Ideas to end your school year:
Make an autograph book and have each student sign it. They can also include their favorite book they read this year.
Plan a pot luck where each student brings a small dish to share.
Have students bring in a T-shirt that other students can sign their name on.
Have a pinata party and fill it with pencils. Wrap a piece of paper around each pencil that lists the books you recommend them to read over the summer. Of course you might want to add some candy to it as well.
Have students come dressed as their favorite character from a book they read this year. Other classmates can play 20 questions to guess the name of the character.
Write an end of the year goodbye sentence which has as many words in it as there are students in your class. For instance if there are 23 students in your class then you would write a goodbye message that has 23 words. Give each student a strip of paper with one word on it and see if they can collectively arrange themselves in the order of the sentence. This will be a very busy and loud activity. For a challenge, tell your students they can't talk while they figure out the message.
Have students sit in a circle and each person tells the high and low point of their year.
Each student draws a name of a classmate out of a hat. They write a positive message or compliment to this student on an 8x11 piece of paper. They can also decorate it with colors or pictures. Then each student turns it over and designs a jigsaw puzzle on the back. Cut out the puzzle,and put the pieces of the puzzle in an envelope with the classmate's name on it. Each student can then put the puzzle together and read the message.
Play the human knot game. Get in a circle and stand shoulder to shoulder. One person reaches out and holds another person's hand. Keep going until each person holds two other people's hand. Try to untangle so everyone in the group ends up holding hands in a circle.
Take 8.5 x11 paper and have each student write a note on it to the students a grade below about things they can look forward to in the next grade. Roll up each piece of paper and put a ribbon around it to secure it. Place all the rolled up paper in a decorated bag and give it to the teacher in the grade below. This is especially effective if every class does it.
Have students create one slide for a power point presentation that captures their favorite memory from the year. Then on the last day you can show the power point slide show. You can also have each student create a "thank-you" to someone who made a difference to them during the year.
Get a roll of paper that is long enough to have each student in your class make a hand-print. Put several different acrylic paint colors in pie tins or something that is big enough for students to place their hand in. Write in bold letters "Some things you will enjoy in Mr.______, or Ms______ class. Then each student puts their hand-print on the sheet of paper with a note about what the next class can look forward to. Now you don't have to worry about your bulletin board for the beginning of the year!