Tips for Wrapping Up the School Year and Kicking Off Summer

The end of the school year is always such a bittersweet time!  Teachers start to count the days until they are able to relax and recharge from an absolutely crazy a hectic school year.  However, not all of our students are looking forward to weeks without the comfort of coming to school daily.  

This year, I have been on morning arrival duty for my campus.  I spent many early mornings…in every kind of weather…watching my kids arrive at school.  Some of them get out of a car driven by their mother who packed them a lunch, kissed them good by, and told them to have a great day.  Then, there are the other kids.  The ones that get off the bus after getting themselves and their siblings ready for school without any help from a parent.  The ones who got out of a car with an adult screaming and fussing at them.  The ones who were dropped off by an adult under the influence of who knows what.  These kids are able to put a smile on their face and learn because they know their teachers love them.  For these students, the long summer months won’t be something to look forward to.  Being reminded each morning of the difference teachers make in the lives of their students, make me treasure the last few days with my precious children even more. 

Celebrating the End of the Year

A special awards day is the final celebration with my students and I try to make it as memorable as possible on a budget.  With a little help from Dollar Tree and some personalized awards, I am able to make a special day to be remembered.

End of the Year Student Gifts from Dollar Tree

I have created awards that can be personalized and matched to the each student.

End of the Year Student Awards ~ These awards are customizable for each student and come with a matching gift suggestion that can be purchased at Dollar Tree for only $1

I designed the awards so that I could match a gift from Dollar Tree to the award and present it along with the certificate to the child on Awards Day.

If you would like to try these awards in your classroom, I have made the fully customizable Perfect Attendance and Excellent Citizenship Awards available from FREE to use in your classroom.  You can download either of these awards by clicking on the image.

You can check out the complete set here.

End of the Year Student Awards ~ These awards are customizable for each student and come with a matching gift suggestion that can be purchased at Dollar Tree for only $1

Summer Reading Print and Go

As a reading specialist, I get to work with students from grades K-4 each day.  They have made such gains in reading this year that I want to do what I can to minimize the summer slide.  Over the last couple of weeks, my students took interest surveys from students in each grade level.  We researched new book and old favorites to find the best matches to their peers interest.  My students read summaries of each book, reviews from people who have read the book, and checked out the actual book.  Based on their findings, they helped me put together a suggested summer reading list.  This picture show a sampling of the books they selected.

I also created a fun Summer Reading Bingo to go along with the suggested Summer Reading List.  You can download both for FREE to use in your class by clicking on the image above.

Summer Reading Practice

I also wanted to share these great summer reading passages by ReadWorks that are available for free.  You will need to create an account to download the pack, but it is free to create an account.  This picture show all the articles and questions from students entering 3rd grade in the fall.  You can check out the other grade levels here.

Summer Reading for Rising 2nd Graders

Summer Reading for Rising 3rd Graders

Summer Reading for Rising 4th Graders

Summer Reading for Rising 5th Graders.

Looking for More Suggestions?

Teacher Bloggers from across the country are sharing other great tips for the End of the School Year.



  1. May 14 / 2:26 pm

    Lisa, I love the awards! And the summer reading is perfect! My students are completely obsessed with Fly Guy! Thank you for sharing your amazing ideas! I always learn something new from you! 🙂

  2. May 14 / 8:52 pm

    Wow! Fabulous ideas and freebies! Amen to your opening paragraph! We never know what these children go home to every day! I had a student say to me yesterday, "Why do we have to have summer break? I don't want to go on summer break." Breaks my heart because I know this child comes from a rough home.

  3. May 14 / 11:02 pm

    I absolutely love the idea of students choosing the books to add to your summer reading list!

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