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End of the Year Ideas

With the end of the year a few weeks away, I thought I'd share a few thoughts, and some great ideas that I've come across.

End of The Year Ideas

If you think it's too early to start thinking about the last of the week, think again! There is SO much to do on those last few days that you can bet on being exhausted. Why wait until the last minute to get ready? If you can manage to plan ahead of time, your end of the year will be a breeze!

Here are a few ideas I want to share with you!

End of the Year Gift Idea

Your kids will love getting these Bucket & Pail gifts from you! 

I got the buckets for $1.00 each at the Dollar Tree. I purchased the tissue paper there as well.

End of The Year Gift Ideas

I asked my students to write letters to each other, and placed the letters in the buckets.

End of The Year Gift Ideas

I placed small items like pencils, stickers, erasers, post-its, crayons, bubbles with wands, sidewalk chalk, and little bags of chips in zip-top bags. 

End of The Year Ideas

The bag went in the bucket as well!

End of The Year Ideas

Last, I put a piece of tissue paper in the bucket.

I tried to take the stickers out, but they started to rip so I ended up leaving them there. 

End of The Year Ideas

Count Down Idea

Set the mood with a fun Count Down Cloud! 

My Student Teacher, Ms. Acosta, made this for me as a surprise. I told her about this cute idea I had seen on Pinterest, and sure enough... she went looking for it.  She found the original post at Bright Concepts 4 Teachers. 

End of The Year Ideas

Ms. Acosta cut 2 pieces of large construction paper, stapled them half way, and filled the cloud with crumpled paper. Then, she finished stapling the cloud and glued the letters. Last, she added the paper links. 

In the beginning of May, our last month of school in Georgia, we start ripping one link each day until it's the last day. So much fun for the kids!

Book Ideas

Start thinking about books that talk about the end of the year. 

One of my favorites is Last Day Blues, by Julie Danneburg. Can you tell it's a sequel to First Day Jitters?

Other books to consider:

Activity Ideas - Watch the Video

Start planning fun activities now! 
I made a 1 minute video to show you some of the resources I use with my students. 

My kids love the Scavenger Hunts we do on the last week of school!

End of The Year Activities

I do these as a treat at the end of the day.

Some are done outside.

End of The Year Activities
Kids love working outside!

End of The Year Activities

Others we do inside!

End of The Year Ideas
I love the spelling for "Victor".

Final Thoughts What I’ve Learned the Hard Way!

The last thing I want to share is a lesson I learned the hard way. 

In my experience, the worst thing you can do is to start breaking down your classroom, and straying away from your routine too soon. I now resist the temptation of cleaning up until the last couple of days... 

Young children can get out of control very easily once their routine is gone.

So on the last week of school, I assign Reading, Writing, and Math activities that tie in with the end of the year and the beginning of the next year.

Here's what I mean:

End of The Year Activities

End of The Year Activities

End of The Year Activities

These copies are made and ready to go way before that last week of school hits!

I also plan activities that my students can carry out on their own!

End of The Year Activities
Students read a National Geographic Magazine with a buddy, sat in a circle, and asked and answered questions guided by one of their peers.

As you can see, there is still structure, but the kids are in charge and having fun!

That kind of activity frees you to work on finalizing things while your students are doing meaningful activities!

I hope at least one of these ideas caught your eye, and that you have a fun end of the year with your students!

By the way,

If you're already looking into next school year, here are 2 posts filled with tips, tricks, and FREEBIES!

Back To School Tips and Activities - Vol. 1
Back To School Tips and Activities - Vol. 2