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May 6, 2016 Creating End-of-the-Year Student Certificates By Rhonda Stewart
Grades 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    To celebrate the end of the school year, my school has a traditional academic award ceremony for those students who excel in the curriculum areas. It is wonderful to honor students who have performed well throughout the year. These awards are given during a special assembly in the evening when most parents can attend.

    Sampson G. Smith is an upper elementary school that houses grades five and six. The practice in my district is to not have the typical “graduation” ceremony for the sixth grade students who are moving to the district middle school which houses grades seven and eight, but we do have a moving up ceremony, which is put together by teams of teachers.

    Teams usually have guest speakers such as administrators from Sampson and the middle school, as well as former teachers and students. The students also receive a promotion certificate congratulating them for successfully completing sixth grade. The program usually includes a slideshow with memories of the school year from September to June.

    Last year, the team of teachers that I work with decided to do something a little different. We supplemented the program by adding the Candy Awards. The Candy Awards are a fun way to end the year and add a little sugar and spice to the last official assembly of the year.

    Here’s our rationale:

    Broadway has the Tony Awards . . .

    Hollywood has the Academy Awards . . .

    Television has the Emmy Awards . . .

    Music has the Grammy Awards . . .

    Nickelodeon has the Teen Choice Awards . . .

    And now, Sampson G. Smith has the Candy Awards!

     

    Side note: the Candy Awards have been renamed the Sampson G. Smith 2016 S.W.A.G  (Students Who Achieve Greatness) Awards.

    The idea for changing the name to the S.W.A.G. Awards came from the fact that several teachers use this term to keep students motivated. For instance, every month, every homeroom at our school nominates a student for Student of the Month. In my homeroom, the name of that student is placed on the S.W.A.G wall. Some teachers use the term for their honor roll list.

     

    Creating S.W.A.G. Certificates

    The selection process is as follows:

    1. Categories are determined (awards for each category are for both female and male).

    2. Each teacher on the team creates a list of nominees to be considered.

    3. The entire team then votes on who will receive the award, which consists of a certificate and a sample of the candy.

    4. Certificates are printed in color just to add that little extra something special. We use the “good” paper, not just plain printer paper!

    Sample S.W.A G. Certificates

     

    We have a pretty big variety of different awards that are handed out to the students. To print your own certificates, just click on any of the PowerPoints below!

     

    Pearls of Wisdom — Be mindful of any allergies when nominating students for these awards. The award should be a treat, not a trick for their health. Find a substitute treat to award to the student.

    Stay tuned for my next post that will feature some ways to keep students engaged at the end of the year!

    As always, do you have any ideas that make your end of the year ceremonies extra special? If so, please share! I enjoy sharing ideas that make all of our lives easier!

    To celebrate the end of the school year, my school has a traditional academic award ceremony for those students who excel in the curriculum areas. It is wonderful to honor students who have performed well throughout the year. These awards are given during a special assembly in the evening when most parents can attend.

    Sampson G. Smith is an upper elementary school that houses grades five and six. The practice in my district is to not have the typical “graduation” ceremony for the sixth grade students who are moving to the district middle school which houses grades seven and eight, but we do have a moving up ceremony, which is put together by teams of teachers.

    Teams usually have guest speakers such as administrators from Sampson and the middle school, as well as former teachers and students. The students also receive a promotion certificate congratulating them for successfully completing sixth grade. The program usually includes a slideshow with memories of the school year from September to June.

    Last year, the team of teachers that I work with decided to do something a little different. We supplemented the program by adding the Candy Awards. The Candy Awards are a fun way to end the year and add a little sugar and spice to the last official assembly of the year.

    Here’s our rationale:

    Broadway has the Tony Awards . . .

    Hollywood has the Academy Awards . . .

    Television has the Emmy Awards . . .

    Music has the Grammy Awards . . .

    Nickelodeon has the Teen Choice Awards . . .

    And now, Sampson G. Smith has the Candy Awards!

     

    Side note: the Candy Awards have been renamed the Sampson G. Smith 2016 S.W.A.G  (Students Who Achieve Greatness) Awards.

    The idea for changing the name to the S.W.A.G. Awards came from the fact that several teachers use this term to keep students motivated. For instance, every month, every homeroom at our school nominates a student for Student of the Month. In my homeroom, the name of that student is placed on the S.W.A.G wall. Some teachers use the term for their honor roll list.

     

    Creating S.W.A.G. Certificates

    The selection process is as follows:

    1. Categories are determined (awards for each category are for both female and male).

    2. Each teacher on the team creates a list of nominees to be considered.

    3. The entire team then votes on who will receive the award, which consists of a certificate and a sample of the candy.

    4. Certificates are printed in color just to add that little extra something special. We use the “good” paper, not just plain printer paper!

    Sample S.W.A G. Certificates

     

    We have a pretty big variety of different awards that are handed out to the students. To print your own certificates, just click on any of the PowerPoints below!

     

    Pearls of Wisdom — Be mindful of any allergies when nominating students for these awards. The award should be a treat, not a trick for their health. Find a substitute treat to award to the student.

    Stay tuned for my next post that will feature some ways to keep students engaged at the end of the year!

    As always, do you have any ideas that make your end of the year ceremonies extra special? If so, please share! I enjoy sharing ideas that make all of our lives easier!

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Susan Cheyney

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