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Ways to Stay Engaged at the End of the Year

Let’s face it! The last two months of school are just jam-packed and busy and chaotic. We have so many things to do and so many last-minute things happening. How do you keep your students engaged in their work?  

Well, I have some ideas for you! These are fun and will save you some time in planning and creating! Take a look!

Ways to keep students engaged during the busy spring months leading to the last day of school. The post includes escape rooms, STEM, flip books, and tips!

There are many ways you can keep kids engaged. Room transformations with accompanying lessons, field trips, read-aloud books, competitions… you get it! But it can be a lot of work for you. Let me give you some solutions (and the work is already done!)

  • Escape Rooms
  • Memory Books
  • STEM Challenges
  • Favorites

Escape Rooms

Let’s talk about engagement! Escape Rooms are a definite winner in that regard. Here are some things my students have told me about our escape rooms:

“This is the most fun I have ever had in STEM!’ “I loved every part of this. It made me use some thinking.” “We loved that it made us really work as a team.”

This Escape Room begins with a scavenger hunt. I placed signs around the school and each sign also has a clue word. Students fill in their clue sheet as they find the signs. The clue words lead to another word to unscramble and this leads students to the lock code for the first box.

If you are looking for an Escape Room experience for your elementary students to end their school year, this will be perfect! An Escape room is a puzzle game in which students solve riddles and puzzles and find clues to finish tasks. In this Escape, students solve puzzles to open locked boxes.
If you are looking for an Escape Room experience for your elementary students to end their school year, this will be perfect! An Escape room is a puzzle game in which students solve riddles and puzzles and find clues to finish tasks. In this Escape, students solve puzzles to open locked boxes.

NOTE: This resource has an editable scavenger hunt so you can create your own sign locations and clues.   There are three boxes and each is unlocked in a similar way with students solving a puzzle or doing math problems and searching for the lock code by using the clues.   Here’s the best part! A STEM Challenge is included!

After completing the Escape Room students grab the materials to make their own bubble wand- following a few rules. These are great to use outdoors in the spring weather!

Escape Room – No Locks!

Are you ready for easy prep? Here is an escape room event that has easy prep- just make copies. No locks, no toolboxes!

Here is the scenario: It is the last day of school. The students discover they are locked in the building. The only way out is to start in one corner and work through a maze as they pass through several rooms. In each room, they will solve a task. When the teacher checks their solution they have earned a checkmark on their school maps and they move on to the next room and task. At the end of the school maze- they have escaped!

Are you looking for a resource that is highly-engaging for those last few weeks of school? This is the perfect answer! It's an Escape Room with math-based tasks that feature mazes. Your students will love finding their way through the mazes and completing tasks to escape the school!

  Your prep is just making copies! This fun event includes mazes and all of the tasks involve math in some form!   BONUS: This can also be purchased in a bundle with a STEM Challenge! Just click on the image to see more!

Memory Booklet

What a perfect way to store those cherished memories of the school year! It’s a Little Flipper featuring End-of-the-Year Memories. Create a 6-7 page mini booklet with your students to preserve those special days of the year and their favorite things.

Here is another amazing way to keep kids engaged. This little Memory Booklet is perfect!

Students complete pages about all their favorites and gather autographs from friends. After completing the pages, they cut them out and assemble them into the best little flipper booklet. What a way to keep those memories forever!

STEM Challenges

What better way is there to have some fabulous afternoons in the month of May with your students completing a STEM Challenge! The ones we save for this last month of school are just the most favorite ones we ever do.    First up is Water Slides!   Students use the materials to create a water slide with a ladder and we pour water to see if Lego Man can slip down that slide. The learning about water-proofing the slide is priceless!

Splash! It’s time for a water slide challenge! Here’s the first challenge of a summer fun STEM series to get through those summer months or summer camps. But, these challenges work all year round!

The water is caught in a pool at the end and we all cheer when Lego Man makes it to the bottom!   TIP: Have some real cloth towels to help with spills. They work better than paper towels!

Another favorite in the spring is all about bubbles!

All about bubbles! Bubbles, Bubbles, Everywhere! Kids love bubbles! This STEM Challenge has elements of fun, but also a great design and building challenge. After exploring with bubbles students will design and test their own bubble wands!

Students experiment with bubble solution and then design their own bubble wand. You can read more about this one on a recent blog post: A Simple Guide to Bubbles.

That little plastic disc in the photos makes the best bubble wand ever!   TIP: Be prepared for your tables to get covered with bubbles! But it is so much fun! Again, real cloth towels work best in cleaning this up!

Flood Barriers

This is an absolute favorite with my 4th graders! They are trying to build a barrier that will keep their little doghouses from flooding. They experiment with absorbent materials first and then build the barrier.

Then we pour in the water and the barrier has to work because the doghouses are made of paper!   TIP: You need dishpans in your STEM class! We use them all the time.  

This is another STEM challenge that features experimenting first and then designing using the experiment data to make decisions! This one is a spectacular event that will have kids measuring liquids, analyzing data, and then building a barrier to control a small flooding event.

Favorites

My very good STEM Friends at STEM Activities for Kids and I have compiled a list of our favorite end-of-the-year STEM Challenges. Click on the image to take a look at the blog post. I know you will find something your students can try.

Ways to keep students engaged during the busy spring months leading to the last day of school. The post includes escape rooms, STEM, flip books, and tips!