Each year, I like to spend the last month of school preparing students for the next grade level and getting them excited about the next year.
A lot of times, students tend to “check out” after state testing is over. To combat this, I like to mix things up and incorporate some activities that help prepare them for their next grade and also engage them. For more end of the year activities, click here to see my previous posts that share ideas for math and literacy.
1. Research Booklet for Science and Social Studies Skills for Next Grade Level
In between completing projects and end of year activities, I like to expose my students to some of the content they will learn at the next grade level to keep them engaged in what we are learning. One way that I do this is by taking a look at the next grade level standards for social studies and science, and making a list of 5-6 areas that I think would the most interesting to my students. The students then choose from the list to complete research on.
They first generate a list of questions they have and then they do some research on the topic and jot down notes. I use mini booklets to keep them organized and give them a place to record their notes.
The mini booklet template I use only has one page for science and one page for social studies so you will have to copy as many as you want the students to research. I usually do three of each subject depending on time. Click here to grab these FREE research booklets.
2. Teach Wishlist Skills from Next Grade Level Teachers
The first school that I taught at required each teacher to create a wishlist of 3 skills in each content area that they really wanted the students to know or be exposed to before they came to them. Those wishlist skills were passed on to the grade level below, and those were the skills focused on the last month of school. Those skills could be skills that the grade level above sees is the most lacking or new skills that would be helpful if the students were introduced to before reaching that grade level.
This helped provide a focus for my teaching as well as a focus for the students. Sometimes I would even have my students create mini posters or videos to demonstrate that they had learned these skills. Then they could present their learning (or display them) for their future teachers.
3. Getting Ready for ___ Grade Math Booklets
One thing I have noticed about fourth and fifth graders is they get “too cool for school” by the end of the year. One way I combat this is to expose them to their next grade level skills in math. They love this because it makes them feel like they are getting a head start on the next year, and it makes them feel “older.” I use my Getting Ready for 6th Grade Math booklets to do this.
Each day or few days, I choose a new skill from our booklet and I teach a mini-lesson on it. Then we practice a few problems together and they complete a few problems on their own. They really love this activity and many ask if they can study these booklets over the summer. I have even had a few students ask for an extra blank one so they can rework the problems and see if they get them right. These booklets are available in my TeachersPayTeachers store. Click on the links below to see the different Getting Ready for __Grade Math Review Booklets that I have in my store.
4. Reteach and remediate important skills in engaging ways.
There are always skills that my students could always use practice with. Either because it is a tricky skill, they don’t have fluency with the skill yet, or the skills are really important foundational skills for other more advanced skills. Here are some skills that I reteach, remediate, or we just practice a lot at the end of the year.
- Main Idea
- Inferences/Using Text Evidence
- Parts of Speech
- Basic Multiplication and Division Facts
- Multi-Digit Division
- Fraction Operations with Larger Denominators
By helping give my students more practice with these skills, I am hopefully starting them off on the right foot for the next year. I use a lot of my end of the year math and literacy activities to review several of these skills in engaging and new ways. Click on your grade level below to check these out.
5. Let your fifth graders research the middle school.
My fifth graders are always very excited about middle school, but some of them are anxious and nervous about going to a new school with lots of new classmates. We are fortunate enough to get to visit our local middle school on a field trip each year.
In addition to our field trip day or “transition” day, my students also love completing this middle school research printable using the middle school website. They research sports, clubs, and other information about the school. This generates excitement, calms their nerves, and keeps them engaged. A definite win-win! Click here to grab the two page printable that I use for this activity.
Do you have any ideas for preparing students for the next grade level? Let me know in the comments!
Want More End of the Year Activities and Ideas?
Are you wanting some more ideas and activities that are perfect for the end of the year? Click on the links below to check out some end of year activities for math and literacy: