetic and chatty than normal. They’re excited about all they’ve accomplished over the last year and are ready to head into the next grade. Communicate your expectations for your students frequently and remind them of their behavior goals as you near the last week of school. If you’re planning a lot of activities and fun time you’ll want to be sure everyone is on their best behavior so you can enjoy the last week of school together.
Once you have a solid plan in place for the things that need to be completed to make the last week of school run smoothly, you can start to plan some fun activities!
Things to Do During the Last Week of School
You may have lesson plans that run all the way through the very last day of the school year. If so, there are still some really fun activities that you can squeeze into your plans. Board games, fun-themed centers, and project-based learning activities are great if you’re short on time!
If you have a lot of free space in your schedule for the last week of school, you’ll be able to expand on some of these activities or fit several of them into your plans. These are just some suggestions that I’ve done in the classroom that my students and I really enjoyed. They’re great ideas for making the last week of school very memorable and fun. If you’re an upper elementary teacher, your students may be heading off to middle school or junior high next year, so the last week can be a really big deal for them!
Hold a Career Day
This is always an activity that the students enjoy and get very excited about! Plan a career day where students can research and share what they think they may want to do when they’re older. You can expand on this by inviting parents and community members into the classroom to talk about their careers and answer questions.
If you’re a science teacher or teach self-contained, you could spin this into a fun science careers day. There are so many careers in the world of science and technology. Spend a little bit of time diving into these. You may focus on famous women in STEM and how their careers impacted the world.
Students love being rewarded for their accomplishments and getting to share them with others. One fun idea is to create a red carpet and hold a student awards ceremony. You can roll out the red carpet, decorate the room, and create fun awards to present to the students.
Awards don’t have to be strictly academic or achievement-based either. Think of all the students in your class. How has each one helped shape the school year for you and their peers? Maybe there is an award for the timekeeper (the student who always reminded you it was time to leave for specials). Perhaps you have a helping hand award (for the student who always picked up the dropped pencils or held the door).
You can also create some peer-vote awards and allow the class to vote on the winners. This gives students a chance to recognize those in the classroom who helped influence them in a positive way throughout the school year.
Create a Graffiti Wall
Use butcher paper or wide craft paper to create a “graffiti wall” in the classroom or hallway. You can do this the week before the last week of school so the kids can enjoy it longer. Provide markers, crayons, or paint and plenty of time for them to plan and execute their work.
Students can simply sign the wall, create a small artwork, or write about their favorite memory from the school year. They’ll enjoy spending time together talking about things they enjoyed from the year and reminiscing.
You can use this wall as a backdrop for photos or to hang during end-of-the-year assemblies. Once the school year comes to a close, you’ll have a fun keepsake from your class.
20 Ideas to Survive the End of the School Year Freebie
These are just a few of the last week of school activities that I’ve enjoyed with my students. If you want to grab the entire list I’ve created to help you survive the end of the school year and create a memorable experience for your class, simply fill out the form below!
I hope you enjoy these ideas and would love to hear how you use them in your classroom!