There’s no doubt that the end of the year will look a little different this year. With distance learning taking place, we’ll have to get a little creative with our end of the year celebration. Typically, I’d have a 10 day balloon pop countdown with various themed days, including bubble day, beach day, marshmallow day, popsicle day, popcorn day, awards day, class video day, and a few others. Each day, we’d pop a balloon to reveal the next day’s activity. My students and I always love this countdown, so I’m not going to let distance learning get in the way of our end of the year activities. With some minor tweaks and a dash of creativity, I’m going to try my best to end our year with a few memorable end of the year celebration ideas!
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END OF THE YEAR CLASS SLIDESHOW
One of my absolute favorite end of the year traditions is creating a class slideshow with pictures of my students from the year. I like to keep this video a surprise. Usually, I’ll wait to the second to last day to show the picture slideshow to my students. On the last day, we’ll watch the video again, and I’ll email a copy to the parents. This year, I’m still planning to create this end of the year video!
Here are a few ways you can share the video with your students:
- Share your screen using Zoom or Google Meet.
- Upload the video to YouTube as an unlisted video and email the link to parents.
- Save the video in Google Drive or Dropbox and share the link with parents.
- Share the link to the video in Google Classroom or on Seesaw.
However you choose to share the end of the year class slideshow, you’ll want to make sure that the platform is private and only your class can view it.
Another one of my favorite end of the year celebrations is our end of the year awards ceremony. Our ceremony usually takes place sometime during the last week of school. I like to keep this simple, so I distribute the awards to my students during the day.
This year, I’ll be hosting our awards ceremony via Zoom. Since I’m a little old school, I am still going to print my awards to hold up during the ceremony. To keep students engaged, I always like to have my students guess who they think will receive the award before I actually announce the winner. You could also share your screen to reveal the winner of each award, once the students have made their guesses.
Once the award ceremony is finished, I’m planning to send a copy of the award and crown to my students. Here are just a few ways you could do this:
- Print the awards and send them by mail.
- Print the awards and tuck them inside your students’ belongings.
- Make a copy of each award in Google Slides and email the copy to the student.
- Share the awards via Google Classroom.
- Save an image of each award and post them on Seesaw.
END OF THE YEAR READ ALOUDS
An easy way to celebrate the end of the year is with read alouds. I always like to read one or two end of the year read alouds each day during the last week of school. These are just a few of our favorites:
- Record a video of you reading each book.
- Share a link to the book on YouTube, Epic or Vooks.
- Host a live reading of the book via Zoom, Google Meet or Facebook Live.
DIGITAL MEMORY BOOK
At the end of each year, I always have my students complete a memory book that fits inside the square booklets found in the Target Dollar Sport or Michaels. This is probably my most favorite end of the year activity!
Our end of the year memory book is going to look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean we have to skip it. Since I am in charge of teaching writing during distance learning, I’m going to have the students complete a Top 10 Digital Memory Book on Seesaw. We’ll begin the first page of the book when there are ten school days remaining. Each day, the students will complete one page. You could also have the students complete this digital memory book using Google Slides.
A memory book is a great way to reflect and reminisce about the year’s activities. Plus, it makes a great keepsake for the students and their families.
STUDENT GIFTS FOR THE END OF THE YEAR
My plan, this year, was to give them an individual slime kit that they could use to help beat the summer boredom bug. Since I already have all of the supplies, I’m planning to tuck these gifts into their bag of belongings that they will pick up from school.
Class pictures or composites are a simple, yet thoughtful, end of the year gift. You can create a class picture composed of individual student pictures with PicMonkey or Canva. These pictures can easily be emailed or posted in Google Classroom or Seesaw.
END OF THE YEAR YARD SIGNS
Yard signs are another fun way to celebrate your students at the end of the year. The best price I’ve found for custom yard signs are on the site Imprint. However, you could also print, laminate, and attach a sign to a stake. If you wanted to get crafty, you could use a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut machine to create a sign on these corrugated yard signs from Amazon.
At my school, we will be having a “reverse” goodbye parade. The teachers will sit at a safe distance apart along a path in the parking lot. We will invite parents to drive through the parking lot so that we can say goodbye to the students. Of course, there will be lots of honking, waving, yelling and cheering! Subscribe to grab the editable parade invitation!
Please keep in mind that the stresses of this year are a little different and you do not need to complete all, or any, of these activities to have a memorable end of the year. These are just a few end of the year celebration ideas that could be a fun way to commemorate the year.
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