This school year has been (insert adjective here). Filling in that blank could take a whole other school year to answer! But guess what? YOU DID IT! Not only did you survive teaching the 2019-20 school year, but you are now so close to the end of the “just a tad less crazy 2020-21 school year”. Congratulations to you! You should be so proud because it was a feat!
Some schools are still completely remote, while others are on a hybrid model. As crazy as it seems, there are even schools completely “back to normal” with the best socially distanced classrooms they could manage. Whatever your classroom has looked like this year, YOU- being an amazing educator, have made it this far by adapting, being flexible, and getting creative with your lessons. You have been helping your students gain some sense of normalcy and routine, while learning and holding space to make them feel safe. You deserve to PARTY!
And of course the end of the year warrants a party! No matter what your current classroom situation is in person, remote, or hybrid, I’ve got you COVERED for your end of the year celebration! In this post, you’ll learn about some fun digital ways to celebrate with students AND some great ways to have some socially distanced fun while in the classroom together! So what are we waiting for?! Let’s get into some fun engaging ways we can do that!
The Fun Begins At The Invite!
Get kids super excited with THESE invitations to the festivities! These digital invites are sure to catch everyone’s eye! If you want to go nostalgic, these can even be printed! Print, stick them in an envelope and send them out to give your kiddos something to look forward to in the mail! There’s even a blank version for you to make your own!
Invite them to your amazing celebration and start planning the fun! Whether they will attend in person or online, I guarantee there’s something (or all the things) you’ll want to grab to set your students up for some SERIOUS end of the year fun!
Scavenger hunts are a classic way to insert some excitement! Send your kiddos on a frenzy in their home to collect some of their favorite things with this digital scavenger hunt that has built in timers!! In the classroom? No worries! This resource is LOADED with items that can be found in your classroom or at home!
Would You Rather
Host this silly but oh so fun game of “Would You Rather”! Maybe add in a review of counting or graphing how many people picked diving with sharks over swimming with dolphins! This can easily be played in the classroom or over Zoom! You can start your day with this activity or use it as a time filler throughout the day. The best part is you can totally add movement to this activity. You can have students jump or sit depending on their choice. You can have them do jumping jacks or run in place. That’s the beauty of this simple activity you can have it be as involved as you want but no matter what, kids have a blast! There are sure to be some hilarious discussions about our choices! There are 20 different prompts included with editable slides! See a few of the fun prompts below.
Oh the Memories
Who doesn’t love reminiscing about old memories? What better way to document with a fun interactive memory book. I decided to switch up our classic memory book to instead create a fun flipbook! Students can share stories of their year by filling out the pages in THIS digital memory flipbook! It is also available in a print version and both include various differentiated pages to meet all your learners’ needs!
There are so many fun ways to countdown your last days together. I love to use a banner of balloons that are filled with themed celebration days. As a class, we pop a balloon each day to see what tomorrow holds for us- pajama day, very crazy hair day, nickname day, soak up the sun day, the possibilities are endless! Every day is a sweet surprise and it’s such an engaging and memorable way to end your year together. Grab this FUN balloon pop version for FREE!
But if popping balloons in your classroom isn’t possible, have no fear, you can still countdown the end of the year! Check out this DIGITAL end of year countdown that covers twenty six days of memorable FUN! This is perfect for in person OR distance learning!
Of course we’ve spent all year practicing all the kind things so it’s only right we go out with one last kind act! During your countdown, also choose a student each day to spread the love to. Decorate an anchor chart and print a picture of the students face to place in the middle. Throughout the day, students can write to share what they’ve loved about them over their year together. Let them take it home as a sweet end of the year gift! Want a template made for you? There’s one included in the End of Year Activity Pack! Teaching remote? Find a cute digital Jamboard one HERE for FREE!
Let’s Connect AND Reflect
In this jam PACKED resource, you’ll find TONS of engaging and delightful ways to wrap up the year together and have some fun while doing it! From Roll and Share to Find a Friend Bingo, your students will love connecting with one another and reflecting on their year together. Get them outside while still practicing skills with Sidewalk Scoot or show they’re prepared for the next grade with Anatomy of a ______ Grader! Keep reading below for some more exciting ideas!
Show Your Shine
Have students show off how they’ve shined this year with this reflection writing craft! Being able to reflect is an important skill, not just for students but all of us. It helps us to grow and learn from past experiences and gives us joy to remember what we’ve already accomplished. Students will love completing this adorable craft while reflecting on what they’ve learned this year.
Speaking of writing, did someone say letters? If you’ve never done advice letters at the end of the year, you’re missing out on some of the cutest writing you’ll ever read! You might also even get some great advice for yourself! Elementary kids are wise beyond their years sometimes!! Check out these advice letters found in the activity pack!
Another great way to end the year is a good old brain dump! It’s as easy as a piece of anchor chart paper and their brains. We get together and discuss ALL the things we’ve learned from the year together. It’s rather impressed to see what they come up (see some of ours from first grade below). Then, after we’ve dumped our brains, we get go off and show what we know with a topic of our choice! Students LOVE getting to choose their own activity and show what they know! It’s learning AND fun! Are you remote? No problem! Google Jamboard is perfect for brain dumps! What have we learned all year in math? Reading? Social justice?! Dump it all here!! If you would like to learn more about Jamboards, you can check out this post and when you subscribe you’ll have access to tons of How-To Videos including a Jamboard Tutorial.
I Award Thee…
Who doesn’t love to get an award at the end of the year?! And we have extra recipients this year- We must award our families! I’ve got awards for your students and awards for the amazing adults in their lives that have helped us navigate through the challenges this school year. Use THESE awards to recognize resiliency in surviving this year! They are available in print AND digital so no matter your classroom set up, you’re good to go.
If you are in person, how much fun would it be to throw an EPIC red carpet award ceremony for your kids? This one is SUPER easy and a great way to recognize and celebrate your students and their hard work throughout the year. Socially distance your audience, grab a red carpet like THIS, use a mic to call out awards and let kids feel like royalty walking down to accept their award! Speaking of royalty, who doesn’t love wearing a crown to celebrate?! Check out THESE fun end of the year celebratory crowns!
Are you even a teacher if you don’t love getting packages of goodies in the mail?? Well pass on the love! Check out these celebration bags- a sweet package filled with goodies to end our time together mailed out by their awesome teacher! You can pack whatever you’d like to show your kids some love! Need some ideas? Here are some goodies you can easily print and pack!
BELOW ARE JUST SOME OF THE FUN THINGS YOU CAN INCLUDE IN YOUR STUDENTS’ HAPPY MAIL PACK!
- Bookmarks – encourage all the reading over the summer!
- Crowns – help them show off their accomplishment of making it through this year!
- Certificates – give them something to hang and be proud of!
- Puzzles – great for your brain and great for some fun!
Below you’ll see the bundles that includes ALL these engaging activities… with some FREEBIES of course!
I truly enjoyed creating an entire exciting experience for students while also helping take some of the pressure off you when it comes to planning for such an awesome end of the year with these new restrictions. Not only are these activities a BLAST for students, most of them are available digitally as well as printable to give you all the flexibility to celebrate in your parameters.
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I hope you enjoyed learning about how we can celebrate the end of our year safely whether remotely or in person! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! Not only will you get the most up to date tips, tricks, how to videos, and classroom projects… also of course more fun FREEBIES including The End of the Year Digital FREEBIE! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram.
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