This school year is quickly coming to an end and hopefully so is distance learning. While I’m sure you would much rather be able to celebrate the end of this year with your students in person, you can still make a really special virtual end of year celebration.
If you are looking for ideas on how to spend your last few weeks with your students, here are some fun things you can do virtually to celebrate the end of the school year.
End of Year Netflix Watch Party
I feel like it’s pretty safe to say that if you were still in your classroom you’d be planning a movie day sometime for the last few weeks of school. I think most teachers plan this day so they can have time to clean up their classrooms. Well, clearly you don’t need to keep your students occupied while you clean up, but this could still be a fun way to celebrate the end of the year. Students love watching movies with their friends, and it’s an easy way to make the end of the year feel special and a little more normal. Maybe consider watching the movie version of a book you have read or take a vote on which movie you want the class to watch. Netflix has a cool option where you can have a watch party so everyone can stream the video at the same time.
Go on a Virtual Field Trip
Field trips are pretty much an end of year staple in every classroom. Even though you can’t do an in person field trip, you can still take your kids on a virtual field trip. There are tons of places that offer virtual field trips. We Are Teachers has put together an awesome list of ideas – and you don’t even need to worry about collecting permission slips. Again, this is another fun way to celebrate the end of the year and help your students feel a little more normal.
Have an End of Year Picnic
Even though you can’t all be together, you can still host an end of year picnic. Tell your students to pack a sack lunch and take their devices outside. A little fresh air and socializing will be good for everyone. You can come up with some fun questions or games to play during your picnic and just enjoy the time to connect with each other. If you want to get REAL fancy and make it special, you could mail all of your students a picnic package and include a special treat for them to enjoy or share together.
Virtual Talent Show
This can be a fun and easy thing to do over zoom. Let your students sign up to share a special talent with their classmates. Make sure you let your students know ahead of time when the talent show will take place and you might want to approve their ideas a head of time. This could be a fun way for students to show off a special talent they have or share something special or unique about their home…. and it can all be done over Zoom!
I would always let my students prepare a Reader’s Theater play to perform in front of their class during the last few weeks of school. I would give them a LOT of extra time to practice a play and even create a set and props for their performance. If you have a class that loves to act, you can still do reader’s theater virtually. Think about all the musicians and comedians who are still performing virtually. Your students could put together a virtual play to perform for their classmates. Plus, reader’s theater is a great way for students to work on their fluency and expression while reading so you can still get some academic benefits from this fun end of year activity.
Host a Virtual Field Day
Field day is always something that my students and I would look forward to. Considering that this fun event usually takes place at the end of the year, I bet it is one event your students are really missing. So, why don’t you consider hosting a virtual field day. You could come up with different activities and events your students can do at home and you can host your very own virtual field day. You could include exercise events like jumping jacks or burpees, you could do minute-to-win-it games like Balloon Bounce or Ovenmit Unwrap, or you could come up with relay teams and do some virtual relay games. It doesn’t need to be anything super fancy or over the top to be fun and enjoyable for your students.
Student Awards and Affirmations
I LOVE doing student awards and affirmations. I would always find some way to let my students give a compliment to every one of their classmates. We would usually do something like a compliment quilt. I loved sending students into the summer with so many kind and positive words from their classmates. And considering how stressful and uncertain these past few months have been, we need to pump our students with positivity now more than ever.
Digital Memory Books
Create an end of year digital memory book with your students. You can either mail your students a paper template or you can give them a digital version. Give them a chance to create a memory book that will help them remember all the fun parts of this year.
Make your last week of school more fun and festive by having theme days. Create a theme for each day that allows students to dress up or bring special items to your virtual class meetings. This is a fun and simple way to make the last week feel more fun and festive. A few ideas are: silly sock day, hat day, sunglasses day, jersey day, color days, costume days, pajama days, etc.
However you decide to celebrate the end of the year, remember that it’s not the celebration that is important – it’s your students. Sure, it would be more fun to celebrate the end of the year in person, but you can still create a memorable and meaningful end of year celebration for your students. You can make them feel loved and special even from a distance 🙂
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Reading Process Checklist
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