The end of the school year is always a mix of emotions for teachers, anticipation for the summer, sadness to let our current class go on to the next grade, and panic that we haven’t gotten everything done yet. One thing that you won’t have to worry about is how to commemorate the end of the school year, because we have some great ideas for you!
Host an Awards Show
Many schools have end of the year awards honoring students with perfect attendance, good grades, etc. but, have you considered having a Kids’ Choice Awards? A piggyback on the popular Nickelodeon show, students vote for other students for various titles such as future teacher, best artist, best writer, and more. Make sure to have enough categories so that every student receives an award. Make it even more special by purchasing or creating items that match the award.
Students can also vote for the year’s best read aloud, the most epic classroom memory, favorite special, etc.
Build A Memory Book
Have your students create a memory book to share their academic progress and special memories from the school year. As a class, have students brainstorm lists of their top ten favorites of the year, include special moments, field trips, lessons, etc. Then each student can use these ideas to create their own individual memory book of the things they want to remember.
Write Your Students a Letter
Write an End of the School Year Letter to your students. Make sure the letter includes personal things about each student such as how they have grown academically and socially. List their achievements and strengths and why they were an asset to the class as a whole. End the letter with a message of how proud you are of them and how confident you are that he/she will do well in the future.
If you are short of time, here are some suggestions for saving time:
* List each students’ name on a piece of paper and have the students pass around the lists writing compliments for each student on their paper.
* Write one letter to the class as a whole and make copies for each student.
Look Back on Your Accomplishments with a Video
Many teachers put together slide shows and videos of the year in review. With today’s technologies and apps, this couldn’t be easier! Some resources to use for this are iMovie, SeeSaw, and Animoto. You could even make this a class project and have the students create it with you! Save time on sharing with parents by uploading to a private YouTube or Facebook video link. There are some great ideas for making end of the year videos here.
Host a Show-and-Tell Fair
Have students set up displays highlighting the things they have learned and done throughout the year. Displays can include work samples, photographs, art work, and more. Invite families to attend the fair where students can share their accomplishments.
Sign-Off For the Year
Collecting signatures in Yearbooks is still a fond memory for many of us from our own school years! If your school doesn’t sell yearbooks (or many of your students don’t purchase them), you can have students sign end of the year t-shirts, pillowcases, caps, or frames. I love this idea from Simply Kinder!
How are you going to celebrate the joy and accomplishments you and your students have shared this school year? Share your ideas in the comments below!