BRAIN BLAST: Year Enders

​Here are 13 activities to try on the last class of the semester or year. 

POP-UP TOASTS

Dave Stuart Jr. directs students to stand up and identify what they are most “thankful for from this year’s class” or “one funny memory.”

MINDMAP

Have students create mind maps of what they learned during the past semester.

VIDEO TO FUTURE CLASS

Have learners record the answer to…What should future students know about how to get an “A” in this class? and If they were to do the class over again, how would they do it differently?

WRITE LETTERS

Write an anonymous letter to 1 or more peers you learned the most from (your best friend in class doesn’t count—he/she already feels appreciated by you).

FOCUS ON THE FUTURE

Have students write an inspirational email to their future selves with https://www.futureme.org/.

CURRICULUM SURVEY

Have kids complete a Likert survey on texts, activities, content they experienced over the semester.

REVISE THE SYLLABUS

Give student teams a copy of the syllabus with sticky notes and tell them to make it more engaging and meaningful to the next semester’s class.

GUEST EXPERTS

Invite a panel of former students to discuss do’s and don’ts about joining the army, training for a marathon, starting a business, majoring in computer science, etc.

TOUGH CONCEPT POSTER

Ask students to take the hardest concept, and then try and make it easier to understand by illustrating a poster.

LOOK HOW FAR YOU’VE COME!

Have learners take a 5-question assessment about core class ideas, then show them how they answered those questions on the first day of class. Discuss what they know now that they didn’t know before.

TAKE A CLASS PHOTO

Take a group photo, print it, then hand it on the wall next to the class motto.

CLASS AWARDS

Before class meets, have students use Socrative to vote on the students who are the “most likely to succeed,” “best dressed,” “most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse,” etc.

GRAPH MY SEMESTER

Meghan Mathis, in TeachHub, recommends having students graph and illustrate the personal highs, lows, and meaningful moments that occurred over the semester or year.

GIVE A “LAST LECTURE”

Imagine you have 10-15 min. to finish the last words you will ever say to students. Discuss what you’ve learned about life, about learning, about your content, about the nature of students. Tell secrets. Then present students with a “scroll” version of your talk.

THE WORD

Printed on cardstock in a special font, write down one word that best (positively) describes each student. Examples: altruistic, dependable, eloquent, high-reaching, radiant, unflagging, etc. For more, see Positive Word Research.


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Todd Finley

Edutopia Blogger and Asst. Editor || ECU Ed Professor || Founder of Todd's Brain at www.todd-finley.com || Books: Dinkytown Braves and Rethinking Classroom Design.

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