Even though this year has been different from most, it is still so important to celebrate the end of school with your students. After all, they have grown so much this past year academically (and probably physically, too!) They have learned how to be great friends and classmates, turned into readers and writers, and completed their very first year of school. Those are big accomplishments for our little learners! Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate the end of school in kindergarten and show them how proud I am of their hard work.
One way to celebrate the end of the school year is by having students complete an end-of-the-year memory project. In these types of projects, students can reflect on their own learning journey and the things they are most proud of themselves for accomplishing. They can make note of their best friends from the year, draw pictures of themselves doing their favorite playground activities, and even write about what their favorite school lunches were! End-of-the-year projects help students to look back and think about the things that were most important to them. It will also give their parents something to look back on throughout the years as they remember their child’s time in kindergarten.
Another great way to celebrate the school year ending is by giving students end-of-year certificates. Sometimes, end-of-the-year certificates celebrate academic accomplishments for students, but they can also be used to show students that you appreciate other things about them. Traits like working hard, being a great listener, or even having a great laugh can all be recognized through certificates.
I have created some end-of-the-year awards that help celebrate different qualities of students and their personalities. Students love these because they come with a little treat for them. I love that it gives me a great way to acknowledge what I love about my students and lets them know that they are special to me.
Have a Special Event/ Activity
When celebrating the end of the year, you cannot go wrong with having a special event for students to show how much they mean to you. Some teachers have classic activities like ice cream parties or a day of show-and-tell. Others do activities like an in-class campout, where students can bring a blanket from home and spend the day looking at classroom books.
If you are teaching virtually, ice cream parties might not be an option, but you can still host a virtual end-of-year celebration. Students could still do show-and tell from home, or you could have a Zoom dance party. You can even play games virtually to celebrate. Whether you are in the classroom or teaching online, there are plenty of options for special events to celebrate the school year ending.
While this school year has been different in many ways, it does not have to be different in the ways that we show students we love and care about them. By having celebrations for the end of school, students will know how special they were to their classmates and teachers and will have a great way to reflect on their time in kindergarten.