Mark the Close of the School Year With Students
Teachers share their best ideas for closing out the school year.
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
This year an incredible and most memorable event will happen in our town. We will be closing our school and moving to another one. This school has been in our county for more than 100 years. It is sad but at the same time is refreshing. There will be many heavy and sad hearts as we move on. For me personally, it will be sad but I get sad at this time of year anyway. The students that I have had for more than 10 months will now leave me. Some may forget me but others will not. This year I will mark the close of the school year with a special dinner for my students. We have worked very hard and 75% of them passed our year-end state test. I don't have my regular student now, because I am teaching remediation for the students who will retest next week. Therefore I will be glad when the next 4 school days are over so that I can get my homeroom students back and we will make a memory book for this year.
Cynthia Cotton, Ahoskie, N.C., Fifth Grade
I purchase inexpensive kites. The students put them together and attach the string. We have 1 kite for 2-3 students. There is a large open area adjoining our playground. The last hour of a day of the last week we go out to this area and have Sixth Grade Fly Time. I take a roll of clear tape in order to patch the kites, and up they go again. The kite goes home with one of the team who flew it, or into the trash.
Louise West, Waurika, Okla., Sixth Grade
My second graders will perform a song medley including "My Favorite Things" and "So Long, Farewell" from "The Sound of Music." I rewrote the words to be appropriate for our class and to tell about our great year. I also made each child a personalized photo album that included many pictures from the year and autograph pages for every classmate.
Michelle Binder, Beverly Hills, Calif., Second Grade
To draw our kindergarten year to a close, the students in my class will draw life-sized silhouettes of themselves and write stories of what their first year was like. Their stories may recount their fears or happy times throughout the year. The children will then stand by their mural and a picture will be taken for them to have as a memory of their first school year!
Kathy Marinko, Katy, Texas, Kindergarten
I have a big paper camera that I drew by using an image from a ditto, enlarging it with an overhead projector, and tracing it on butcher paper (bulletin board paper). I will create a time line marking all the major projects my students and I did each month (including a sample of student work from each one). The timeline and the camera will be posted outside of my classroom with the title "Snapshot of a Great Year!"
Nakia Hall, Harvey, Ill., Fourth Grade
One activity my fifth grade class really looks forward to is our outdoor Reading Workshop. Once the weather turns warm and the school hot and unbearable, out we go. We sit under the trees and the kids love it!
BJ Leahey, Florenceville, New Brunswick, Canada, Fifth Grade
Our third graders at Mission San Jose Elementary in Fremont are all involved in a play that they will present this month. We also save one of our major field trips (on local history) for May. These things make the end of the year more enjoyable. During the spring, we have worked hard for the SAT9 test, our district writing assessment, and Open House. Now we can have some fun while still actively involved in learning!
Merry Sommers, Fremont, Calif., Fourth Grade
My students brainstorm, write, and perform an "End-of-the-Year Newscast" on videotape. Each student reports on a memorable event that happened during the year. After copies of the tape are made, students have a visual record of what they looked and sounded like in third grade, a "video yearbook" of their classmates, and a summary of the year's events.
Aaron Wills, Union, Mo., Third Grade
I have my students write newspaper articles about themselves and what we have done this past year. I then laminate the articles and make a book out of them. I also take a class photo and get a copy for everyone as a special treat.
Kelly Martin, Charleston, S.C., Fourth Grade
We create a classroom newspaper which includes the following sections: "Remember when..."; "Dear Gabby"; a comic strip; student-written articles on summer safety; "Places to Go & Things to Do This Summer"; a space for autographs; a table with summer birthdays; a student-generated word-find puzzle; a page where I write a note to each of my students; and finally, a section where each interviewed student has his or her personal bio printed.
Aaron Wills, Union, Mo., Third Grade
Our school has a Fun Fair about three weeks before school ends. We combine several concepts (school pride, reward for hard work, good behavior, and good attendance). The entire week is called "Spirit and Pride Week." We have an assembly each day. Classes can come up with a school cheer to perform at the assembly. Each day has a theme (pajama day, backward day, etc.). The last day is the Fun Fair, and it is set up like a carnival with games for the children to play. Children earn tickets for the games and activities as a reward for good behavior from their teachers.
(Name withheld), Chicago, Ill., First Grade
We have a Star of the Week interview sheet throughout the year, accompanied by the child's choice of family photos, favorite trips, baby photo, etc. At the end of the year, the person who interviewed each Star draws a full page portrait of the interviewee. Both pages are laminated and bound in a class yearbook to be enjoyed by parents and future classes.
Dorothy E. Krize, Reading, Pa., Second Grade