7 End-of-Year Activities To Help Students Thrive During the Last Weeks of School

When another school year is about to come to a close, teachers everywhere gear up for the final weeks of school with end-of-year activities that bring that perfect balance of calm and celebration. That balance can be hard to find, but here you’ll find a collection of resources that you can count on to plan engaging end-of-year activities that are memorable and manageable including:

  • Tips for maintaining a positive classroom environment during the final days of school 
  • Tools to guide students through end-of-year learning reflections 
  • A simple way to tidy up and close down your classroom
  • Unique end-of-year activities that keep your students focused on learning while having fun 

Whether you’re a seasoned educator or a new teacher searching for end-of-year activities for the very first time, this guide will make it easier for you and your students to thrive during the last two weeks of the school year! 

Maintaining A Positive and Consistent Classroom Environment Until the Final Bell Rings 

When the last day of school is finally in sight on your calendar, it can be tempting to lean hard into the fun, free-for-all vibes. Planning your end-of-year activities using this approach can quickly lead to exhaustion for you and overstimulation for your students.

One of the easiest ways to thrive during the final weeks of the school year is to keep your classroom looking and running the same way for as long as possible. 

Clearing all the student work from the walls and sending it home can feel like a huge accomplishment when you check it off your to-do list, but it leaves your classroom feeling very stark. Those blank walls are a signal to every brain in the classroom that the end of the year is here and you’ll quickly begin to notice a shift in student behavior as a result. 

Instead, keep the walls looking the same for as long as possible. Removing and filing student work only takes about an hour in an average-sized classroom so save that task for the second or third-to-last day of the school year while your students enjoy an hour of choice reading or math game time

Another easy way to keep things consistent is to stick with the daily schedule you’ve used all year. Yes, there will be special events and assemblies that make this tricky, but aside from those school-wide end-of-year activities, do everything in your power to keep your learning blocks at the same time each day until the last 2-3 days. This is yet another way to communicate to every brain in the room that learning is still happening, which keeps chaos at bay.  

End-of-Year Learning Reflections During The Last Weeks of School 

A simple way to keep students calm and focused during the last weeks of school is to guide them through end-of-year learning reflection activities. Having them look back on the projects they’ve worked on this year, the pieces they’ve written in your class, the feelings they have about school and learning, and then look ahead to the goals they have for the summer or next school year is a powerful experience for every student. 

This Editable Student Portfolio Toolkit makes it easy to prep the materials you need to host your own end-of-year reflection. This is the perfect activity to schedule after you take students’ work off the wall and it makes the act of taking that work down feel more intentional and less like you’re simply trying to clean up and wrap up. 

A Simple End-of-Year Activity That Helps Tidy-Up Your Classroom

Something that most teachers dream of but may not have the time and energy to get done is deep cleaning and taking stock of classroom supplies so setting up or next year feels easier. When you have a method for effectively including your students in that process, it becomes doable and efficient. 

Tidy Up Team End-of-Year Job Cards make that possible. These editable classroom job cards give specific instructions that guide students through a variety of tasks so they can help you pack and clean your classroom at the end of the year.

This means you’ll have one less thing to do before or after school each day. Instead, you’ll work through the process of packing up during school hours with the assistance of the most eager helpers in the world…your students. 

You may opt to provide this as an optional end-of-year activity during the final days of the school year so students who truly enjoy organizing and helping close down the classroom are offering you top-notch help.

Another option is to set aside a block of time one day when every student in class selects the Tidy-Up Team card of their choice and works simultaneously to close down the classroom for the year. This is a great way to build student ownership of their learning space even through the final moments in your learning community.

Unique End-of-Year Activities That Foster Student Independence  

Another thing that can save your sanity during those final days of the school year is finding little pockets of time during the school day when you can knock a few items off your to-do list while students are happily working away on a fun activity.

The key to that ideal scenario is to use end-of-year activities that lead to your students “happily working away”…independently. We’re talking about activities that allow your students to calmly focus, learn, and have fun while you are getting a ton done.

Here are a handful of those unicorn activities.

Index Cards and Castles

During this design challenge & team-building activity, students will work together to build castles using only index cards. As they design their castle, they are not allowed to use verbal communication, move about the room, or use any additional supplies to help stabilize or attach the cards together. If the students break any of these, the troll (the teacher) will come knock their castle down, and they must begin again. The first team to complete their castle successfully wins!

Reading Summit 

Transform one of your school days into a special learning event dedicated to sharing love for reading, and setting the stage for summer reading. You’ll love hosting this event in your classroom during the last week of school each year when students need more time to engage in flexible, social activities. A Reading Summit is the perfect outlet for the end-of-year excitement we see in our young learners each year.

These two versions of the "My Summer Reading Plan" sheet makes goal setting for summer reading easy to differentiate.

Time of Your Life 

Each student gets to compete in a contest to be the next star of a new hit show, The Time Of Your Life. Contestants must brainstorm activities they would love to do if they could have the birthday of their dreams. Your students will absolutely love planning a fun day filled only with their favorite activities while practicing their telling time skills and narrative writing skills. 

Camp Array Math Project 

Camp Array Architect is designed to help your students apply their knowledge about equal groups, arrays, multiplication and division fact families, and properties of multiplication as they design arrays and solve word problems throughout this summer camp-themed math project.


I hope the insights and resources shared in this post help you navigate the final days of the school year with purpose and grace. From fostering a positive classroom environment to guiding students through meaningful reflections, tidying up your space, and incorporating engaging end-of-year activities, you can make the final days with your students feel calmer and manageable this school year. 


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I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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