Fun ideas for the end of the Year {+ a freebie!}

02 May 2015 / 2 comments

Hi there! It's Kristen from Chalk & Apples, and I'm excited to share with you some ways that I like to celebrate the end of the year with my class. Stick around to the end for a (not so) flash freebie!

1. Going out on a Positive Note

I teach fifth grade, and our students leave us in May headed for the oh-so-exciting world of middle school. This is a HUGE deal for them, so we try to make the last day of school extra special. At the very end of the day, we line up all of the fifth graders ("seniors of the elementary school" as they call themselves) for a celebration of their accomplishments.

All of the Pre-K through fourth grade classes line the hallways of our school and a popular song is played over the intercom while our fifth graders parade through the school. (Last year's song was "Happy," but I'd love some suggestions from you for this year!) During our parade through the halls, the lower grades cheer like we are rock stars. Some classes have been known to throw confetti or spray silly string, and there are always lots of signs made for big brothers and sisters.

Every year, the fifth graders swell with pride as they walk the halls of our school one last time. Every year, this teacher tries unsuccessfully not to cry on the last day of school. Our celebration ends as we exit the front of the school where their parents are waiting, some with balloons and flowers. We cheer for our students, blow bubbles, and take pictures. It's the perfect way to end the school year!

2. End of the Year Awards

Right before our big celebration, we have an End of the Year Awards ceremony. Throughout the year, we give academic and attendance awards every quarter, but the end of the year awards are different. Along with the academic awards, we also give out superlatives. Each student gets a unique award just for him/her. In the past, I have decided on the awards myself, but this year, I am going to do it true superlative-style, and let my class vote. (I'm making it easy on myself by using a Google form.) I can't wait to see who they give each award to this year!

3. A to Z Countdown to Summer

For the last 26 days of school, I like to do a little celebration every day. We call it our A to Z Countdown because each day has a theme tied to a letter of the alphabet. Some student favorites are:
  • Ice Cream Day
  • Letter Day (Write a letter to your favorite teacher in our school thanking them and then hand-deliver it.)
  • Summer Birthday Day (Have a birthday party for all those summer birthday students who get left out during the year.)
  • Twin Day
  • Water Fun Day (Play water games outside for an hour or so at the end of the day.)
Don't think you can handle 26 days of celebrations? Too late to start for this school year? No worries, just do a shorter celebration, and don't tell them it's A to Z. I usually do all 26, but this year's class will only be counting down for the last two weeks because, well... They don't need any encouragement to start celebrating summer early! There are tons of free ideas out there, but if you want the signs I use for the classroom, you can get them here.

4. The Last Days of School {freebie!}

Whether you're moving rooms or staying put, the end of the year always comes with some much needed cleaning, organizing, and packing away of materials. And what better way to spend those last hours before school ends for the summer than doing something to make the start of next year easier? This is where I am so thankful I teach older grades. They want to help. They LOVE to help. They are actually quite helpful! During the last few days of school, I put out these End of the Year Cleaning Task Cards. When a student finishes an assignment or activity early, I have them choose a task card to complete. It's a win-win for everyone! I get the jobs done in the classroom that I need, and they get to do all the fun stuff they seem to love so much. (I will never understand why wiping sharpie off of my laminated name tags is such a popular activity, but I'm glad I don't have to do it!) As a Teacher Appreciation Week thank you gift, I'm making these FREE for you now through Monday night (5/4/15)!

How do you end your school year? What fun and memorable activities do you use to celebrate a successful year with your class?

Thanks for stopping by! Check out my blogs, Chalk & Apples and Teaching Trio for more great ideas!


  1. These are all wonderful ideas, Kristen! I wish we could do the 26 days, but our testing will go until the week before my students leave, so I'll tuck that one away for a rainy day! I love the idea of parading the fifth graders through the school and cheering them on. I know my students would love that so much, even if we only have 3-5 in my building!

    Classroom Cleaning Task Cards? You are a total genius! I will be using these this year for sure!!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas!

  2. Love the cleaning task card idea! We are doing an A-Z countdown too! We started A yesterday! Woohoo! This is a new idea for me (as I'm at a new school this year!) and I was excited because we wouldn't have been able to do this at my old school. They didn't want us "counting down" too early. Understandable... but I'm still excited to do this!! Love the post!


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