Keeping Students Engaged at the End of the School Year

As the end of the year approaches, keeping students on task and motivated can become quite a challenge. I shared this quote awhile back on Instagram, but wanted to share it here because it’s an important reminder for us teachers, especially at this time of year.

Since technology can be a great tool to increase student engagement, I thought I’d share some of my favorite “techie” ways to keep students engaged up until the last day of school.

Play a game of outdoor Scoot to review miscellaneous concepts. To play Scoot, pass out a set of task cards and have students sit in a circle with a pencil and notebook or recording sheet. Every couple of minutes, the teacher yells, “Scoot!” and the kids rotate clockwise to solve the next task card. Continue until the entire set is completed. Students can use mobile devices to scan the QR codes for immediate feedback. You can find many QR code task cards for grades 1-5 math and ELA HERE.

Another idea for outdoor learning is to go on a geometry hunt or a parts of speech hunt. This little guy is snapping a picture of perpendicular lines to put into a Pic Collage of types of lines and angles.

Interactive QR bulletin boards are an exciting way to get students out of their seats and kids especially enjoy checking out their peers’ work. One very low prep idea is to have students create their own math word problems and then generate QR codes that reveal the answers. That way, students can solve their peers’ problems and then check their work by scanning the QR codes. We use qrstuff.com to create our QR codes and the free i-nigma app to scan them.

Get your kiddos up and moving around the room with QR code scavenger hunts like this base 10 block freebie. You can find lots of other QR scavenger hunts HERE. Because each skill is a different color, I leave several hunts up at the same time around my classroom.

Another fun way to get your students moving is this I Spy QR codes activity. I have a bundle of 8 skills for primary HERE and upper elementary HERE and there is a freebie set linked within each respective bundle.

Of course any activity with QR codes is highly-engaging for students, whether they are moving around or at a sit-down center. The center below is a self-checking true/false addition sort, which is part of this QR code center bundle.

Word clouds can be a fun way to commemorate a school year, and one of my favorites is Tagxedo. There are many cool shape and color options, such as this school bus so let your students run wild with their imaginations!

Rather than showing a whole-class movie, maybe consider watching an online storybook. Storylineonline.com has a wonderful collection of free books that you could display on your SMARTboard or projector.

Another option is to have a listening center like the one below. Students can come up and scan a book of their choice to listen to independently. I have a free mini set of QR code listening centers you can download HERE. You can find my bundle of 40 stories along with response sheets HERE.

Are there any apps you’ve been dying to try out? Now is a great time to get your feet wet with new technology so you can start next school year strong. How about an augmented reality app like the free Cyberchase Shape Quest?

Or an app that allows students to star in their own TV shows? Telestory is free and my kiddos had a blast with it!

A little friendly competition can always get students excited about practicing math. Math Slide is a multi-player app that is available in various topics/levels, including place value, addition/subtraction, and multiplication/division. 


Want more app recommendations? Click on any of the images below to check out dozens of apps reviewed by yours truly.:)
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