Sunday, May 19, 2019

End Of Year Ideas

Hey friends!  Are you in the final stretch?  I have 4.5 days left with kids and then two work days after Memorial Day.  I can see the light!  Today's post is all about what I have done in the past/am doing during the final week of school.  I'll also be sharing what end of the year gifts I've given my kids over the years.

My "End of the Year Countdown" is a a great way to end the year!  You can choose to include as many links as you'd like.  On the back of each link is an activity...these are activities that you can add into your final days as something special for your students.  There are editable links included if you want to customize your own ideas!  In addition, I've included an "ABC Countdown," which includes links for every letter of the alphabet.  Each letter corresponds with a fun activity that begins with the letter's name!  So many options and so much FUN!

We love playing "I Have, Who Has" games!  This is the summer version and it will be put to good use during our final days together this year!

A memory book is a simple yet thoughtful keepsake to give your students.  I have my kids work on their memory books a little each day.  *This product has some editable pages included for you to add photos!!  Then, I bind the pages together using my binding machine.  Having the binding makes the books feel "real."  If I am extra ambitions, I'll laminate the front cover and a blank piece of white paper for a back cover.  This helps the books hold up.  

*The horizontal book is an old version of one I had in my store.  It's since been updated to the one above.

Crafts are a MUST at the end of the year!  They take up time and keep kids busy!  This year, we made these great ice-cream cones by Crafty Bee Creations.  In years past, we made the cars shown below from A Cupcake for the Teacher.  They have an optional writing page to go with them.  The saying is "Cruisin' to 2nd grade."  So cute.  Finally, the paper plate suns.  These are always a hit.  This year, I have saved them for the final week of school.  Typically I do them sooner and display them in the hallway.  This year, I just didn't find time.

Building in free play time the last week if school is something I have always done.  It allows me to spend time playing with my kids some of our final days together.  A few of the days, I will take for myself and work in the room while the kids play.  This year, my kids love playing school with markers, paper, pointers, flash cards, etc..They also love Legos, Play-Doh, and anything they can build with (Lincoln Logs, blocks, etc).

In addition to free time, there is always BINGO!  This week we will be playing both sight word and addition/subtraction BINGO.

Mini books + Markers= Another win.  Really letting kids use markers for anything is a sure hit!  We will be working on my "Summer Mini-Book" this week.  It's a great way to squeeze some reading instruction in at the end of the year.  We will search for punctuation, capital letters, and sight words.

I don't know about you, but during the last week, I am still trying to squeeze in a few assessments to ensure I have everything I need ready for report cards.  Assessing sight words is one thing I'll do as a final check.

This anchor chart is always a huge hit!  I prep the chart by writing the "I am"  and the kids tell something about themselves.  It's a great reflection tool.  Click HERE to grab free writing pages to go with this!

I pull out all of my summer themed read alouds and read one or two each day.  These always get kids excited for summer!

I always set up a little awards ceremony where I play music and use my microphone system.  In preparation, I get a large red piece of bulletin board paper and tape it to the ground.  It serves as the "red carpet."  I plan out an award for each student ahead of time.  These awards from Teaching in High Heels are the ones I've used for years.  The kids love getting recognized and walking the red carpet!

On the last day of school, I give the kids their end of the year gifts.  In the past I have done a book (we love Junie B. Jones!) and a personalized bookmark, a personalized water bottle, sidewalk chalk, and full sized candy.  *Not all of that in one year!  Just sharing some different ideas I've done over the past 15 years.

 These water bottles were from Dollar Tree.  The custom name labels were made with a Cricut.

The sidewalk chalk was purchased at Target and the free labels are from Teaching in the Tongass.

These Skittles were purchased in bulk at Costco and the free labels are from Pocketful of Preschool.
*She has tons to choose from!!*

I have put together summer review booklets and bags for my kids.  This includes Math and Literacy mini-books as well as some writing paper, reading logs, etc...I place them in a gallon ziplock bag with their gift and a last day certificate, and stick a name label on it.  One year, I bought white gift bags and stuck a cute tag from First Grade Blue Skies on the front.

These "____ is a 2nd grader!" stickers are from Creative Teaching Press.  I give the kids one on their way out the door on the last day!  *Unless of course someone is being retained.  In that case, no one gets one of these.

Love notes are my favorite thing to do the last week of school.  I tell my kids I won't look and I give them about 5 minutes to leave me a message on the board.  Once they've all left, I read through the messages (and usually cry).  I photograph them so I can always remember what they said.

Hope you found some new ideas! 



Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments!