Let the Countdown Begin: Unique Activities to Enjoy Ahead of Summer Break

May 24, 2018

Brynne Mattson

M.Ed. in English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education


It’s that time of year: Summer break! Teachers everywhere are gearing up for the end of the school year with graduations, class parties and field days. At the same time, with classrooms full of antsy students and seemingly endless to-do lists, the summer months may seem farther away than ever!

Don’t let the pre-summer craze stop you from making the most of your final weeks with your students. These simple ideas can help you commemorate your students’ achievements and build lasting memories that take them from your classroom to the next.

Class Service Project

As a class, brainstorm ways you can make a difference in your school or community. For instance, is there a DIY project around the building that needs to be tackled? Could you hold a supply drive for a local family or neighborhood in need? Start dreaming up solutions that your students and their families could engage in together. What better way to end the school year than by making a difference?

Thank You Party

Consider hosting a “Thank You Party” with your students to thank anyone who has empowered their learning this year, such as parents, classroom volunteers or school support staff. With your administration’s permission, the students can design invitations, decorate the classroom and supply refreshments as a way of saying “thank you” in a truly celebratory way.

Countdown Chain

Did the end-of-the-year excitement start a little too soon in your class this year? Curb students’ enthusiasm with a “Countdown Chain,” a classroom management technique that continues to reinforce school expectations in a positive and fun-filled way.

Start by cutting enough strips of paper for every remaining day in the school year. Inside each strip, write a small privilege or reward that your students might look forward to, such as enjoying a longer recess, listening to music while working or wearing slippers in class. At the end of each day, tear off a strip and determine whether or not students have earned what’s inside.

Digital Memory Book

Paper memory books are a longstanding tradition in many classrooms, but what about digitizing it? Using apps such as iMovie or Magisto, students can easily record their own brief messages to future students, reflections on the school year or dreams for the future. Once all students’ clips are compiled and edited, you can upload them to Vimeo or YouTube for students to share with their families and friends. (Don’t forget to check privacy settings and get parental approval first.)

How does your class celebrate the end of the year? Share your ideas and traditions below!

Get even more fun classroom ideas when you join American College of Education’s educator community! Explore all our graduate-level programs in education to find the one best for you.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.
Brynne Mattson
Brynne Mattson, M.Ed. in English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education

Brynne has dedicated her career to teaching elementary English language learners in Texas and Georgia. She currently teaches third grade dual-language immersion.

Read all articles
Share this:
  • X
  • LinkedIn
Close Chat