- April 4, 2018 at 9:58 PM #47036
We are on the home stretch. What are end of the year traditions you really enjoy? I would love to hear from others.
One I hang on to is an alternative to a final class party bash. One of the last days we head over to my place at lunch time, everyone eats their own sack lunch then they all play on the lawn a while before heading to a cleaning project for some elderly or needy person. A couple parents join to make this work well. After 1.5 hours later we return to my house for root beer floats and then head back to school for dismissal. The students have really enjoyed being able to give in this way and it has a better feel to me than everything going one way (theirs). Oh yes — as an added perk they usually get to go barefoot at my house while they play.
Now your turn.
- April 14, 2018 at 1:47 PM #47428
I like the idea of including a community activity of helping others in your end of the year party, Betty. In the past with my elementary classes we had a small “awards” party at the end of the year highlighting character traits I appreciated in each of the students throughout the year. This year I have thought of several ideas for the end of the year with my class; picking up trash at the local parks (after the area experienced flooding this spring), painting our school playground equipment or helping a family in the community with groceries.
- April 16, 2018 at 4:38 PM #47457
I don’t have any end-of-year traditions right now, but at the school where I used to teach we had a hot dog roast for lunch on the last day. It was a relaxing, low-key, friendly way to end the year.
Now that I’ve been reminded, I might start doing that again…
- April 17, 2018 at 11:46 AM #47463
We have a tradition of a year-end family/picnic day, held on one of the last Saturdays or on Memorial Day. The day involves students, staff, parents, and siblings living at home, whether alumni or preschoolers. The morning is devoted to some educational activity; the afternoon is recreational activity–both involve the school family.
Morning activities over the years have included…
a. Visiting speakers or demonstrations, such as a blacksmith who demonstrated crafting hinges and other small iron items; a search dog demonstration; the local rescue squad extricating a dummy from a junk car staged on the playground for that purpose; parent “show and tell” in which a number of parents demonstrated their occupation or some hobby or skill, returned career missionary telling stories, showing artifacts and photos.
b. Off-site mini field trip, such as a guided tour of local iron furnace ruins; a walk across the Susquehanna bridge and a presentation on the burning of a former bridge on that site in the Civil War; visiting several of the family homes to see their farming operation or antique collection.
c. Service activity–going in groups to various homes of widows, elderly, or shut-ins for lawn clean up or similar help.
d. Dividing into groups of mixed-age students and parents to complete a variety of small group activities involving a variety of skills and challenges. This activity provides great interaction between parents and students and touches a variety of skills from verbal to athletic, such as walking on stilts, writing a poem, calculating the volume of the school building, enjoying a children’s book together. I’ll post a list of questions used for one of these years elsewhere on the Dock.
Then we transition into other activities that include…
A mile run (before lunch)
Afternoon games: softball, volleyball, games for children.
Other activities have included a hayride, having a local man land his para glider on the playground and showing us how it works, field events such as softball throw, discus, sprints, hay bale throw.
Overall, the day provides joint experiences for students and parents, multi-faceted learning activities, and some predictable traditional activities over time.
- April 21, 2018 at 9:18 PM #47600
We have two whole school end-of-the-year activities. A Track and Field Day-students select and participate in a variety of activities based on grade level including running races, throwing softball, soccer kicks, jumping rope, high jump, etc. Students are asked to participate in a least two events of their choice. Parents and grandparents come to encourage and cheer on the students.
We also have a picnic and awards day on Saturday after the last day of school. Award presentations include academic achievement awards, amount of verses recited during the year and perfect attendance. We have a meal together and end the day with a game of softball. This event is also open for grandparents and others to attend. These two events provide a way for the community to support, interact with and encourage the students.
- April 22, 2018 at 5:25 PM #47607
Our school has traditions for the second last and last days of school.
Day 179 is Hot Dog Day. In the morning we do yearbook autographing. For noon we have a hot dog roast- this is a big deal for the students. Then in the afternoon the students play a school-wide game of 22 (also a big deal seeing as we have 100 students and this is probably the only time all 12 grades play together). After that we practice for the picnic races.
Day 180 (on a Friday) is school picnic. School is only till noon. At 2 pm the festivities start with a short program where each class does a five minute presentation. Then it’s out to the races. We do a team relay; it varies each year but includes things like sack racing, speed reading, apple bobbing. We make teams of 10 students, spanning the grade spectrum. Each team has a responsible captain from high school. He or she assigns each student their roles (this is done on Hot Dog Day alread, when practising). The relay is the highlight of picnic day. After that are running races and high jumps (each class separately); all students are required to participate.
The evening features a good supper, tractor rides, baseball, soccer, and much visiting. This is a huge community event where extended families and any friends with past connections to our school show up. Normally over 500 plates are served on a donation basis. After a good day like that, one has a satisfying and nostalgic close to a good school year.
- May 3, 2018 at 12:37 PM #47832
We have several year-end traditions at our school. One very simple one is our “Whistle Dismissal” on the last day of school. As the school buses leave the parking lot, staff members blow whistles, use the siren mode of our bullhorn, and generally make as much noise as possible, celebrating the end of the school year. Students love it!
We usually have track & field day on the last Friday of the school year, with our school picnic that evening. Parents appreciate not using up a precious Saturday for a picnic, and many of them make it a point to be there for at least part of the day to watch the events, assist in judging events, and socializing with the other parents.
On the evening of the very last day of school (Thursday), students in Grades 7-12 go camping overnight. Teachers chaperone, but students plan (and bring) the food and do the cooking. The boys really rough it–cooking (lots of bacon, of course) over the fire. The girls go to a local cabin with a small kitchen and real bathrooms, but not enough beds for nearly everyone. This is a great way for Jr. High and High School students to interact, especially with the 8th grade students who will be joining the HS ranks in August.
The camping tradition is more than 20 years old at this school, and though we’ve needed to make changes to make it work with the growth of the school, the above format has worked for us for the past few years. We keep a large tote with camping essentials in storage for each group, with a checklist of contents taped to the lid. The chaperones are responsible to make sure all items are included in the tote when they leave, and that they get restocked and put back into storage after camping.
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