Let’s keep it real. The end of the year can be rough. Students are excited and ready for summer (with all kinds of energy!). Teachers are often worn out and tired from months of strenuous teaching and prepping. To keep things engaging and content aligned, I like to have my students complete a variety of math activities and projects the last couple months of school. These can certainly be used all year but they are especially great as end of year math activities.
Today I want to share my favorite end of the year activities that keep my students doing math and engaged right up until the end. (Hint: They are super low prep on the part of the teacher!)
1. Student created review games.
We love board games and each year we spend a few days at the end of the school year creating our own game boards. One year I did this independently, and another year I paired the students to create the game boards together. It works both ways, but I prefer the partners so they can double check their answer keys.
To complete the game boards, the students choose a skill or group of related skills (these can be assigned or allowed free choice or choice from a list of skills) and then they create a specific number of questions related to the skill(s). They can use index cards or cut rectangles from a piece of folded piece of paper.
After completing their questions, I have the students then create the answer key. When they work in partners, each student creates an answer key independently. When they are both finished, they compare their answers. Any that are not the same, they discuss and determine the correct answer. At this point, I check their question cards and answer keys before giving them the go ahead to create their game boards. They usually get super creative with their game boards and I love seeing how they turn out.
I like to give my students free reign with the game board creation (one year a student did a 3-D game board). However if you want templates, click here to grab some from DonnaYoung.org. After the game boards are complete, the students trade game boards and play each other’s games. Last year, we even invited our neighboring 5th grade class to come in and play the games with us.
2. Student created posters and then gallery walk presentation.
My students love creating posters to show what they have learned in a creative, unique way. This time of the year is perfect for that. You could allow the students (individually or in pairs or small groups) to choose a skill or you could assign skills to ensure a variety. When I do this, I have the students plan the poster out on notebook paper and get it approved before working on the final poster. After all the students have completed their poster, we display them around the room and complete a gallery walk and leave comments on post it notes for the students.
- Short on time and want some printable posters ready to go that your students just need to complete? —> Click here to check out some posters for 5th grade skills.
3. Low Prep Math Activities and Projects
As much as I love giving my students creative reign with many of the activities on this post, I also like having specific activities planned that review key skills and keep them sharp.
We use a lot of my printable math activities from my End of Year Math Activities the last month and half of school. These activities are super low prep and the students enjoy completing them. Many of them are quite rigorous and really require some thought. You can see the fourth grade version by clicking here and the fifth grade version by clicking here.
Here are some examples from our Extreme Playground Makeover Project which you can read more about on this post. This project is included in the End of Year Math Activities linked above but you can also grab it for FREE here. The students love reviewing key geometry terms with this project. I love how low prep it is!
And here are a few more examples of the low prep printable end of the year math activities that my students complete.
4. Let the students be the teacher and plan the lessons and assessments.
Each year, my students get a kick out of this end of year math activity. They love being the teacher and planning lessons and assessments. Similar to the other activities on this post, this project works well as an individual project or a partner project.
I make a list of math skills or concepts on the board and the students choose their top 3. From their top 3, I assign them a skill to create a lesson plan and assessment for. They use the graphic organizer shown below to guide their planning. Then we spend a few days allowing the students to teach their lesson to the class and even assess the students. They love grading the assessments and seeing the results of their teaching.
5. Around the Room Math Review
Around the Room reviews are definitely something I use on a regular basis throughout the year and during test prep. They are also perfect for end of the year math activities.
To complete this activity:
- Tape problems around the room. You can write the problems on anchor charts or just tape the problems directly on the wall.
- Have the students go around the room (at your signal or at their own pace- you decide what works best for your students) and solve the problems
That’s it! So easy to implement and the students enjoy being up and moving around.
6. Math Scavenger Hunt
This activity is end of year perfection. It involves movement, gets the students outside, and is completely no prep for the teacher. Do a quick review of the geometric elements and shapes that the students have learned this year and then take your students outside to find these shapes in nature.
Use a simple recording sheet like the one shown below to have them record the object, sketch the object, and then determine the 2-D shape or 3-D shape. Click here to grab the recording sheet (three versions included).
7. Math With Snacks/Treats
I love incorporating sweets and snacks into math class. It makes the math more concrete and keeps my students super engaged. The end of the year is the perfect time to incorporate some snacks into your math instruction.
Want some ideas and free printables for how to do this? Click on the links to read separate blog posts and grab the freebies for the activities.
- Multiplying and Dividing Fractions with Snacks
- Comparing Fractions with Brownies
- Lines and Angles with Skittles and Twizzlers
- Donut Division
8. Buddy Teach a Younger Grade a Math Skill
My students adore meeting with their Pre-k buddies each year. They particularly enjoy working with their buddies on reading and math skills. A great end of the year math activity is to pair your students up with another class and have your class “tutor” or work with them on math skills. The students could even create the activities for their buddies to complete. They will love “reliving” their younger childhood and creating an activity that is suited for a child a few years younger than them.I recommend at least two grade levels younger than the grade you teach.
Those are my go to end of the year math activities. Do you have any end of year math activities that your students complete each year? I am always looking for more. Let me know in the comments.