Thursday, June 28, 2018

End of the Year Countdown!

There is nothing like the end of a school year! This year my students were super excited. For teachers, as the end of the year comes, we are trying to wrap things up and finish strong.  We accomplished a lot this year and I saw so much growth in my kiddos. I decided to embrace their excitement and enthusiasm and do an end of the year countdown. 

I purchased End of the Year: Engagement Made Easy by Amy Lemons. I loved it! I used a lot of her writing activities and added a few of my own things to go with it. The first thing I did was made a copy of the countdown sign she includes in her product. I copied it onto astrobrights paper, which I LOVE! I have a clothesline that goes all the way across my room so I hung it up on that. Then I hung 5 balloons on one side and 4 balloons on the other side. 
I wish I had taken a picture but in all the excitement I forgot. Bummer!

I wanted to ease into the excitement so I strategically numbered the balloons 1-9. I put a note inside each balloon telling us the next day's activity before I blew it up. I chose to pop the balloon at the end of the day so my kiddos would look forward to what the next day would be. 

Day 1
This was an easy one but they loved it. It was a Show and Tell day. They were super excited to bring something in to show and then tell about it. I think I might turn this into a writing assignment next year and they have to write about what they have brought in to show. Then they can read their paragraph. 

Day 2
This was another favorite. It was Sit Where You Want Day. It took less than 3 minutes for someone to decide they wanted my seat for the whole day!

Day 3
Day 3 was Emoji Excitement. This day came from Amy Lemons, End of Year: Engagement Made Easy which you can purchase by clicking the picture below.

They loved making their own emojis and writing a memory paper using emojis. Then we went outside for a photo shoot!

Day 4
Day 4 was also from Amy Lemons. It was Learning with Lemonade. My kiddos made their own lemonade and then wrote a "How To" about it. Super fun!

Day 5
Day 5 was Cotton Candy Cloud. I think they thought we would be eating cotton candy all day long but it didn't happen. This was also from Amy Lemons and was all about clouds. My kiddos loved going outside to observe the clouds and try to figure out which kind they were looking at. They each wrote a cloud story and we also did a rain cloud in a jar experiment. You can grab this freebie at my store by CLICKING HERE 

We ended the day with everyone getting some cotton candy to take home with them.

Day 6
Day 6 was Living in a Bubble. This idea came from a fellow teacher a few years ago. First I went to Home Depot to get my supplies. You don't need a lot and it's very easy. All you need is a tarp, fan, and some duct tape.
My plan was to make a bubble (an air fort) that my kiddos could go inside. To make the fort, unfold the tarp and then fold it in half. My tarp was 10ft x 25ft. When I folded it in half it was 10ft x 12 1/2 ft. Once you have it folded in half use duct tape to seal it together on all sides. Leave one spot unsealed so you can stand the fan there and duct tape the tarp around the fan. Once the tarp is sealed to the fan you can turn on the fan. As the air fills the tarp it gets blown up and quite large. Now you can cut a slit on the opposite side as the fan to make a door so you can go inside. It will stay blown up as long as the fan is turned on.

This is one of the only pictures I took but we had a lot of fun. We took beanbags in and did buddy reading and they wrote journals in there too!

Day 7
Day 7 was a continuation of the bubble theme with Bubble Trouble, another one from Amy Lemons' product. I brought in bubble gum for everyone to chew and see who could blow a bubble! Oh My! I had no idea how fun this would be! My kiddos that could do it loved showing the others how to do it and my kiddos that couldn't were determined to figure it out!
We did a graph of who could blow a bubble and who couldn't.

Day 8
Sunshine in the Morning
Day 8 was on our last full day of school and it was on a Friday. Since some of our kiddos would not be there on our last 1/2 day of school, the teachers decided this would be our end of year party day. This day can get a bit crazy and full with all the things we try to squeeze in such as our, end of year prize auction, gathering projects and papers to take home, class party and so on. I always try to find a bit of quiet time with my kiddos so we can reflect over the school year and talk about some of our favorite moments, things we were worried about, and all our triumphs. It's a time that I can pray with and for them. With this in mind, I decided Day 8 would be Sunshine in the Morning. When my kiddos arrived that morning, I greeted them with breakfast. We sat around a table together and over orange juice, cereal, bagels and cream cheese, we chatted, remembered, laughed, sang some of our favorite songs and prayed. For me, it was one of my favorite memories of the school year.

Day 9
Day 9 was a half day and was our official last day of the year. We had planned a surprise children's concert for the elementary. Wayne from Maine! 

The kids loved it and it was the perfect ending to a great school year.

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