The end of the year is slowly approaching and what a year it has been! If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how you can end this year off on a positive note. We have survived the craziest 10 months ever and we need to let our students know that they deserve this break too! That is why I love planning our end of year celebration.
However, we also know that the end of the year usually comes with mayhem. Students bouncing off the walls, behaviors we’ve never seen before revealing themselves. It’s all part of the fun… right?
In my first year of teaching I decided we cannot win that battle so, if you can’t beat em’, join em’. It is time to ramp up the fun in your classroom to calm down the crazy.
End of Year Awards Celebration:
I LOVE doing an End Of Year Awards celebration. I think it is such a fun way to recognize all of the personalities in your class and makes the students feel SO special.
If I could do this in-person with a younger grade, I would be going all out. Red carpet, microphone, stage, costumes. The whole sha-bang.
Virtually is a little different but can be just as fun and impactful. Last year I used my virtual end of year awards ceremony with my Grade 5 class and they absolutely loved it. Each award has two slides dedicated to it. The first slide has the award title and a little rhyme that goes with it and we took turns guessing who it might go to. The next slide starts with confetti & an optional drumroll as the name is revealed. SO FUN & so simple to set up for your class. Click here or the image below to check it out!
End of Year Countdown
I LOVE embracing the excitement of the end of the year by doing a countdown with my class. When I am in the classroom, I use balloons. I will put a little piece of paper that describes the fun activity or theme for the day inside, blow it up and staple the end onto a bulletin board. I will write or tape a number onto each balloon in countdown formation and I try to make the activities get better and better as we go.
The idea is that the balloon gets popped each morning. To help incentivize good behaviour at the end of the year, I like to keep track using a simple teacher vs. student tally chart. If they have more points than me at the end of the day, they get to pop tomorrow’s balloon. I have never actually had them lose but it does help them stay focused!
- Water Play (I warned parents in advance but asked them to keep it a secret). We did a water balloon toss and water balloon pinata which was a big hit. No pun intended.
- Arts & Crafts Day: spend the whole day working on an end of year craft to take home! When I did this with Grade 3’s we had just finished our plants unit so they all painted a mini clay planter to take their plant home in.
- Outdoor Day: give students free time outside & play a class game like soccer-baseball or tag.
- Games Day: set up a variety of board games & card games in the classroom and have students rotate through. If you don’t have access to board games, you could also have students MAKE games for the day which they love just as much.
- Last Day of School PARTY: we did a make your own ice cream sundae station & an end of year awards ceremony. If you want to go all out, get a piece of red carpet and have them dress up!
- Movie Day
- Class Game Show (e.g., family feud, jeopardy)
You have a couple of options when it comes to counting down virtually! You can create a virtual balloon pop on Google Slides.
- End of Year Awards Ceremony (digital)
- Art Workshop (guided drawing or guided craft with the class)
- Virtual Field Trip
- Movie Day
- Class Game Show
- Free Time/Game Time
- Virtual Talent Show
- Virtual Show & Tell
- Create a digital escape room
For more virtual ideas, check out this blog post!
Having students complete a memory book can be a great way to keep them busy while also practicing reading & writing skills. Best part is that you can do this virtually & in-person and it also serves as a keepsake! Click here or on the image to check it out!
If you like doing gifts for your students at the end of the year, here are some ideas for you:
- Beach ball for everyone to sign
- Book (Scholastic has great sets that come out to $1 per book)
For my class this year, I will be sending them a developed “class photo” made on Pixton & a class sticker. Our next art project will be designing a sticker that represents our class this year, perhaps with a funny quote, motto, or just a symbol/image that reflects us. We will vote on our favourite and I will make it into a sticker & send it off in the mail for them to receive.
I think this will be such a cute way to acknowledge and remember this crazy year and experience we all went through together.