May, the final month of the school year. Sure, there may be a couple of days in June. But now the end of the year feels real!
It’s the last opportunity to do all of that paperwork. Make sure you have all of those observations finished. Schedule the final parent-teacher conferences. Get the kiddo’s portfolios together.
Most of all, it’s time to start thinking seriously about the end of the year celebration. My schools tended to call it EOY (we educators like our abbreviations). After many years of May celebrations, there were some resources that I keep going back for my final celebration of the year.
Streamers are a must. For a little money, they add a lot to the feeling that this is a special occasion. Yes, it will take work, lots of tape, and maybe a sturdy chair to step up on. However, the effort is well worth the reward.
Balloons also signify special occasions. Think about all of the times when you had a balloon. It wasn’t just because it was Tuesday. It’s always special when there are balloons. Of course, observe special safety requirements when necessary. If you’re truly concerned, you can hang balloons in the classroom that is out of the reach of little hands.
Caps and Gowns
My classroom had caps and gowns every year. Usually, gold. Not because gold was our school color, but our staff felt the color most represented celebration in our school. There are a couple of places where you can get caps and gowns. Here is a cap and gown set on Amazon.
Now, before you go out and buy these, make sure you take the measurements of the children. Yes, the caps and gowns come in sizes. The last thing you want to do is get an X-large for your petite kiddos. You can make the measurement process part of your end of year celebration routine.
Document the moment with a certificate. Just know that the certificate is more for the parents than for the kiddos. Yes, the kiddos will be excited to keep that piece of paper, but you know that the certificate will quickly transfer to the parent’s hands (you’ve seen your kiddos handle paper before). The parents are the ones who will keep and cherish this document, reminding them of this precious moment in their child’s life.
This is going to be controversial, but allow the kids to have some of their favorite foods – even if they are not healthy, but still adhere to allergy restrictions.
I know, I know. We promote healthy eating and practices. However, here’s my thinking. We are preparing them to be life-long learners and independent adults. And, in real life, when we celebrate major life events – weddings, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. – we all tend to throw our diets out the window. Not just because we don’t care, but because of family and cultural traditions – the memories we all have around a meal.
Healthy eating is meant to leave a lasting impact on the children’s overall eating patterns, but not restrict them from celebrations and special occasions. That’s just my point of view.
The end is near! Summer is coming! You’re almost there!