Tuesday, June 9, 2015

End of the Year

I can't believe the year is over!  I am so bummed about it.  My class this year was absolutely fantastic!  I hate to see them leave me.  We had a really great year together.  I wanted to make the end of the year extra special for this group so we have had a lot of fun over the past couple of weeks.  Here is a little re-cap of how we finished off our year.
Every year, when there are only 10 days of school left, I blow up 10 balloons and put a fun surprise in each balloon.  These surprises are silly and usually things that don't cost money and I don't need to prep for.  Some of the ideas I have used in the past include: sit by a friend day, sit anywhere you want for the rest of the year (this usually gets saved until we only have 4-5 days left), eat lunch in the classroom, board game day, no shoes day, movie party, popcorn while we work, everybody gets to pick out of the treasure box (this ensures that no kid leaves without ever having a chance to pick from the treasure box), popsicles at recess, and free centers.

I love reading end of the year books to my kiddos.  Here are some of my favorites:
No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher's Dirty Looks!The Night Before Summer Vacation        Last Day Blues
I always make an end of the year DVD for my kids with pictures from our year together.  I have used several different brands of slideshow software.  The one that I used the last two years is by Roxio.  I always add a soundtrack with some songs we have had in our Morning Songs.  (Don't know about morning songs?  Click here to read about them!)  We always watch the slideshow on our last day together and then the kids take a copy home with them.  
Did I mention how much I love my kiddos this year?  I wanted to do something a little extra for them so this year I made them some summer swag.  I grabbed almost all of this stuff from the dollar store.  Each kid has a bucket with a note that says "I dug being your teacher", a couple books, reading logs, ideas for parents about preventing summer slide, pencils, bookmarks, bubbles that say "you blew me away", goldfish crackers "It is o-FISH-ally summer", and notepads.

 Here are some freebies and resources to make your own end of the year swag!
I used clip art from Graphics from the Pond to make bookmarks for all my kids.  There is such a variety of images that I was able to find a kid who looked like each one of my students.  I just added their names, laminated, and cut them out.  To download your own bookmarks, click here.
I also made some little printables for the buckets, goldfish, and bubbles.  To download those, click here. 
I found some terrific reading logs on TpT from Casey Hallett.  Click here to visit her store and download them.  (Don't forget to leave feedback!)
Last year, I came across the cutest idea from Read Like a Rock Star.  She had a bingo game with places to read.  I knew I just HAD to go back and find that resource for my buckets.  Click here to visit her blog and grab your own.  It is adorable! P.S. If you are not following this blog, you REALLY should be! She has so many fun ideas!
The last thing I included in my buckets was a letter to parents about preventing summer slide.  I found this letter on the Make, Take, & Teach blog. Click here to download your own letter to parents.
If you are still looking for more ideas for end of the year, check out my pinterest board.

I am still in denial that the year is over.  My kiddos will come in tomorrow morning to pick-up report cards and grab their goodies before they are off to second grade.  I hope they all show up so that I can squeeze them one more time this year.  No more balloons.  No more days.  No more first graders...until August!


susan said...

Thanks for your post! I love the bookmarks! How can I personalize them?

Autumn Morrison said...

They are a pdf file with blank bookmarks so you can write on them or print labels to add to them. Due to copyright on the graphics, I did not upload an editable version. I will work on creating a new editable doc that has images secured tonight. Today is my last day! :) Thanks for visiting my blog, Susan.

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