The school year is winding down and final exams are approaching. Ideally you should plan to have at least a few days for review before the final exams. This post contains some ideas for what to do with that time. However, if you have not covered everything and you have less than a week left, see the end of this blog post for ideas to kick it into overdrive without burning out! Also see the end of the post for my FAVORITE end of year activity!
The final week of school can have such a light, airy feel to it. The weather is nice, summer vacation is right around the corner, and by Golly, you did it! But now what? Finals are approaching and you somehow need to review an entire course in a few days. Well my friends, you have options! Here are some ideas for end of year classroom review:
Student lead options for end of year review
Assign groups of students a topic or subtopic in which they must create a simple 10 slide presentation for the end of year review paired with either a graphic organizer or an open note quiz (with answer keys). Students lead the class: present their masterpieces and complete the materials as a group. Let the students be teachers for a day! Try to get at least 3-4 groups to share each day!
Structured/Teacher options for end of year review
This type of end of year classroom review would include packets, web quests, stations, etc. This route would require more planning and structure on your end, but sometimes we have classes that need this. If you have the final exam already prepared, you can go through the questions to help shape the activities. To help with this, I offer a biology end of course review that can be used in class or as homework. (If you’re in Texas, I do have one specifically for the STAAR.)
- Short engaging YouTube videos on the subtopic.
- KWLs for each general topic
- Vocabulary Sheets
- Post-it note questions (as students are working on the end of year review, they write their questions on post-it notes anonymously and stick them on a wall or whiteboard. Use the post-it notes as bellringers or exit questions.)
When the Clock is Ticking…
If you haven’t finished that last unit quite yet and you only have about a week left, it is time to pivot! Spend one class reviewing key points and how they relate to other topics learned in class. You can do this with some sort of making connections or relationships activity like a puzzle or graphic organizer.
If you find yourself with nearly an entire unit left to teach with less than a week before finals, condense the notes, give them an open note quiz, make some stations, and then use the content to make connections to other topics they’ve learned (this gives you a jump start into end of year review, as well.) Depending your class, students can make the stations for you by working in groups and sharing their stations completed as a class. If you teach biology, you can also use some pages out of my biology end of course review too!
End of Year FAVORITE!
My FAVORITE thing to give my students at the end of the year is a playfully worded survival guide designed for current students to reflect on what worked for them in your class, and to share words of wisdom for your next year’s class. And you can learn a thing or two about what students think of your class! You can check out this Classroom Survival Guide . The completed guides will serve as a resource for new students who would like a previous student’s view on how to survive biology class and what to expect. They are fun to read and you can learn a thing or two, like maybe some common themes that students struggle with or some suggestions they have to make learning easier for them.
Whether you choose student lead review, teacher lead review, or a combination of both, you got this!