Do you need some fun ways to celebrate the end of the school year? These 3 ideas will help your students remember their great year and look forward to more fantastic years!
1) Time Capsule
Who doesn't love the idea of a buried time capsule? This project uses empty bubble bottles. Students share some details about their year and even some dreams and predictions for the future. The bottle is sealed and can be opened at a later date. I'm encouraging my students to open it their senior year!
Empty a bottle of bubbles. Your students will be happy to help with this! Let them play with them at recess or plan a bubble day! Wash out the containers and let them dry.
Have your students complete this end-of-year packet about their school year. They will focus on their memories, favorite things, friends, future and predictions. Roll up the completed pages and secure with a rubber band. Put the bundle into a plastic bag to provide an extra layer of protection.
Put the bundle into the empty bottle. Seal the top with hot glue. Customize the labels (included in the Time Capsule resource) and add a message that the bottle should remain closed until a future date. Send home a note to parents (included) explaining the project. All of these form are editable if needed or you can just print and go.
Many teachers use awards at the end of the year. As I was thinking about finishing another year, I was dwelling on the analogy of running a race. Athletes train for a race. They don't start out at their top speed. They improve. They practice. They work hard even when they want to quit. They don't always finish at the top and yet they have to be motivated to run another race. Sometimes they get hurt or have adverse conditions and must find the strength to keep going. They have to have the strength to finish strong. There are so many correlations to the life of a student - or just life!
I shared some of these analogies with my students during our testing week. I'm going to remind them of these things at the end of the year. Then, we will have a little "race" outside and each student will get to run through the finish ribbon. It will be a tangible reminder of the diligence that is required to be a good student. Then we will have an awards ceremony. Students will receive a gold medal that highlights a positive character trait or ability that they have displayed.
I made the awards using 3" circles of cork that were found at a craft store (Hobby Lobby). You could also use thin chipboard. You can cut circles out of cardboard, but that is time consuming! You could even just print the medal on cardstock and laminate it. I love the look of the awards on cork. I used a gold glitter spray paint by Krylon. It only took one coat to cover the cork and it is very shimmery! I covered it with a layer of sealant to try to minimize the glitter mess. The character trait awards were printed on cardstock and laminated. I attached it to the cork with hot glue. I attached the medal to a gold ribbon using hot glue.
3) Balloon Wishes
Students can write a simple wish and send it into the sky. They will write it down and then put it into a balloon. Encourage the students to write a wish about the next school year. Remind them that each year is a blank slate. There may be things about this year that were not the best. They can work on those things and make it better for next year! You can get balloons filled with helium at a party store. Have a fun celebration of releasing the balloons.
I hope you were able to get some new ideas for your end-of-year celebrations! Our school year goes until the middle of June and it seems like we still have a LONG time :) but I know that it will go quickly. Having a plan in place for the end of the year will definitely make it go more smoothly!