Friday, 3 June 2016

5 Ways to Make the End of the School Year Memorable


Are you looking for fun ways to enjoy those last school days that will cost little to no money, but leave your students with great memories? 
5 ways to make a memorable end of the school year with your students that cost little or nothing.

I have checked out many ideas on Pinterest and seen other posts about countdowns for the whole month. However, I am more a final week of excitement kind of teacher.  So today I am sharing 5 things you can easily plan to do with students that are fun and won't break the bank either!  
5 ways to make the end of the school year memorable

1.  Bubbles!  

Everyone loves to play with bubbles.  I have bought the gallon jugs of bubbles and brought my own collection of various bubble wands. Alternatively I have asked for donations of bubbles from parents. Last year I got so many small bottles of bubbles donated that I am all set for this year.  Head outside and let the play!  Have a contest to see who can make the biggest bubble o who can keep their bubble for popping the longest etc.  
5 ways to make the end of the school year memorable

2.  Sidewalk chalk!

This is another hit with kids of all ages.  You can use the chalk to create masterpieces with your students in your playground or sidewalk surrounding your school.  You could even create chalk frames and each student has their own frame for their masterpiece.  Do you want/need to make the time academic focused?  Another option is to use chalk for some skills practice.  Have students solve math questions - one student writes a question, the other student solves it.  How about having your students trace each other on the pavement and measure the outlines using non-standard or standard measurement? What about practicing word families?  Write a variety of word families on the pavement and then have students move around and add a word to each word family.  All of these activities will be great fun and they won't mind that they are learning.

5 ways to make the end of the school year memorable

3.  Pyjama party! 

Who doesn't love a pajama day!  We have Pajama Days in the winter and wear cozy pjs but why not do it now to celebrate the end of the year too?  Have students wear their PJs, bring their stuffed animals and have a pyjama party in your classroom.  Plan some additional story times during the day and make sure to have students read to their stuffies during independent reading time.  They will eat that up!  To make the day extra special bring in some sheets and blankets and let the kids build a few forts around the classroom using tables and chairs.  These can become their learning spaces for the day.

5 ways to make the end of the school year memorable

4.  Games Day! 

Fill the day with games of all sorts.  Revisit some of your student's favourite literacy and math games. Take out all of your classroom games and give them time to play.  You could also ask students to bring in favorite board games to play as well.  Another option is to go outside and play some group games like soccer or any variation of tag.  The list of games is endless.  I personally don't use technology for games on this day. Kids are inundated with devices and games outside of school so I want them to socialize with their classmates and play the old fashioned way.

5 ways to make the end of the school year memorable

5.  Outdoor Learning!

Devote a day to learn outside.  Can you imagine the excitement when you tell your students that they are working outside for the day.  It is not as hard as you may think.  If you have a class set of clipboards and a bin for all the necessities, you can have a fun day working outside.  Your students will enjoy reading and listening to a story under the shade of a tree.  The opportunities for math are many when you are outside - patterning and measurement are obvious choices. Even working on a math worksheet will be more fun if you are working outside. The connections to Science are many too.  With a little planning on your part you can enjoy a day outside with your students and ensure they are learning too.  
An additional end of the year tradition I have for the final month is to have snack outside and read them a book.  Students bring a beach towel or small blanket from home that can stay at school.  We take them out and spread them out under the shade trees in our yard and eat snack and enjoy a story. Former students still tell me that was a highlight of their year in Grade 1.  
However you choose to the end the year with your students I hope you and your students have fun and make some lasting memories together!

Check out my Pinterest board for the End of the School Year for more ideas.




Until next time,  

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