Using games for year-end review is one of my top teacher tricks for making learning fun! It’s safe to say that by the end of the year, students (and teachers) are feeling a little restless. Games are the perfect way to “speed review” everything without wearing your students out with flashcards and worksheets. Today, I’m sharing my favorite games for reviewing everything you have learned over the school year in a fun way!
Review Games for Language Arts CENTERS
In first grade, we cover a lot of new ELA standards during the school year. There is so much to learn, and students can get a little worn out with worksheets by the time we begin our review. I always found it especially helpful to use a variety of games.
My favorite way to do this towards the end of the year is during center time. By this stage in the school year, my kiddos are typically more independent and have experience with both these skills and the process of how center time works. This means we can have many different games running at the same time, and kids can move seamlessly through each center. This makes for a perfect way to get in some “rapid-fire” practice, without boring my students.
Towards the end of the year, I always took the time to make sure we focused on some of the tricky grammar topics we learned over the school year.
Time and time again, I always found that grammar tends to be a topic that takes more than a little practice before it sticks. Luckily, this makes it the perfect candidate for games!
Practicing Singular and Plural Nouns is made simple and fun with this “Pet Rescue” board game. This is one of my favorites for helping students review nouns and is perfect for center time! Students will race to “save the pets” by identifying whether the card they drew is a singular or plural noun.
Try A Blend Of Print and Digital Games
It’s also a great idea to use a mix of print and digital resources when diving into end-of-the-year reviews. I find that since we are focusing on lots of repetition for review, using both game formats will help keep the material feeling fresh, while still allowing the continuous practice of these concepts.
Using a blend of print and digital games in small groups for going over Common, Proper, and Possessive Nouns is especially effective. Having both options makes it easy to use this time for a combo of student practice and quick assessment.
First, you can project the digital activities on the board for your small group. Play the included sorting games together to check in and quickly assess how your students are doing.
From there, pair off your students into partner groups and have them give the same activity a try in the printed format. Using this approach gives you the best of both worlds and will keep your students engaged.
Review Games For Math CENTERS
Firsties also learn a lot of new skills in math throughout the year. As with just about anything in first grade, mastery in math truly comes down to repetition. But repetition can get boring, really fast! Taking the time to carefully choose games you know your students will find engaging will help make the review process much more appealing.
For example, I love using a variety of Tally Mark Games and activities for mastering this skill. This resource includes a Spin and Tally activity, Matching Games, and Roll and Tally games. Using a variety of games like this for one skill is a great way to get lots of practice without it feeling like the same old thing over and over again.
This also works well for practicing Telling Time, another skill that requires all the practice! Learning to read a clock independently can be tricky business for first graders. I make sure to include a variety of puzzles, clip-cards, and write and wipe activities so my kiddos get lots of opportunities for review in different formats.
To make these center activities feel more “game-like,” I recommend pairing students up, setting a timer, and having them work in teams to complete all their cards or puzzles before the timer rings. This is a great way to use a little friendly competition in the classroom as a motivator!
Play As A Class For Year-End Review
Don’t forget to make the year-end review extra fun with a few whole group games! Over the years, it always seems there are the MOST smiles in the room when we play a game together as a class. I know this can feel a little overwhelming sometimes but, don’t worry! I have figured out which games are the easiest to execute as a whole group, without the chaos.
One of my favorite ways to play games as a class is with Scoot Task Cards. I love Scoot Games because they can be used for just about any skill or task and allow for lots of rapid, repetitive practice!
These are really fun for the students because they get to move around the room during the game. All you need to do is lay the cards around the room or place one on each desk. Students will get a specific amount of time to complete their cards. When time is up you say “Scoot” and everyone rotates to the next card.
When setting this up, try to pick a length of time that isn’t too challenging but not too easy either. You don’t want students to be unable to finish the task in the allotted time, but you don’t want them sitting around bored either! This will vary based on the skills you are working on. It may take a little trial and error at first to get the right timing. To get a good starting point, time yourself completing the task and add a little extra time.
BINGO is such a classic game that is always a crowd favorite in first grade. I love that students understand the concept quickly; that means more time playing! Plus, it can be used for any subject.
I also love that BINGO can be used in small groups, centers, or as a whole group game. I always loved to use BINGO as a Fun Friday whole group game in the afternoons. This is a great way to wrap up the week on a happy note!
You can focus on all kinds of year-end review topics with BINGO games. I love to use them for CVC Words, but the possibilities are truly endless. I loved using BINGO so much in my classroom that I created a wide variety of them. Here’s a couple that we use once we have moved beyond CVC words.
YEAR-END Review Can Be Fun With Games!
I hope you found some fun games to add to your year-end review lessons. While reviewing all of the material you covered over the year can feel a bit daunting, it truly can be made more simple and fun with games. Not to mention, students LOVE games, which will inevitably make your days go smoother. If you would like to try a review game in your classroom, I have just the thing for you! These two free games will give you a chance to try out some different game formats in your classroom!
Grab the free CVC Bingo Game and the Representing Numbers Scoot Task Cards to try in your classroom for the end of the year review! Your students will be engaged in a fun, meaningful game while practicing reading CVC words and working on those all important number sense skills. Try this out for a whole group activity on a Fun Friday with your students!
Save These Ideas For Later
Don’t forget to Pin these ideas to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you will be all set for year-end review with your students!