Tuesday, June 6, 2017

End of the School Year Ideas for Your Classroom

I loved the last few days of school because it was the time we could come together to celebrate one another. No matter how challenging my class has been throughout the school year, I always cry on the last day! And I don't mean a few tears here and there... I mean I start bawling my eyes out! In nine short months, my students become family. As a Tech Coach, I don't have a classroom of my own this year, but it's fun taking a trip down memory lane to reflect on some of my favorite end of the year traditions!

The end of the school year is a time to reflect on the good times! Your students (hopefully) will only be in 1st grade (or 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th...) once! At the end of every school year, I have my students reflect on their favorite grade level memories. Using a large sunglasses template placed on top of a self-portrait makes for a fun class memory!

My absolute favorite way to take a walk down memory lane with my students is through the creation of a memory book. I have my students write a reflective paragraph or two, then place their writing in the memory book with a candid picture. This is similar to a yearbook, but with a more personalized touch. And, I make sure there's an autograph page, too!

I'm a gifter! I love to give my students gifts throughout the school year. I want to make sure I give gifts with a learning purpose in mind. For the past couple of years, I've done an end of the year science experiment with bubbles, and my students love it! Even upper-grade kiddos are fascinated with the science of bubbles! Use this Google Slides template to make customizable bubble tags for your students!

It's easy to assume all students are excited about summer, but that simply is not true. For many students, summer brings a lot of uncertainties and insecurities. I want to ease my students' minds as much as I can and remind them that whatever their summer may bring, school is a place where they are safe, accepted, and loved.

 When I was in school, I had a couple of teachers who created posters from class compliment cards. I loved these posters, and I still have them! These posters are a lot of work for teachers, but luckily, technology can cut down on that time! Using Google Drawing, students can take a selfie and receive digital compliments from their peers. Play a game of compliment scoot, or have students share their posters with one another. Then, print for the perfect keepsake!

To practice giving compliments, I use pompom balls to represent "warm fuzzies." I play music as students woder around the room. When the music stops, students pair up with classmates, give that person a genuine compliment, and a "warm fuzzy" pompom ball. Warm fuzzies are one of my favorite brain breaks for any time of the school year!

How do you celebrate the end of the school year with your students!? 

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