5 End of the Year Activities for Special Education Students

5 end of the year activities for special education students

End of the Year Activities for Special Education

The end of the year can be a little bit crazy. For this example, I'm talking about April-June, depending on when your district gets out of school. Can you believe that time is right around the corner?! There are so many different end-of-year activities such as awards ceremonies, field trips, and other special events that tend to throw our schedule off. Plus with the nice weather, it can be difficult to keep students engaged. My best advice is to make sure you have a plan and stay on your classroom routine and schedule the best that you can! I wanted to share 5 helpful end-of-the-year activities for special education that you can use.

end of year activities foe special education

1. End of the Year Bingo

This one is perfect for those final weeks of school and is actually a game that you can play more than once. First, I simply print the bingo cards once and laminate them for durability. Then, I have students either use a dry-erase marker or counters to cover the words when we play bingo. Depending on your students' ages and abilities, they may have never played bingo before so it's best to take a few minutes to explain how it works.

In my opinion, this game is great for a quick social skills lesson. Why? we also always chat about what we do when someone wins. Do we sulk and get mad and make them feel sad or do we give high fives and tell them good job? Which one would you want to be done to you? The more that we play games like this, the better job my students do with dealing with “losing.” These bingo cards have all summer-themed words on them. They could be used with students of any age.


2. Reading Comprehension

In my room, we focus on reading comprehension skills all year so I have different sets for each month. I love using these short passages with real picture during small group time because, by this time of the year, students know exactly what to do. This means that when we do them, they can actually be more independent of them. There are 15 simple passages to work on comprehension and the topics go right along with the month. For example, in May-there is a passage and questions about Mother's Day, a class field trip, a trip to the zoo, Cinco de Mayo, and the last day of school just to name a few.

There are actually 3 levels of differentiation to meet the needs of all of your learners with these:

EMERGENT (easiest)

  • passages are shorter and a bit easier to read (or read by the adult)
  • there are only 3 questions
  • only works on Who, What, and Where
  • visual cues for non-verbal learners
  • finding the evidence only works on highlighting specific words
  • cut and paste options
  • finding high-frequency words in the text

ONE (easier)

  • passages are shorter and a bit easier to read
  • there are only 3 questions
  • only works on Who, What, and Where
  • multiple-choice questions
  • finding the evidence only works on highlighting specific words

TWO (harder)

  • passages are longer and a bit harder to read
  • there are 4 questions
  • works on Who, What, Where, and When
  • open-ended questions
  • finding the evidence needs to go back and read





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reading comprehension units for end of year

3. Functional Life Skills Task Boxes

Do you teach your students life skills? These are a huge deal in my classroom. If you don't already focus on life skills, the end of the year is the perfect time to incorporate some. Check out the 5 life skills you should be teaching and start with Functional Life Skills Task Boxes. If you want to know how I incorporate task boxes in my special ed classroom, check out this post. This is a fun, hands-on way to teach life skills to your special education students. Try a FREE TASK BOX SAMPLE right here!

These task boxes focus on functional skills such as: healthy vs. junk food, sorting the groceries, asking for help, counting coins, making change, and oral hygiene just to name a few. These task cards can be used with students in grades K-12.


functional life skills task boxes

4. Functional Life Skills Curriculum for Personal Care & Hygiene

Finding a life skills curriculum that met the needs of my special education classroom was very difficult so I actually created my own. Working on personal care and hygiene is a unit from it that is great for the end of the year, especially when students are getting ready to be home for the summer. You get so many items with the life skills curriculum! It comes with a letter to send home to parents, I CAN statements, 6 adapted books, visual schedules, file folder games, task boxes, bingo, data tracking sheets, crafts, cut and paste activities and MORE!




functional life skills curriculum

5. End-of-the-Year Flipbook

I don't know about you but I love doing a specific end-of-year craft or writing activity in my classroom. It feels like a fun way to keep students engaged in the last week or two of school. In addition, it makes a really nice keepsake for their parents. This is why I love making End of the Year Flipbooks with my students. It is perfect for allowing your students to reflect and remember the year that you have had. Students share all about their favorite memories of the year including their teacher, friends, subject, things to do, etc. These are great for students in grades K-5 and there are separate covers for each to choose from. We usually take 2 or 3 days to make these and then we all autograph each others at the end!


What are your favorite end of year activities in your special education classroom?

I am a High School, self-contained Autism teacher from Central New York, who is passionate about individualizing student learning. I am a mommy of three, lover of all things Disney, married to my best friend and addicted to chocolate!! I hope that you find great ideas and inspiration here, so welcome!!

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