Wednesday, July 13, 2016

End of the Year Activities

School has been out for a month now, and during that time, I've been to California and St. Lucia.  My husband recently lost his father.  The month of June feels like such a blur.  I was organizing some photos from school on my computer and came across and "end of year" folder.  I realized I never had time to blog about some of the fun activities we did.  Better late than never, right?  Perhaps you can file away these ideas for next year if school is already out for you.

This first picture is something I found at Hobby Lobby just last week.  I thought it would be cute to write an end of year countdown on.  The only catch is, it says to use regular chalk.

Every spring, I am a crazy person with copying and getting stuff ready for the upcoming year.  This saves SO much time in August.  I prefer to spend my time in August getting my room ready and not fussing with paperwork.  My "Handwriting Books," "Reading Logs," and "Data Binder" materials are all copied and ready.  Thanks so much to our wonderful copy mom!!!!!!!!

These mini-books, writing journal, and more are part of my "Summer to Second Grade" pack, which is something I send home with my kids on the last day of school.  It just gives them something to work on during the summer.  Many of my students do not have books at home and their parents work multiple jobs and don't always have time to do school things in the summer.  This helps ensure my kids will keep learning while away from school.

Teaching in the Tongass had these cute chalk labels so I picked up some Crayola Sidewalk Chalk and made baggies for my kids.  They became obsessed with sidewalk chalk at the end of the year.  I knew this would be the perfect gift...and it was!


We had fun with my "Summer Centers" the last month of school.  Here we are playing Race to Summer, a magic e spelling game.

We reviewed parts of speech with Lori's summer-themed parts of speech sort.  We also interviewed one another with her end-of-year interview page.

Thank goodness for the VIP table!  This was a life-saver.  It helped my kids keep their behavior on track.  Each day it was a big surprise to see who the VIP was!  They got to sit at the table and write with all kinds of fun writing tools.  They also got a lollipop!  See more about VIP and get the free forms/labels from TeachTalkInspire.

Each year, the kids complete their "First Grade Memory Book."  This is a free download in my store. I made it simple so the kids could read and complete it on their own.  They had fun filling them in and reminiscing on the year.

I distributed our "First Grade Scrapbooks" on the last day of school.  The kids LOVE getting these each year!  Every month, we do a little craft, writing, or I put a picture in of something we did.  At the end of the year, they decorate a cover and I staple their books together.  So simple yet such a great keepsake!!!

We had our annual awards ceremony with these great awards from Gladys.  I play the Rocky theme song and they walk down an aisle that I make with desks.

As we reflected on our year, I asked students what they would want me to tell the second grade teachers about them.  I made an anchor chart out of their responses.

On the final day, about 20 minutes before dismissal, I let my kids write me messages on the white board.  I tell them that I won't look until after they leave, and I DON'T!  This year, I was really emotional reading them.  I had a rough group but I really cared about them!  They made tremendous progress.

And as I left that last day, here's a shot of my empty classroom.  It makes me sad looking at it but I know that in a month, I'll be back in there and everything will be shiny and good as new!



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