Your students are expecting something like a pizza party or movie on the last day of school. That’s what all of the other teachers are doing. But you aren’t the other teachers.
If you want your kids to remember this last day of school, here are some ideas that will set you apart from your colleagues.
Field trip to the next grade
No matter what they say, elementary students are a little apprehensive about moving up a grade. That’s why I loved this idea from Inspire Me ASAP. Students first have to write persuasively, trying to justify a trip to their next classroom. Then, with some coordination, the class gets to visit their next classroom and write down some observations and feelings. Done correctly, it can really get them excited about the next school year.
Let them help clean up
It might not sound like fun, but enlist the help of the kids to help carry out the unneeded stuff from your classroom out to the trash. If you have to, make it a race or game. Even consider making a human chain and hand the stuff off down the line.
Thank you cards for everybody
Want to be everyone’s favorite teacher? Have the kids write thank you cards to the unheralded members of the school staff, like the office secretary, the cafeteria personnel, and the IT specialist. They don’t think the kids notice them, but it will certainly brighten their summer to find out that yours did.
Make a guess
I’m taking this from my own 5th grade teacher. On the last day of school, she sat us down and told us what she thought we would be when we grew up. I’m sure she was wrong on most of her guesses (I’m not president yet), but my classmates and I would talk about her ideas all the way through high school. If anything, it will make each kid feel special to know you put some thought into their future.