Let’s talk about 5 fun ideas for the end of the year for middle school classrooms. The end of the school year can be a whirlwind of emotions, events, and shifts but with the right activities and resources, you could end the year with your middle schoolers on a high note. At the end of the school year, we know the meaning of teacher tired is REAL. The last thing you want or need is an out-of-control, unengaged class. Keep reading to get 5 ideas that are fun, don’t suck, and will keep your middle school engaged so that you don’t have to work too hard plus a FREEBIE.
Idea #1: Student-Led Mini-Lessons
Okay, hear me out….
If you haven’t tried student-led mini-lessons to wrap up the year’s learning and/or review for state testing, this is your sign to do it! This year, I had my students sign up to teach 2 mini-lessons to the class with a partner.
Here’s what the process looked like:
- I gave them a list of every topic/skill we learned this year.
- They signed up for 2 to teach with their partner.
- I provided them with a planning template and an expectations/grading handout.
- They developed a 5-8 minute mini-lesson to review/reteach with the class and an 8-10 minute activity for the class to practice the skill.
My students developed everything from Kahoots to worksheets and games. We know the ability to teach something to someone else requires a high level of understanding and providing your students the opportunity to do just that is a great way to start to dwindle the year down. The buy-in and engagement your students will have with teaching mini-lessons is a meaningful way to end the school year.
If you’re interested in seeing more about the student-led mini-lessons and resources, you can find more information here.
Idea #2: End Of The Year Project
Looking for something to fill multiple days or weeks as you approach the end of the year? PBLs, or project-based learning, are a fun, purposeful way to bring together skills from the year together in an engaging way. There are a variety of projects already made for almost every grade level and subject.
One of my favorites that I use with my students every year is a “Plan Your Dream Road Trip” project. Just as it sounds, students are literally planning a road trip and have a budget in which they must abide by. They must plan their travel stops, itinerary activities, gas costs, meal costs, etc.
Then, they design and build a 3-D model of their RV. Students LOVE it and it keeps them engaged while applying their learning from the year (even though they don’t realize it).
If you’re interested in checking out the “Plan Your Dream Road Trip”, you can find it here.
Depending on what grade level you teach, you may be able to find something more age-appropriate for your middle schoolers on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Ending the school year with a project will hook your middle schoolers and allow them to apply their learning from the year while allowing them to produce a physical end product.
Idea #3: End of the Year Awards
This idea is for the end of the school year is not necessarily “academic”, but a way to reinforce the community and culture in your classroom. End-of-the-year awards are an easy way to have some fun with your middle schoolers and I have a freebie that is 100% editable for you to easily try them.
You can structure end-of-the-year awards a few ways. They can be teacher picks or you can have your students vote on awards. Either option allows for your students’ personalities to come out.
Some of the awards I use are: “Most Likely To Crease Their Air Force Ones”, “Most Likely To Stay BFF’s”, etc. I encourage you to make them relevant to what your students are interested in.
I am sharing a free copy of the awards I use every year the last week of school with my students. They are 100% editable and customizable. Click here to access the end of the year awards freebie.
Idea #4: Future Student Survival Letters
Another idea you can use in your middle school classroom at the end of the year, and my personal favorite, is having students write “survival letters” to your future students.
This activity is meaningful, useful for your next class(es), and allows for your students to reflect on their year in your class. I use this template every year that has students discuss the following:
- 5 Things You Should Know About Your New Teacher
- 5 Things You Should Know About Your New Classroom
- A letter where I provide open-ended questions for them to discuss and answer
It is a hit every year and students take so much pride in them because they drawback on their experience and knowledge from the entire year. This activity is another fun, meaningful one to end the year on a positive note with your students.
Idea #5: Classroom Transformation
This last end-of-the-year idea is probably the one that requires the most work but is so rewarding. If you aren’t familiar with classroom transformations, they are basically a day where you transform your classroom into a different theme and center learning around it for the day.
An end-of-the-year classroom transformation is a great way to review for state testing or just celebrate the year’s worth of learning. Classroom transformations could be as big or small as you want them to be.
The themes and ideas are endless. I have done classroom transformations that were funded by donations and others that range from $20-50.
This year, I used a Fear Factory classroom transformation where students competed in teams on different challenges. In order to participate, their team had to answer 6 questions for that challenge. There were 6 challenges in total.
If you’re interested in classroom transformations, here are some resources (free and paid):
- How To Set Up An Easy Glow Day Classroom Transformation (Blog Post)
- 6th Grade Math Review Fear Factory Classroom Transformation (Resource)
- Fear Factory Classroom Transformation Editable Template (Resource)
- How To Set Up An Easy, Cheap Classroom Transformation (Blog Post)
- Glow Day Classroom Transformation (Resource)
- CSI Day Dividing Fractions Classroom Transformation (Resource)
- CSI Day Classroom Transformation Editable Template (Resource)
I have multiple posts on Instagram and Tiktok about classroom transformations. You could send me a DM with any questions anytime! If you’re thinking about trying one, DO IT.
The End of the Year Should Be GOOD
Although the end of the year probably has you feeling tired, drained, and over teaching (if we’re being honest), remember that it is what we make of it. I am by no means saying to do all of these things. Pick one that feels most like you and your students and run with it.
There are so many opportunities to end the school year on a positive note and make a few final memories with your students.
Please let me know if you have any questions and if this was helpful! I hope you found at least one thing to take away from this 5 Fun Ideas for the End of the Year for Middle School Classrooms