I love Pinterest, but sometimes it can get overwhelming searching for ideas that actually pertain to you. Below, I've collected some of my favorite ideas for celebrating the end of the year with 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students. Hopefully some of them will help you out!
"Places We Can Read This Summer" Anchor Chart
What a great way to encourage your students to read during the summer! Create an anchor chart together, having your third, fourth, or fifth graders come up with fun places that they can read. This would be a great, no prep activity the last week of school.
A-Z End of Year Activity
This was one of my favorite low prep activities to do at the end of the school year. Have students reflect on the school year by coming up with something they have learned for each letter of the alphabet! I always had students start this activity with a partner, and then we would come together whole class and share our answers.
Class Vote on the Best Books of the Year
I usually didn't have time for a new bulletin board at the end of the year, but I still think this is a fun, valuable activity! Have students vote on the best books of the year - their favorite chapter book, nonfiction book, picture book, poem, funniest book, the best illustrated book, etc. This would be a fun way to reflect on what all you read during the year. If you don't want to do a bulletin board, you could display the results in a simpler way for students to see.
End of Year Gift - Science Kit
This is another gift idea that would encourage students to keep learning during the summer. Give your 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade students a small kit with a variety of objects in it. Include instructions on how they can experiment with those objects or use them to build something.
Cheering on the 5th Graders
What a fun (and free) way to celebrate the 5th grade students at your school before they move on to middle school! Let the 5th graders walk the hallways one last time while the whole school cheers them on. You could have your students create their own signs to celebrate the 5th graders.
How Do You Want to Be Remembered?
If you click on this pin and read the blog post that goes along with this activity, you'll see that it was created to "erase meanness" and not as an activity during the last days of school. However, the end of the year is a great time to have students reflect on their behavior and think about how they should act based on how they want to be remembered.
7 Low Prep Activities for the End of the Year
These 7 low prep activities are ideas I used in my own 3rd grade classroom to keep students learning while still celebrating the end of the year. It includes things like reflection questions, a visit to next year's classroom, an end of year letter to next year's class, and more.
Parent Packets/Ideas for Summer
Invite parents to come before the last day of school and create their own packet with ideas for keeping their child engaged and learning during the summer! You could make copies of recommended reading, math game ideas, a note from you, writing prompts, and other resources you think might be helpful. Parents could make their own packets (so you don't have to). They will be more likely to use the ideas over the summer if they are more invested in the process.
#BestYearEver Bulletin Board
This would be a fun and relatively easy end of year bulletin board. Have students come up with their own hashtag for the end of the year. I would probably encourage students to create a hashtag based on a memory or something they had learned during the school year. Even if you don't create a bulletin board, this would be a fun activity for students to complete and share with the class.
After seeing this idea on Pinterest, I did this with one of my classes. They loved it! Instead of popping all the balloons on the last day of school, I did a 20 day countdown to the last day. Each day, a student would pop a balloon and we would read the fun activity for the day together. The balloons included activities like "chew gum for the day," "sit wherever you want," "eat lunch with the teacher," "game day," "30 minutes of extra recess," and more.
End of the Year Student Gift - Digital Scrapbook
If you've been taking pictures throughout the school year, create a collection of pictures on a DVD and make a copy for each student! Or if you are tech savvy, make a slideshow or movie presentation with the pictures and make copies of that. What a great end of year gift!
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