Five Best End Of The Year Activities

This school year was definitely different than most. It will go down in history! There is so much to do before we get to summer vacation, but I still try to make sure I include some truly exciting activities to make sure it is a year to remember for my students! 

I like to spend the last week reflecting on the year we have had and the memories we have made together. I hand out student gifts (check out some fun and easy gift ideas here!), and do some activities that will ensure we can end the year with a bang. 

end of the year activities

Here are my five favorite end of the year activities

“Fly Into Summer” with this paper airplane STEM activity. What kid doesn’t love creating their paper airplanes and seeing how far they fly? This STEM challenge will engage students as they collect data and use measurement skills. It even includes Google Slides for those who are learning remotely.  You can add in a literature connection by having students research the history of airplanes and the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, and Bessie Coleman. 

end of the year activities

Create End Of The Year STEM Awards. This is a collection of thirty classroom awards. Students create their Oscars (tin foil sculptures) and then vote for their classmates for the award that fits them most. Teachers then assemble the Oscar-like statues and present the awards Hollywood style! Your students will love this activity!

Jumping Frog STEM Activity. This is a fun STEM activity that will have students create origami frogs to test their jumping abilities. Students will problem solve and think critically as they complete this engaging challenge. You’ll love how excited they are when testing their frogs and testing how far their frog will jump! 

end of the year activities

Camping STEM Challenges. Get students excited for summer break with these activities! It includes 3 different activities where students will design and construct boats, tents, and fishing poles. Your students will love exploring the theme of camping with this STEM resource.

end of the year activities

 STEM Maze Challenges. This is a STEM activity where students design and construct a maze using recycling items! Your students will think critically while comparing and contrasting mazes and be engaged as they go through the Engineering Process and research the history of mazes. You’ll also get a Google Slides link so students can enjoy it even if they are learning from home!

end of the year activities

These exciting end-of-the-year activities are a great way to increase engagement and encourage students to think creatively and critically. You will definitely go down as a teacher your students will remember! 

What are your favorite ways to end the school year? Let me know in the comments!

Student Gift Ideas That Are Easy And Fun!

The end of the school year is here! Can you believe it? I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that this teacher is more than ready for summer break! This time of year brings with it a lot to do but I try to always make sure I end the year in a meaningful way and celebrate another fantastic year of learning with my sweet kiddos. 

Along with a super fun end of the year bash, I like to give my students a gift. Nothing too extravagant, just something to let them know how special they are and that they will be missed. 

student gifts

Here are some tips for finding the perfect student gifts: 

  1. Find something affordable. It’s no secret that teachers aren’t paid nearly enough, so you don’t want to spend a huge amount of your hard earned money on expensive gifts. 
  2. Find something you can buy in bulk. Since you have several students, look for small gifts that come in big packs. Bonus: If you have any left over, you can save them for gifts for next year or for other class activities in the future!
  3. Add a little personalization. I don’t recommend getting individual gifts for each student because it is a lot harder and you might have students fighting over who got what. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it special for each kid. Add some cute little gift tags and sign it with what you will miss most about each kid. This is a simple way to make everyone feel special. 

Looking for some recommendations for your gifts? Here are some of my favorites: 

Bubble Wands. What kid doesn’t love bubbles? No matter their age, they will love these.  These come in a pack of 24 so it will easily cover most classroom sizes. 

student gifts

Sunglasses. Not only are these sunglasses colorful and fun, but they are also perfect for welcoming the summer sun. They can wear them all summer long! These come in a 24 pack as well so they will easily cover most classroom sizes. 

student gifts

Freezer Pops. Who doesn’t love a good popsicle? These treats are delicious and extremely affordable! 

student gifts

All of these gifts can easily be attached to a sweet note saying what an amazing year you had or how you’ll miss each student.

Looking for more student gift ideas? Check out my post here!

What are your favorite ways to end the school year? Let me know in the comments!  

Mother’s Day Activities Your Students Will Love

Mothers are very special for so many reasons. They guide us, raise us, and love us. They (or other primary caregivers), are often the biggest influence in our student’s lives. So on Mother’s Day, we love to celebrate them! 

If you are a teacher you know- elementary students love to create things for their moms, so I like to make sure we always include some crafts and activities in the classroom that they can use as a Mother’s Day gift. 

Here are some Mother’s Day activities to do with elementary students

  1. Have students write all about their mothers. It is so fun for moms to see themselves through the eyes of their children. Having students write about their moms is a great gift and is also a great way to get some writing practice! 
  2. Have students conduct an interview with their mom. With this prompt, they get to know more about their moms and it is a sweet way for them to bond.  
  3. Create acrostic poems. This activity is great, especially if you are working on poetry in class. Writing acrostic poems will get your students thinking creatively and moms are sure to love it!
  4. Write a letter to mom. Another great writing exercise for students, have them write a letter to their mother telling her all of the things they love about her. 
  5. Create a Mother’s Day memory jar. Get small jars and have students fill out slips of paper where they write their favorite memories with her on them and then place them in a jar to give her as a gift. 

If you love these ideas, I created a Mother’s Day resource where you can get printables for all of these activities in one!

