Wrapping Up a School Year
Some schools transition children all throughout the year, and some have a formal “move-up” day or graduation. There seem to be more and more Pre-K graduations these days than ever before. Although exciting, this can make for a more stressful time of year for early childhood educators. While some classrooms are filled with rehearsals, and practices for songs or graduation marches, here are some tips and activities to pass the rest of the days.
Sometimes it is fund for children to go back to the first day of school. Think of things you did the first week of school, and repeat some of those activities. For example, some classrooms are filled with “All About Me’ Posters. These are fun, and children can complete them over again. If the original posters are still around, it will be fun for the children to compare any differences. Has their handwriting improved or their artistic abilities? Have they added any new family members, or changed their minds on what they want to be when they grow up?
Maybe the students would like to work together to make a classroom book. Each child can participate by adding one page of the book. For example, give the students the title, “If I were teacher for the Day.” Have each child write one sentence to contribute to the book, and make an illustration if possible. Or maybe some children are writers and some are illustrators. The story can be out of order, making this an easier activity. When all pages are complete, they can be bound or put together with brass clasps (hole punched). Now the class has their very own “published” book to read in the library over and over again!
Memory Books are another fun way to end the year. These can be copied or purchased for a small fee. Students can complete the pages that ask questions all about their school year. What is their favorite part of their school day? Who are their best friends? What is their best memory? Etc. Most children enjoy talking all about themselves, so this will be great!
Finally, one of my favorite end-of-year activities… cleaning! The best part is, almost all children love to help! When children feel included, they have more fun, and all children can be included in cleaning! You might need some sweepers, some book organizers, dusters, baby doll organizers, someone to put the blocks in the correct bins, etc. Children can also wash toys, such as Legos and such, in the sensory table with tear-free soap and toothbrushes. This is an educational and fun way to clean!
However you choose to spend your final days with the children you worked with all year long, I hope you make it fun and enjoyable for yourself as well, as you deserve a BIG congratulations on being a fantastic early childhood educator!