As many of us know by now, we will not be heading back to the classrooms this school year. Typically, we’d throw a big send-off on the last day of school and tell our kids, “Good luck,” “See you next year,” or “I’ll miss you!” So, how do we end the year with our students?
Seeing our students at the end of the year provides closure – not only for students but for teachers and staff as well. It’s an important building block in any student/teacher relationship.
Here are a few ideas to make the end of the year special, while being apart:
1. Host a Zoom Party! In the last week of school, pick a day, and encourage any student that CAN to log on to a Zoom meeting at a certain time. If you have party supplies, put them up! Go around and have each student share:
a. One thing they learned this year
b. One positive thing about distance learning
c. What they’ll miss about this particular class
d. Things to look forward to. Give them a preview of some things they’ll learn in the next grade.
2. Do a recorded video summary. As we know, not everyone has access to attend Live Zoom Meetings. If/Where possible, record a video and send it out to parents and students via email. Keep this video upbeat and encouraging! It will be of comfort for your students just to hear your voice and see you.
3. Host a Theme Week. You may have seen schools posting pictures online of different theme days/weeks that they’re hosting virtually for their students. This can be a great idea! We recommend sticking to things like Crazy Hair Day, Crazy Sock Day or Red Shirt Day that most students can participate in without having to go buy new things. Also give options for them to participate during the live Zoom meeting or send in pictures later.
4. Celebrate this year’s accomplishments with awards! Get creative here – you could include things like Most Entertaining Zoom Guest (who has a pet?) or Best Communication Skills During Distance Learning.
5. Create a class yearbook. You can do this through Google Docs, set up a form for each child and allow other students to leave a nice comment for their classmates. Then, you can filter through the comments and forward the submissions to each student.
The end of this school year will definitely be unusual, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave things unfinished. Say good-bye, have a good summer, and let them know that we will be here for them when they return to us! We hope you find a way to connect with your kids and have some fun!