How I Do It: Celebrate Year's End
Thoughtful ways to celebrate the year from fellow teachers.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
How do you celebrate year’s end with your students?
Host a classroom campout, feed their love of literature, and give them a Suessian sendoff.
I love having a “literary banquet.” We bring in food [mentioned in] books we’ve read throughout the year, and students write down a quote from the book about the food. I always bring egg salad sandwiches with fancy toothpicks from Because of Winn-Dixie.
We have the Teacher Talentless Show, where we create skits based on American Idol, what goes on in the teachers’ lounge (child-appropriate, of course), and more.
We learn about plants, and then each student cuts a piece of our classroom plant to grow at home.
A Seussical Celebration
Right before it is time for them to go home on the last day, I read aloud Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Flavor for the Year
When the weather is nice we read Cocoa Ice and make “cocoa ice” (chocolate ice cream) in resealable bags. Literacy and science combo!
Blast from the Past
We have an “I remember” party. I bring out the photos I took during the year, and we sit around and talk about the wonderful things we’ve done. It’s always a good time to see what the students loved and what they didn’t much care for.
I take the furniture out and decorate so that it looks like we’re in the woods: I put up tents, gather flashlights, make a fake fire. Then my kids go to “writing camp” for the week. S’mores are made and scary stories are told!
F is for Fun
We do an A-to-Z countdown during the last 26 days of the year. Each day has an activity related to a letter. It’s the one thing most of my students remember about my class years later.
I write a poem and include a line or two about each of my students—something that is identifiable about each one.
I allow them a chance to “be the teacher.” They have taught art projects, all about money, and all about recycling, to name a few. They get about 15 minutes for “their lesson.” They love it!
I ask students to write at least one positive statement about each of their classmates. I combine the statements for each student to create beautiful “wordle” word-cloud displays.