The end of the school year is approaching. Everyone is talking about being “done.” The students, the teachers, the parents. But when there is still a month of more of school left, being done is not an option! But there are many things you can do to keep your students engaged, motivated, and excited about coming to school.
End of Year Countdowns– These are becoming more and more popular each year. Just pick a theme or format, and you and the students do one fun activity each day during the countdown. Here are my favorite types of countdowns:
Balloon-Pop Countdown- To do this countdown, you will write different activities on slips of paper and put them inside of balloons that you display somewhere in your classroom. Each day, pop a balloon and do the activity inside. Last year, I did a balloon countdown for the final 10 days of school. You can find a free balloon pop idea printable from Ideas by Jivy here. I love this adorable balloon pop display from Teach and Inspire!
Chain Link Countdown- This concept is the same as the balloon pop countdown, but it uses chain links instead. Just write an activity on each link and remove one from the chain each day. Or you can use this freebie from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers!
Student of the Day Countdown- I love this idea from Sparkling in Second. On the last days of school, she takes a day to celebrate a student in her class.
Get Hands-On- While I definitely recommend project-based learning all year long, spring always seems to inspire a renewed desire to get creative and a little bit messy.
Here are some great spring project ideas:
- Plant a garden in your school yard or have students plant seeds in pots
- Try incorporating STEM challenges into your day
- Use old toilet paper tubes, bottles, etc. to create new things to practice the 3 R’s
- Create posters to teach others in the building to take care of the earth
- Go on a nature walk and collect objects for a collage or class book
- Have students peel old crayons and break into pieces. Place into molds and melt in the oven to make new crayons.
Get Writing- I love how independent kindergarteners are with their writing in the spring. We go through so much paper because they just write and write and write. We are usually working on our nonfiction writing unit at the end of the school year. They devour the nonfiction books we have in the classroom and write book after book of their own. Here are some more ideas for writing:
- Have your students write write letters to upcoming kindergarten students
- Write a class book about how to be a kindergartener, or a book about what we loved about kindergarten
- Become pen pals with another class in your district or building
- Write letters of encouragement/make a sign for older students in the building who are testing
- Have students write messages to each other on goodbye stars from Proud to be Primary
Make Memory Books- Memory books are a great way to wind down the year while remembering all the fun and learning that has taken place. Plus, they are a keepsake that parents and students will treasure forever. I always do a memory book with my students, but I don’t like to spend a ton of time on them or make them complicated. I use this memory book and it’s perfect for me.
Get Outside- Cart your kids outside for a read aloud or even a whole lesson! Practice spelling words or math problems with sidewalk chalk. Use an outdoor excursion as inspiration for poetry. So many possibilities!
Whatever you do to make it through, the end is near! Stay strong, teacher friends!