Kids Choice Awards

Happy End of the Year! I can't believe that it's finally here. It's been a long year, a really long year. It's been one of those years that I have learned a lot about myself and teaching! I wanted to end the year in a fun and exciting way. What better way to do that than with a celebration! To celebrate the end of the year my class hosted the Kids Choice Awards!

I've done this the last few years, and although it is a TON of work on my part, it is absolutely, completely, definitely worth every single second. The kids and their families have an amazing time. Their are lots of smiles, tears and laughter. Seriously, best way to end the year.

To begin, we go over each award so that everyone knows exactly what each award means. Then, my kids complete a voting sheet. I give them a list of all of their names and and a voting sheet. They go through and vote for each award while crossing names off their list.

Then, I get to tally up all the votes! While it might be much easier to just choose who I want to win each award, that's no fun! I love seeing who they vote for and it proves just how much of a community my classroom becomes over the course of the year!

Next, I send home an invitation to families! You don't have to invite families to this event, but I love including them! As a mom, I love being able to celebrate my kids' achievements and I know they won't always want me in their classroom. So, while they are little and love having their familes celebrate with them, I think it's important to invite them so that we can celebrate altogether!

When I first started doing this, a sweet teacher gave me this adorable script that goes along with the awards. While I've had to make some changes to fit the needs of my awards, I still use the idea! It takes a lot of work to figure out who has what line. I always make sure that the student presenting the award (and the next student to present an award) is not the winner. Once I have all the parts split up, students are given their lines to practice at school AND at home. To make it work, it really needs to be a home and school project!

We practice. And practice. And practice. And practice some more.

During all this practice time, I go ahead and make the programs and the slideshow. In the programs, I include the names of all the presenters and a letter to the families thanking them for a wonderful year. I also include a class picture! This year I didn't take as many pictures as I should have, so I created a "Second Grade Favorites" slideshow. I love how it turned out!

For the last minute preparations I make sure to thouroughly clean my classroom (I hate a messy classroom, just like a messy house) and decorate! This year I used a photo booth for the first time, and I just love how it came out! I also created a sign for my Smartboard and a sign to put on my white board!

At each child's desk, they have their own Star on the {Hollywood Walk of Fame} and a brochure for our program! 

On the day of the big event, students come to school in their movie star attire! I have the red carpet (red butcher paper) laid out and ready to go! They are so very excited!

I make sure to have all the certificates printed and put in the correct order of our script. I also have the winners names put into envelopes (just like a real awards show). This makes it fun and exciting for everyone!

After we finish giving out the awards, we watch the slideshow and celebrate our year with cake!

It's seriously one of my favorite days of the year, and such a great way to end the year! I promise you'll love it!

Happy Teaching!


How to {Tackle} the End of the Year!

Happy End of the Year! It's hard to believe that the end of the year is in sight. There is officially only 9 more days  (12 if you count post-planning) until I'm a stay at home mom for the summer! Definitely a perk of the job! As much as I love teaching, I love spending the summer with my own littles!

I don't know about your class, but my students are SO excited about summer! It's usually this time of year that I see the most behavior problems and the shift from learning to playing!  I wanted to share some of the things I do at the end of the year to keep my kids focused on learning and all those behavior problems kept to a minimum!

The first thing I do is plan FUN and engaging lessons! It's the end of the year- testing is over and everyone is excited! But, that does not mean that teaching and learning needs to end! I'm going to be honest, I'm just as ready for summer as the kids! So, it's important that I find lessons that I'm just as excited to teach as they are to learn!

I absolutely love doing some type of author study or novel study the last few weeks of school! In the past I've always done a Robert Munsch author study and used Amy Lemon's cute units, but this year I wanted something different! I decided to use Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I'm so glad that I did!

I look forward to reading chapters from the book each day, and I created some super cute activities to go along with the book! Not to mention, my students are absoultely LOVING it!

