End of the Year Activities for Middle School

Instructor: Sara Matherne

Sara is a middle school English teacher, and has a Master's Degree in Teacher Leadership.

The end of the school year is a great time for your middle school classroom to relax, have fun, and remember everything you learned over the past year. There are many ways to help students review and reflect, and this lesson will give you a few ideas.

Make the End of the Year Fun and Full of Learning

Teaching middle school takes a lot of time, effort, and thought. You spend the whole year teaching your students the important concepts and skills that they need to be successful. When the end of the school year rolls around, both you and your students are more than ready for a break. Why not end with activities that are both fun and helpful in determining how much your students have learned over the past year?

Teach Me!

A unique way to assess end of the year student learning for middle school is the concept of 'Teach Me!' Since many middle schools have final exams on the last days of school, it is important that those classes review what they have learned over the past year. 'Teach Me!' essentially allows the students to teach concepts and skills to the rest of the class as well as the teacher, while highlighting what they themselves have learned. There are two versions of 'Teach Me!' In the first version, students can work on a combination of a few different skills and concepts. In the second version, the teacher assigns each student a different skill or concept. The students work on their own to review the information assigned, and then create a mini-lesson that 'teaches' the concepts to the rest of the class. Here are sample project descriptions for both versions of 'Teach me!':

Version 1:Teach Me! using multiple concepts.
Teach Me Version 1

Version 2: Teach Me! using a single concept.
Teach Me Version 2

Go Big

Many teachers also enjoy assigning a big project to be turned in during the last few weeks of school. If you teach English, you might have students do a final novel study, and then work on a creative representation of the ideas presented in that novel. History teachers might have students create a video or presentation on a specific time period or event. Science classes could hold a mini science-fair in each class period, allowing the students to research and use the skills that they have been taught over the school year. No matter what subject you teach, end of the year projects are always well-received when elements of fun and creativity are added.

End of Year Rewards

Of course, the end of the year in middle school is not just about review and preparing for final exams. You've worked hard all year long to create a classroom that is warm, engaging, respectful to everyone, and welcoming. You likely have been working together as a class on things like good behavior, and may even have a class rewards system in place. The end of the school year is a great time to recognize students' effort and participation in that rewards system.

If you use some form of classroom economy, such as Brain Bucks or points, why not have a final event that allows students to use any remaining rewards that they have accumulated? Classrooms can have a popcorn or pizza party, a competition between periods to see who can earn the most points in one week, or even just earn the right to listen to music on their own electronic devices during final exam review time. Choose one big reward, and allow the students plenty of opportunities to earn that reward in the final week or two before school ends.

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