End of the Year Excitement

It’s the last week of school for me at my school in the mountains of North Carolina. We are wrapping up testing, hosting awards programs, and have miscellaneous school wide events scattered throughout the week. So, what can I do in between? Believe it or not, the students don’t actually want to watch movies and play outside all day. Shocking, I know. Here are a few ideas for wrapping up the end of the school year with a bang! Please add your own in the comments section – as always, DENny heads are better than one!

Top Ten Lists: Every year, I have my students each create a “Top Ten List” of things you need to know if you are going to be in Mrs. Hines’ class next year. These are always a joy for me to read and the kids love to share them. Some of my all time favorites include “If you don’t see her with a coffee cup in the morning, somebody better grab a Dr. Pepper” and “Learn your times tables. Trust me. Just do it.” Not only are these great to pass out to your new students to start the next year, they are actually an excellent reflective piece for the year. You get excellent insight into what your students really took away from the year.

Book Talks: Put that handheld digital camera to good use, and have your students create a book talk about their favorite book from the school year. Discovery Streaming now has all of the Reading Rainbow episodes, and they are great inspiration for kids. Students will spend a lot of time creating the perfect way to highlight their favorite story or selection. Next year, you’ll have a full set of book chats prepared for your students when they don’ t know what to read next.

Win an iPad2: Ok, so you might not win, but you’ll have fun trying. Check out this great contest to review DE Techbooks with your students. Make a video and/or blog about your experience and have a chance to win an iPad2 just in time for summer. All the details can be found HERE.

Top Secret Teaching: My students love it when I teach them something that is in the curriculum for the next school year. We always take an “oath” not to tell what we have learned since they aren’t supposed to know it yet. Take a few minutes here and there to show your students a tip or trick about something for the upcoming year. Realizing that they already understand something from the upcoming grade helps them to feel more confident going into it!

Moving Up Day: This year, we are having a Moving Up Day where students from the 2nd grade are coming up to visit a 3rd grade class. We will give them a chance to visit our classrooms, ask questions and experience a bit of third grade. This is also a great time to give out summer activity lists and general supply lists to start the new school year. The 2nd graders love the chance to “move on up” and my 3rd graders enjoy being the experts. I’ve also seen schools where this is a school-wide event, where each grade gets to visit the next, all at the same time. The top grade in the school, like the 5th graders, then get to go back and have an hour of fun time in a kindergarten class. What an excellent way to end out an elementary career!

So what are some of your favorite ways to end out a school year with a bang?!



  1. Laura Pilker said:

    Love these ideas, Kelly! I bet your students love being in your class!

  2. Conni Mulligan said:

    I am going to work with 5th graders in a school where fifth grade will no longer exist next year. The area is opening a new 5th and 6th Intermediate school. So, the current 5th graders are going to record podcasts about their year with their teacher so that students can listen to them on her webpage in preparation for the “BIG MOVE.” Because who knows in a move where paper documents will end up!

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