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Top 5 Memorable Ways to End the School Year

Top 5 Most Memorable Ways to End the School Year

The end of the school year is always bittersweet. Summer Break is always calling me, but after spending ten months together it's hard to say goodbye to our classroom family. I'm sentimental by nature and work hard to create wonderful memories for my own children at home... so my classroom is no exception. So I've put together what I believe are the top 5 most memorable ways to end the school year.
Top 5 Most Memorable Ways to End the School Year

1. Memory Book: Whether it's a simple file folder filled with exceptional work or a binder with tabs and page protectors, a memory book is an easy way to cap off the year and reflect. One of my favorites is from Nicole Rios on TpT called "Packing Up My Year..." My Kinders love choosing all their favorites from the year and I love the added touch of a note from the teacher at the end of the book.

2. Photo Slideshows/Videos: Taking photos throughout the year is a MUST for this memory-maker. So, if your phone is bursting with fun pics then creating a video is super simple using Apple iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. I take lots of individual shots of my students throughout the year to decorate my door. So to make my video extra special I put each student's photos in a row to show how he/she changed over the year... from the first day to the last.

3. Authors' Breakfast: We keep portfolios for student-writing throughout the year. Parents are invited to our classroom one morning to sit with their child and read through their work. This is a wonderful time for reflection and a perfect time to give young authors a real audience for their work. To make the celebration extra-special (and to make sure each child has someone to read to) I invite all our school and board level administrators as well as all support staff including custodians and cafeteria workers. The Authors' Breakfast is one of my most favorite activities of the year.

4. School Thank Yous: As we reflect on what made the school year special, my students and I make a list of all the people at school (and at home) who had a positive impact on our year. Then, we divide the list and write special thank you letters to each person. We talk about why thanking others is so important and why having an "attitude of gratitude" not only lifts up others, but ourselves as well!

5. Class Awards: It's important to make every single student feel like a success so each year I create individualized class award certificates. At the award ceremony I describe the recipient without saying their name so that students in the class can guess who will be named. Sometimes the awards are obvious - "Best Reader," "Class Leader," & "Class Comedian." Other times the awards are specific or stem from happenings during the school year. One spring we were overrun with crickets in the classroom and one little boy would safely catch them and release them outside. When he won the "Best Bug-Catcher" award the class roared with applause and he puffed with pride over the recognition of his important class contribution!

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Add to your end-of-the-year curriculum with these resources from 21st Century K on TpT:

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