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Alphabet Countdown – A Guide to Your End of the Year Fun

The ideas that teachers get from each other is beyond amazing! This year, my class participated in an Alphabet Countdown to count down the days to the end of our school year. I found this idea on Instagram through a brilliant teacher author, Alyssa Barnes from Mrs. Barnes Bunch (click here for the link).

This countdown is not only a student favorite but also a teacher favorite! Each day, my students looked forward to the letter of the day and I enjoyed getting activities set up for them so we could end our year together in the best way possible. When you buy this countdown from TpT, you get a version that is completely ready to print out and use and you also get a version where you can edit what the letter of the day is for. At my school, students wear uniforms so I took out the free dress days and substituted those days for another activity.

Here is my Alphabet Countdown:

A – is for Art. My students love doing art but rarely get the chance to be creative and do their own art project because usually they are structured lessons. For our first activity in our countdown, I had students use Q-tips as brushes and they got to paint whatever they wanted! I love the different things they come up with!

B – is for Bubbles. Bubble party! If you do not have a bubble machine.. invest in one NOW!

C – is for Chalk. This set on amazon was a great deal and came very quick through my Prime membership.

D – is for Dino. For our dino day, I set out scrap paper and students got to create any kind of dinosaur. This activity was one of my least favorites and I wish I had a different “D” word or I changed the activity. I’ve already gone on Pinterest to find different activities for next year.

E – is for Experiment. For our science experiment, we (tried) to create crystals from Borox and hot water. My example worked when I did a trial run but when the kids tried, the “crystals” didn’t stick. I really enjoyed doing this activity but it’s one where you need lots of help. My assistant teacher and I were running all over the place.

F – is for Flashlight. Turn off the light and have some fun! Some of my students made shadow puppets.. others just walked around with their light.

G – is for Game Day. Students brought in different games and during our free play time we got to play games that everyone brought in.
H – is for Helping Hands. To use our helping hands, we picked up trash around the school. It was actually surprising how much trash we found. My kinders were really happy to contribute to making the school more beautiful.

I – is for Ice Cream. Need I say more? Yum!

J – is for Jokes. Kindergarten jokes are either really funny or you don’t understand them at all. However, all the other kindergarteners seem to think they are hilarious!
K – is for Kindness. This activity was one of my favorites and really showed not only how kind these kids are, but how much they’ve grown throughout the year. For this, I wrote each students name on a large piece of construction paper. Then, students rotated the papers around the room and wrote something nice (or drew something) on each students paper. By the time we were finished, students had a big collage of all these nice comments from their friends. It melted my heart watching a child write that they liked another students smile.

L – is for Lemonade. I bought the frozen lemonade concentrate and students helped me add water and stir.

M – is for Move it, Move it Dance Party. Kidz Bop!

N – is for Neon. For our neon day, students got some glow sticks and made different shapes and accessories with them. We also had a dance party for some added fun!

O – is for Outdoor Adventure. Something I love most about teaching kindergarten is their natural curiosity to everything around them. I gave my students a magnifying glass and set them free on the school yard. Students loved looking at their play structure through a different lens, literally.

P – is for Popcorn
Party. Another crowd favorite!

Q – is for Quiet Time. A teacher favorite. One of my favorite life savors when students need some serious chill out time is the meditations for kids on YouTube. During our Quite Time, I put one of these meditations on and students got to relax and listen while on the comfort of their pillow.

R – is for extra Recess.

S – is for new Seats. I let my kindergarteners pick their own seats for the end of the year [insert shock face here] We’ll see how this goes…

T – is for Treasure Tell. Students brought a special item to show and tell to their friends. Then students could ask questions about their item. Kindergarten questions: “I have something like that at home…” – Me: “That’s a comment, not a question!!” (after almost every “question”).

U – is for Under the Table. Again, am I really doing this with kindergarteners?

V – is for Victory. During this day, we played four corners and some other games outside.

W – is for minute to Win it. I had to find a way to incorporate my favorite Minute to Win it Games! Read more about this here for on my End of the Year post.

X – is for X-change autographs. HAGS

Y – is for Year End Sale. Cleaning day aka my favorite day! This is when we take home all our supplies, workbooks, art, work, etc… Students also grab wipes and wipe EVERYTHING in sight.

Z – is for Zip your backpacks and Zoom off to summer. Teachers will be zooming to their couch to binge watch tv and drink wine (and not feel guilty about it because we can sleep in! Hurray!)

How do you end your school year?

End the Year Strong with These 5 Resources

May is one of my favorite times in the school year. May is the month when you can taste how close summer is but you are also enjoying the time you have left with your babies. It’s the time when you reflect on where your students were when they came to you and how much you’ve taught them in order for them to be successful in their next year. This is the time where you come out of your January through March slump when days just feel like they drag on forever and you can’t even imagine the end of the school year. May is when our California hot, sunny days last into the evening and when everyone’s mood seems a bit brighter. As our year comes to a close, I often think about how blessed I am to be doing what I love and making a difference in little human lives.

Throughout the few years I’ve been teaching, I’ve compiled a bunch of end of the year activities to end the year as strong as I started and to enjoy the last bit of time I have with my class. Here are some of the resources and activities I’ve found throughout my journey.

Activities for the end of the school year:

1. Memory Book – Throughout the school year, I keep various art projects (specifically monthly holiday art projects) and writing pieces to eventually create a memory book for my students to take home with them at the end of the year. I also take a picture of them with my “First day of kindergarten” frame on the first day and the (close to) “Last day of kindergarten” frame around the last day of kindergarten. These pictures, art and writing show their growth throughout their year in kindergarten. I bind it all up with my fancy binding machine and give it to them on the last day of school.

 

2. ABC Countdown – While I was scrolling through Instagram, I found a fantastic resource called the Alphabet Countdown. Each day represents a different letter and we count down all the way to “Z” where we Zoom off to summer! This teacher has created one countdown that you can take and use right away and created an editable version where you can add your own days! At my school, students wear uniforms so I changed a couple of the dress up days to make it work for my school. So far, my students are loving this countdown and it has given us something to look forward to as we end our year together.

3. Awards – Each year, I go through these awards I purchased on TpT and give an award to each student in my class. We have a whole ceremony where I describe the accomplishments of the student and present their award. They look so excited and proud when they hear their name and everyone claps for them.

4. Minute to Win it Games – These games are a SUPER fun way to end your year. I usually do these in the last week or so. This is a free resource from TpT which makes it even better. My favorite games to play are “Cookie Face”, “M&M Race”, “Flip it” (your kids will thank you when they’re in college for this one) and “Bouncer” (another college favorite).

5. Cleaning Day – I’m always so amazed when I ask my kids to get a wipe and clean because it’s like once they have a wipe in their hands they want to clean every surface. My kids even get in fights about who is cleaning what area. So they love cleaning with wipes but when I ask them to clean up their toys from free play or put their supplies away it looks like a disaster area – it’s ridiculous! Anyway, once we’ve put all our workbooks, contents of our pencil boxes and whatever else children hide in their chair storage, I get out the wipes and let them go to town on everything in the classroom.

How do you end the year in your classroom?