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10 Ideas for Manageable Year-End Celebrations

As we begin to wrap up year end assessments and start to pack up for summer, we are all looking for fun ways to celebrate with our students.  We want to acknowledge all of the hard work accomplished this year, but still keep things manageable and under control.

Keeping the routine in an already hectic and uncertain time = better behaved kiddos.

Here are 10 ideas that won't break the bank or disrupt your daily routine.

1) Picnic Lunch

Bring some blankets to school and eat lunch outside with your class on a nice day.  This break in routine will be fun, but not so over the top that you can't maintain order the rest of the day.

2) Write Welcome Notes

Write letters to your next year's class.  Students can reminisce over all of the fun things you did in the year, and still practice their writing skills!

3) Create a Movie

Using iMovie or a similar program, create a slideshow video of all the photos taken over the year to show on the last day.  Depending on your access to technology, your students could even make this video!

4) STEM Challenges

End of year is the perfect time for STEM challenges.  Your students are already great at working together.  This is a fun way to mix it up, but still keep academics involved!  And, if you're a really good planner - a great way for you to use up some excess materials in your class cupboards.

I've a few ideas to get you started in this blog post:


5) Art Day

Spend a day creating artwork together!  You could make anything from a year-end keepsake to welcome-back banners to start off the new year.

6) Literature Circles

As you've wrapped up all your year-end assessments and closed out units, it can be hard to know what to work on.  Literature circles are a great way to keep students reading and working on their essential comprehension skills.  You can up the fun factor by letting students read around the room (or outside), adding in snacks, or playing "coffee shop" music while they read.

Find out more with this resource:


7) One Grade Older Field Trip

Talk to the teachers of the grade above you to coordinate a time where you can take a "field trip" to their classrooms so students can get an idea of possible classrooms for next year.  If possible, have those teachers do a quick activity with your class.  When you return, students can write about one thing they are looking forward to about next year.

8) Host a Celebration of Learning

Ask your students to go through their work from the year and pick 2-3 pieces that best demonstrate their growth that year.  Students can share in small groups why they picked each item.  Alternatively, invite in other classes or parents to listen to the sharing as well. 

9) Get Outside

Spend the last 15 minutes of the day outside blowing bubbles creating sidewalk chalk art, or just enjoying the sunshine.  If your class is really struggling to keep it together, this can be used as a positive behaviour incentive!

10) Host an Awards Party

Take some time to think about all of the amazing qualities your kiddos possess. Invite them to the front of the room one by one and let them know the positives you see in them.  You can use this resource to create certificates for them to take home as mementos.


If you're wanting a more structured way to have students reflect, I've got the perfect one-pager for you.  I've also made it into a Google Slides version, so you can share it with your students in the format that works best for you.  You can get your own copy for free, as well as a teacher reflection tool for yourself, by clicking either the image or button below.

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1 comment:

  1. I make an iMovie every year to show my class! Since I use Class Dojo, I have a ton of pictures from throughout the year of different activities. My kids love seeing how young they look at the beginning and remembering all of the fun we had. I really like the end-of-the-year reflection sheet you posted, thank you!