With spring breezes finally coming in through those classroom windows, you know that the school year is finally winding down. While it may be hard to believe right now, it’s almost time to say goodbye to your students and send them off for the summer.
How will you celebrate this milestone? We’ve got some great ideas to make the end of the school year fun — without expending too much of your waning reserves of time and energy to do it.
Make a Keepsake Project
Send your students home with a special memory from your year together. Check out our favorite ideas for handmade keepsakes:
• An Autograph Book: This is especially great if your kids learned cursive this year! Staple together simple booklets of construction paper and have students personalize the cover. On the last day of school, sit in a big circle and pass the books around, allowing students to write a compliment about the book’s owner and sign their names.
• A Classroom Collage: Have each student bring a reminder of a favorite event of the school year. This could be a photograph, memento, drawing, even a snack — encourage them to get creative! Arrange all the items on the floor or table and take a photo of the whole thing. Give each student a color print-out of the collage to keep, along with a key explaining each item’s meaning.
• A Student-Teacher Selfie: It’s so easy to snap a photo of you with each student and email it home. Try making silly faces together for a totally memorable snapshot! Check out our Photo Booth Fun Lesson Plan for some great prop ideas!
The Year in Review
The end of the school year is a natural time for students to look back over their accomplishments for the year. There are lots of fun ways to encourage them to show off what they’ve learned. Here are a few of our favorites:
• Chain of Knowledge. Make classic paper chains from strips of paper, but have students write one thing they learned during the year on each strip before hooking them together. Bonus points for re-purposing extra worksheets and handouts for this project!
• Student Teachers. Give your students a chance to teach the class by presenting a mini-review of a favorite lesson or concept. Encourage them to be creative by providing a handmade review worksheet, game or activity to keep things fun for their classmates.
• The Healthy Picnic. Put a healthy spin on the classic year-end party by holding it outside and playing classic playground games. Instead of sugary treats, have students brainstorm healthy snacks to share with the class. You can also help the class prepare get pepped up ahead of time with our Picnic Plans lesson plan for Grades PreK-1, or Elmer’s Upcycled Cookout Caddy lesson plan for grades 4-8!
Once you’ve celebrated your accomplishments and completed your countdown, relax! You’ve definitely earned it!