Ya’ll know how much I believe in making the most of every day in the classroom. And how much I detest the “days left in the year” countdowns or the negative Monday posts on social media. BUT I do believe in making our classrooms a place of fun, learning, and celebration! I firmly believe we must celebrate milestones big and small in our classrooms. That includes the end of the year. That’s why I have designed our end-of-the-year BACKWARDS BOOTCAMP to celebrate our year together while learning and having fun! Our BACKWARDS BOOTCAMP or end-of-the-year countdown is a great bookend to our year because we start the year with ABC BOOTCAMP and learn the letters in order!
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Our countdown works like this: we celebrate a letter a day starting with Z and counting down to A. Each letter has an activity, a dress-up day or a snack! Some of the activities require very little in the way of supplies, some require the kids to dress up or wear something special, and some of the activities I provide, such as the food! We send home a letter and calendar to keep families involved and informed so students can participate!
So here are some ideas for our alphabet countdown!
Z-Zebras! We make rainbow zebras!
Everyone signs a t-shirt to exchange autographs! Ask families to send in a plain white t-shirt! We use Sharpies to sign our shirts. Place the shirts in a circle and have students rotate around the circle signing every shirt!
You can also use an autograph book to exchange autographs! Grab a free EDITABLE autograph book by clicking on the image!
Dress like a cowboy or cowgirl!
U-Unicorns! Paint unicorns with our feet!
T-T-Shirt Day-Wear your favorite t-shirt!
Wear sunglasses! I go to Wal-Mart and buy packs of sunglasses from the birthday aisle. You can get a pack of 6 glasses for a couple of dollars! So any student who doesn’t have sunglasses will have a pair!
R-Rainbows, wear red and play rock and roll music!
One year a little guy made a rainbow shirt for rainbow day!
We celebrate the wedding of Q and U with a ceremony, fancy clothes and cake!
Click the image to see a detailed blog post about our QU wedding and get some FREE resources for your own QU wedding!
Students bring a picnic lunch (or ask the cafeteria to prepare sack lunches!) and a blanket! Go outside for a picnic! Or if it rains, have a picnic in your classroom!
We also make pineapples!
N-New Name Day!
Everyone chooses a new name and we wear our new names on our nametags!
Wear all things mustache! And we get the kids McDonald’s Happy Meals!
L-lollipops and lions!
Get custom lollipops from shoplaurakelly.com
K-kites and kings!
Everyone wears a king crown and fly kites!
Everyone wears jeans!
I-Ice Cream Day!
Make ice cream sundaes!
Wear a hat!
Yes, my class gets glitter bombed. Yep, it makes a HUGE mess. Yes, we call them glitter bombs. Yep, we clean up our mess and take safety precautions (goggles and shower caps!). No there aren’t family or custodian complaints!
Students dip flyswatters in paint and SLAP their paper to paint! It’s messy so go outside! But if it rains, make a paint booth using shower curtains and paint inside!
Randomly throughout the day I YELL “STOP! 20 Jumping Jacks…” or some other exercises!
We fry doughnuts! We use canned biscuits. Keep the fire extinguisher handy and notify the office in case you set off the fire alarms! Open the biscuits and poke a hole in the middle of each one. Fry! Roll in sugar and cinnamon!
C-Cookies and crazy hair!
We actually ask each child to bring in their favorite type of Oreos. And we buy some different varieties to make sure we have a variety of Oreos. Everyone tastes all of the different Oreos and then we graph our favorite!
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We blow bubbles!
Celebrate the last day of school with a Hawaiin/beach day/luau day! And say ALOHA to the school year!
The end of the year countdown is also a great time to integrate our ABC BOOTCAMP! The ABC hats are great for the countdown! It’s always a great way to review letters and sounds!
For more end of the school year ideas and activities, check out these blog posts:
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