Looking for a memorable end-of-the-school-year experience for you and your students? This year, I am counting down the days using an alphabet theme. We will begin when we have 26 days left on the school calendar. We will have a new theme each day, beginning with the letter A and working our way to letter Z on the last day of school. I shared my ideas with my grade-level team, and they were all willing to join in the fun. When I told my class about this plan, one might have thought I had told them they would have recess for the rest of the year, they were so excited.
When creating my alphabet themes, I kept in mind that they needed to be easy to prepare and easy on my wallet. Below, is my list with the first item after each letter indicating the theme and/or activity, along with some optional activities in parentheses. I've also added color words to some of the days to suggest students wear an article of clothing in that color on that particular day. For example: B: Blue and Bubbles Day, students are encouraged to wear blue that day.
Another idea is to read a book each day. Here is a list of books I have compiled. Many of these are popular books that you can find in your school, local or even classroom library.
If you don’t have enough days left in the school year, you can try a different approach:
10 Days to Summer Break! Fill each day with something fun, such as:
Does your school have school-wide end-of-the-year events? Bringing the entire school together to celebrate a year of learning and accomplishments can be very rewarding for your students and their families. Look into organizing an event to promote unity and create a positive school experience to end the year with.
It can often be difficult to find dependable volunteers to help in the classroom or with prep work. Show your volunteers how much they are appreciated by honoring them. Have a school-wide assembly to recognize your volunteers or host a volunteer breakfast, luncheon, or tea. At our school, each teacher donates a book to the library in honor of their volunteers. We make a bookplate that is placed inside the front cover with all of our classroom volunteers’ names.
Our school has an end-of-the-year BBQ during lunchtime with barbecued hamburgers and chicken in the cafeteria. Families are encouraged to attend and lunch, picnic-style, with their children. Many of the teachers bring blankets to sit on and enjoy an afternoon outside with their students and their families.
Field day occurs during our last week of school. Our PE specialists put together activities for all of our classes to rotate through. Some of the events are musical chairs, basketball toss, tug-of-war, Hula-Hoops, relay races, and parachute play. We invite parents to man the stations and our PTA serves Popsicles as a snack.
Our PTA has an end-of-the-year ice-cream social. We provide the ice cream and ask families to bring toppings. We also invite the incoming kindergartners and their families to join in
No matter how you end the school year, make it fun and memorable for your students. They are just as excited about summer break as you are. It’s hard to stay focused on science and social studies when you’re thinking about going to the beach or swimming after-school.
What end of the year activities do you and/or your school have planned?