Mother's Day

It includes 10 pages that you can print and use during Mother’s Day celebrations in your classroom. You’ll also get memory prompts for the memory jars as well as tags that students can color and decorate.

Your students will love creating something special for their mothers or primary caregivers! Check it out here!

Mother's Day

Mother's Day

What’s your favorite way to celebrate Mother’s Day in your classroom? Let me know in the comments! 

Camping Activities To Try In Your Classroom

It’s hard to believe we’re heading into the last few weeks of school before the summer break. As students start noticing warm weather and the promise of summer fun on the horizon it can be difficult to keep them focused on learning in the classroom. However, with a few fun activities up your sleeve you can keep them engaged and learning.

Camping is one of my favorite themes to use this time of year, as it reminds me of summer fun.

camping

By planning a few lessons around this theme, you can be sure your students are learning while excitedly preparing for summer. 

One of the best activities for learning about thermal energy while making a delicious treat is Solar Energy S’mores.

This classic activity is easy to complete with students and requires easy-to-get supplies. First, gather a few unused pizza boxes from your favorite pizza place (or any lidded cardboard box will do), graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows. Line the boxes with foil, then have students assemble their s’mores and place them inside. Set the boxes outside and let the sun do the cooking! Students really love this simple activity that helps them understand energy from the sun. 

Another simple, yet engaging camping activity is to have students write campfire stories.

Modeling a few stories from books (or your memory) will help kids understand the style of campfire stories. Many campfire tales include a “scare”, teach a lesson, or tell how something came to be. You can then invite students to write their own, then share with the class around a “campfire” in your classroom. It is also fun to create oral stories as a class by beginning a story and having students “add on” a few sentences in turn. Kids can feel comfortable to express their creative side without being hindered by writing skills. 

Finally, Camping STEM Challenges are an easy-peasy way to get your students using important skills with no planning required.

This resource includes three activities that will get students designing, constructing, and testing. Students will design and construct boats, tents, and fishing poles. Sit back and watch their problem-solving skills grow while they have fun!

Try out the camping theme in your classroom, and your students will have a blast wrapping up the school year while keeping their skills sharp. 

Earth Day Activities Your Students Will Love

Earth Day is right around the corner!

Are you ready to celebrate in your classroom? This is the perfect time to discuss the best ways to care for our planet. By incorporating some great books and STEM lessons, your students will enjoy celebrating Earth Day while learning important skills.

Here are a few of my favorite activities to bring Earth Day into the classroom. 

The Water Princess is a wonderful book for teaching about the need for clean water. It describes how a young girl in Africa must carry water daily, and how she dreams of clear, clean water for her village. The story is powerful for helping students think about Earth’s water.

The Water Princess STEM Challenge and Flip book is the perfect companion for the picture book.

The lap book helps students stay engaged with text and deepens their understanding. The STEM activity will allow students to think about clean water in a hands-on way as they design, engineer, and test. 

earth day

One Plastic Bag is another perfect book for this holiday. In the story, a woman’s village is being overrun with plastic bags that have been thrown away. She figures out a way to recycle the bags, and changes her community for the better. Students can learn about the damage of trash and how recycling works. These necessary topics for Earth Day will be interesting and engaging for students as they read or listen to the story.

The STEM One Plastic Bag Challenge is a great addition to the story. Students can use the lap book to study the text, then participate in a STEM challenge to further their skills. 

earth day

FInally, my Earth Day STEM Challenges and Activities resource is a fun way to cap off your Earth Day studies.

This bundle includes two STEM challenges as well as word work, a writing prompt, and more. Students can work in teams to attack the challenges and exercise their problem-solving skills. They will enjoy learning more about protecting our planet while gaining important skills. What a great way to spend Earth Day in your classroom! 

earth day

I hope your students love these STEM Activities!

What are your favorite ways to celebrate Earth Day? Let me know in the comments!

For more STEM activities based on books, check out my post here!

How To Use Math Task Cards In Your Classroom

Would you like to rejuvenate and refresh math instruction time in your elementary classroom? Math task cards are the perfect answer! They are versatile, easy to use, and provide an easy way to add practice without more worksheets. Each task card has an individual, stand alone task or problem.

How To Use Task Cards

You can group cards by a particular skill and use them for centers, independent practice, or for whole class games like SCOOT. Early finishers can use them, or you can assign them to particular students while you work with a small group. Tasks from multiple skills can be grouped together to create review activities for end of year or standardized tests. Best of all, task cards can be used year after year with no prep work!

math task cards

For the upper elementary classroom, I offer a huge bundle of math task cards here

math task cards

This set includes cards for 19 different topics such as place value decimals, adding and subtracting fractions, rounding, and more. You can easily use these for classroom practice or fun review games. This bundle has task cards for all the topics you might work on during the year- which means you always have math activities ready to go! I’ve also included two sets of Boom cards that can be used for digital practice.

math task cards

After seeing the flexibility these task cards provide, I hope you will grab a set and make your classroom math practice even more fun!

Check out some of my favorite bundles here for more teaching resources!

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