Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: Keeping Students Engaged at the End of the Year

Keeping Students Engaged at the End of the Year



Testing is over. Can I get an amen?! I am thrilled, but now I am stuck trying to engage and teach children who are DONE! We have 7 more weeks, but they are already on summer break! Please tell me that I am not alone! Here are ten tips and ideas for engaging students at the end of the year.

1. Keep the Routine

Students will behave better if you keep the basic routine. For me, this means that we will always start our day with math and end with writing. We will continue to have small groups and centers. The kids have been trained on this routine and they are going to be more successful if I don't go changing everything!



2. Collaborative Projects

Just because I am keeping the schedule, doesn't mean I can't add in some new projects! This is the time of the year that I like to do more collaborative projects. Students are good at working together by this time and so the projects are more successful. Just last week, my class did collaborative graphing projects. They loved getting to choose their question and get creative on their poster! You can read more about this project and grab the freebie HERE.


Another fun collaborative project is using Legos to build famous United States' monuments. My students loved this one! They were reading informational text, learning about social studies, using creativity and working as a team. You can read more about it HERE.

3. Increase Movement

The weather is warming up and students are getting antsy in their seats. You need to keep them moving! This is the perfect time to increase (or start using) Go Noodle. These are fantastic brain breaks that get the kids up and dancing. My students cheer when I turn on Go Noodle

Another way that I keep students moving is by doing lots of task card scoots. Sometimes I let them scoot with a partner. They love this!

4. Book Clubs

I LOVE book clubs any time of the year, but they are especially fun during 4th quarter! They are a fun way to keep kids reading without making it agonizing. My goal is to increase their love for reading!


You can read more about how I organize and manage book clubs HERE.

5. Math Art

Math is more fun when it involves creativity! Add in some art to your math lessons and your kids will be on cloud nine! My favorite math art project is Area and Perimeter Robot. My kids love this project and I love that they are reviewing a tricky math concept! You can see the project by clicking HERE.


6. Genius Hour Projects

Have you done Genius Hour projects? My students LOVED getting to research and learn about anything that they wanted! I had kids learning how to be come a doctor, how to draw people and the history of the Aztecs. They begged for more! They barely noticed that they were learning how to research and write informational text! Win!


7. Science Fair

Have you held a science fair this year? If not, fourth quarter is the ideal time for it! Students can learn the scientific process and how to research! They love getting to choose their question! You can read more about how I manage science fair HERE.


8. Brag Tags

The end of the school year can lead to lazy students or students who have trouble following the class rules. How about using brag tags to reward and encourage students to meet behavioral and academic goals? You can read more about how I use brag tags HERE.

9. Book Auction

My students absolutely love our annual book auction. They can earn tickets for outstanding behavior and participation. Students understand that having lots of tickets helps them to earn their first or second choice of books at the auction! I love doing this because it is a behavior management strategy and it gets a book in their hands for summer break! You can read more about how I organize and manage my book auctions HERE.


10. Art Projects

I am super OCD about neatness, so paint makes me shake a little bit! But I am extra corageous at the end of the year. I get the paint out more than usual. (I still don't touch that awful glitter!) The kids love making art projects. Keep it educational by teaching them a little about the artist or having them research the artist. I also like to do art projects that go along with our science unit. Pinterest is my primary source for coming up with new projects!


This project was made by mixing paint with shaving cream!

How do you keep students engaged, learning and happy through the end of the year?


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