To go along with our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory unit, I created a new behavior incentive! My school is a PBIS school, so students have been earning tickets all year for good behavior. In my own classroom, students earn coins to use at our classroom store. However, for the last few weeks of school I needed something new to reinforce positive behavior.

Students have been earning Golden Tickets for {golden} behavior! During a morning meeting, I introduced the new behavior incentive and explained that students would be earning golden tickets to attend a Chocolate Factory in our classroom! As a class, we came up with the number of golden tickets that students would need to earn in order to attend. Some students thought 5 or 6 would be a good number and others thought 15-20 tickets was a good number. So, we agreed upon 10 tickets! I explained that in order to earn these tickets, students had to show {golden} behavior since it was the end of the year and I expected more from almost third graders. I sent a letter home to families explaining this new incentive and told them to ask their child each night how many tickets they have earned! So far, it's working great!

For the entire year, we've been doing math from 9:45am-11:00am, so why change that at the end of the year!? Kids love (and need) structure and for a lot of my students the structure in my classroom is probably the most structure they have in their little lives. So, it's important to keep that as long as I can! While math games are fun, they can also be chaotic! So, for this particular group of students I needed something fun and engaging, but also to keep the focus on learning! 

I found this amazing End of the Year Math Review from Briana Beverly and it has been a lifesaver! There are practice questions on Powerpoint to use a mini-lesson and then students are able to complete review questions independently or with a partner. It's been a great review of all the concepts we learned this year! 

I think it's always amazing to have something to look forward to! As much as I'm looking forward to summer (and I know my kids are too), I needed something in class to look forward to! Enter, the Kids Choice Awards! 

At the end of every year, I host the Kids Choice Awards in my classroom! For these awards, students are in charge of the voting! Each student gets a class list and a voting sheet and they choose who deserves each award! Then, I tally up all the votes and figure out who wins each award!

Next, comes the fun part! Students are given lines that they must memorize for our celebration. One of my former colleagues created the cutest little script for students to present their awards to each other! It takes a lot of work, but it's so worth it!

We invite our families, lay out the red carpet, and celebrate our year with the Kids Choice Awards! It's the absolute BEST way to end the year! I'll make sure to write a post all about how I do these awards in my classroom!

How do you tackle the end of the year in your classroom!?

Happy Teaching!


My Wish List for Next Year! A Linky Party!

I don't know about you, but I've already got next year on my mind! The to-do lists are starting and my wish-list is growing! One of my favorite things about teaching is that you get a fresh start each year. It's funny. When I first started teaching I was worried that I would get bored from year to year and truly thought that teaching the same grade level meant doing the same things. Boy, was I wrong!? Each of the last seven years have been completely different from each other, but one thing that stays the same is the fall always bring a fresh new start (and fun new things for my classroom).

I haven't shared exactly what I'll be doing next year, but I do know that I will be moving classrooms! I've been so fortunate to have been able to stay in the same room the last few years, but I am excited to be able to clean out and start fresh in a new classroom! My credit card will be getting a lot of use this summer!

One of my must-have items each year is a new teacher planner. The last few years I've used an Erin Condren teacher planner and absolutely LOVE it! But, this year I've been eying the Teacher Anchor from C. Jayne Teach. Chandra (it feels SO weird to type my own name) has created an absolutely AMAZING planner that truly looks like it will meet all my needs and make my teacher heart oh, so happy! 

If you haven't checked them out, I promise it's worth the look! Check out Chandra's website here

Next on my wish-list are items that are must-haves Every. Single. Year.

I mean seriously, Mr. Sketch markers, new dry erase markers, and a brand new pack of Flair pens have to be bought! Am I right!?

I'm not completely sure how I'm going to decorate my room for next year, but I do know that I have to get one of these cute little awnings from Schoolgirl Style! How cute are these!?

And last, but certainly not least, I've had my eye on these fun little pencils for awhile now! And, this summer I'm going to finally purchase one! The hard part is deciding which pattern to choose! They are all TOO cute!!

What is on your wish list for next year? Grab this image and link up below to share!