Ideas for the last few days/weeks of school

So many of my teacher friends are bemoaning the fact that “kids have checked out” and from my daughter and some of her friends, the complaint is “we are doing nothing”.  The fact is, staying motivated after a long year of learning (and testing) can be difficult especially as the weather gets nicer.  Most of our U.S. friends are already on summer break!

Here are a few ideas you may want to try out which involve practicing the 6C’s but are disguised as fun activities–perfect for the last weeks or days before the holidays!

Escape Room : Breakout Edu

In the time since I wrote the post, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving: Escape Room in the classroom, I’ve had the opportunity to have students as young as grade 5 as well as teachers use BreakOut Edu and create further challenges.  Whether you go with the physical Breakout EDU challenges, or these awesome virtual challenges, or you use this concept to create your own (here are some cool video tutorials that might help), students will be engaged and have fun.  Check out the perfect end-of-school-year virtual challenge created by Mari Venturino and Justin Birchbichler called Open the Pool.


Google Doodles

You know how almost every day Google looks a little different?  That’s because Google creates a doodle to correspond to a significant happening.  Well did you know that you can access a whole archive of them here?  I have suggested these be used as a provocation for inquiry, but at this time of year, it would be fun for kids to explore some of the doodles that really stand out to them and then create their own (either using paint, crayons, markers or virtually using Google Draw)


Green Screen end of year films

I have had the opportunity to use Do Ink,  an iPad Green Screen app, with teachers and students.   It is fairly easy and fun to use.  Why not have kids create a short film capturing a few of the important things they learned in Geography (or any subject), while using their creativity to change the background using green screen.  Or they can just have fun and create with it! Don’t have an official green screen?  Green Fabric works just as well.  In fact, recently Gillian Madeley created a challenge to change the Queen’s birthday outfit because she was wearing lime green.   She also has an ebook called Adventures in Greenscreening that will help with DoInk (itunes so iOS only).

A Google a Day

A Google a Day provides search challenges for students.  When used as a friendly competition, students are learning important lessons about searching while having fun.  Best of all, there is no one right answer.  Students may arrive at the answer in several different ways and then you can talk as a class as the most effective searching tricks.

Web Scavenger Hunt

Why not have students create a scavenger hunt for their peers based on a theme studied over the course of the year?  Their scavenger hunt could include an image, a video, an infographic, a news article, and a website.  Just share a Google Slide with the class and have groups use one slide as the anchor for their scavenger hunt.

Design Challenge: Build Something

Why not have your students create or build a useful product out of only materials found in the recycling bin?  OR check out some of these other maker projects and design challenges from Global Day of Design spearheaded by John Spenser and AJ Giuliani.  They even have a book out you may want to explore in the summer.

What are your end of year fun-disguised-as-learning activities?