Summing Up the Year: Fun and Creative Ways to Review Math

Lauren Kelly

Associate Product Marketing Manager, K-12 Core Math • National Geographic Learning | Cengage

As the school year draws to a close, it’s time to revitalize your math review sessions with engaging activities that will keep students motivated and excited to review key concepts. Whether you’re teaching elementary or high school math, these creative ideas will inject fun and energy into your end-of-year review:

Escape Rooms

Transport your students into an adventure with math-themed escape rooms. Design a storyline that incorporates mathematical concepts and challenges students to solve puzzles to “escape” within a set time limit. Create a series of interconnected tasks and clues that require critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork. Incorporate a variety of math skills and topics into the puzzles, such as algebraic equations, geometry problems, or logic challenges.

Choice Boards

Give students the freedom to choose how they want to review with choice boards. Create a grid of review activities, each aligned with specific learning objectives or skills. Offer a variety of options, such as solving problems, creating presentations, designing projects, or playing educational games. Allow students to select activities that cater to their interests and learning styles. Provide clear instructions and expectations for each activity, along with resources and support as needed.

End of the year math review - escape room

Interactive Worksheets and Task Cards:

Enhance traditional worksheets and task cards with interactive elements to provide a more dynamic and engaging review experience. Incorporate QR codes or links to instructional videos that students can access for additional support and guidance. Offer a variety of problem-solving strategies, visual representations, and real-world applications to cater to diverse learning styles and preferences. Task cards can be used in a variety of ways, such as independent practice, group activities, or classroom games. They provide flexibility and versatility for reviewing specific skills or topics, allowing students to work at their own pace and level of challenge.

Student-Led Mini-Lessons:

Empower your students to take ownership of their learning by allowing them to become the teachers! Have students sign up to teach mini-lessons on specific math topics to their peers. Provide guidelines and support as needed, but give students the freedom to design and deliver their lessons. Encourage them to incorporate various instructional strategies such as visual aids, hands-on activities, or interactive demonstrations.

Write a Children’s Book:

Tap into students’ creativity and imagination by inviting them to write their own children’s books about math. Encourage students to simplify complex concepts and present them in a fun and engaging way suitable for a younger audience. Provide opportunities for students to brainstorm ideas, develop characters, and create illustrations that complement the storyline. Students can choose topics they feel passionate about and use storytelling as a vehicle to reinforce their understanding of key math concepts.

Error Analysis:

Error analysis activities are a fantastic way to deepen students’ understanding of mathematical concepts while honing their critical thinking skills. Start by selecting a set of problems that cover topics you’ve studied throughout the year. Then, solve the problems yourself, but intentionally make mistakes along the way. Include common misconceptions and errors that students might encounter. Next, have students work in pairs or small groups to analyze your solutions, identify the mistakes, and correct them. Encourage discussions about why the errors occurred and how they can be avoided in the future.


Transform your classroom into a lively basketball court with a math twist! Set up a trash can or basket at one end of the room to serve as the hoop. Create a series of math problems or review questions covering the topics you’ve studied throughout the year. Divide the class into teams and take turns answering questions. For each correct answer, the team earns a chance to shoot a paper ball into the basket. Keep score and encourage friendly competition to keep the energy high.


Bring the excitement of a game show into your classroom with a math-themed Jeopardy review. Divide the class into teams and create a game grid with categories and point values corresponding to topics you’ve covered throughout the year. Encourage students to work together to answer questions or solve problems within each category. Consider incorporating higher-order thinking questions or challenges to deepen students’ understanding.

By incorporating creative activities into your end-of-year math review, you can make the review process more engaging, meaningful, and memorable for elementary and high school students alike. Remember to adapt the activities to suit the age, skill level, and interests of your students, fostering a positive and inclusive learning environment as you wrap up the school year. With these engaging activities, you can ensure that your students leave your classroom feeling confident, prepared, and excited for their future math adventures!

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