Virtual End of Year Ideas for Distance Learning
We all know that 2020 is going to go down in history as the WEIRDEST school year, ever. I know that for many of us, not being able to say our goodbyes is a difficult thing to swallow. If anything, it is even worse for our students. I’ve put this post together to give you some ideas on how to find closure in this school year and keep that last day of school exciting, even through a computer.
End of Year Awards Ceremony
I love giving end of year awards to my students. I think it’s a cute way to acknowledge their importance in our classroom and give them a little confidence boost before the summer. I find it is particularly meaningful for those students who are used to “not winning” to recognize that there are many non-academic traits that are important as well. There are a variety of ways to do this, but I’ve decided to host a virtual awards ceremony using Google Meet and my End of Year Awards resource. Essentially, you just plug in the names of your students, get on Google Meet (or Zoom), share your screen, click present and GO! The students will love hearing the drumroll and seeing the confetti POP over their name. Sending an invite over email or Google Classroom will also be sure to get the excitement up.
Click below for the links!
To follow up with your EOY Awards Ceremony, you can have the students stay online for a Virtual Party. You could give students a theme, ask them to bring a special drink or snack (perhaps coordinate with parents as well) and play a game as a class. Some game ideas I have loved are:
What’s In My Bag?
Teacher Kahoot (Who know’s the teacher best?)
2 Truths and a Lie
Who's that Baby Kahoot
To play 2 Truths and a Lie, get your students to fill out a Google Form where they type out two of their truths and one lie. Take the data you collect from the form and put it into a Kahoot where the “question” is the students name, and the answers are their Truths/Lie. The correct answer should be the LIE and that is what the class will try to guess.
Baby Kahoot would need parent participation, so you may want to gauge the involvement of your parent community before requesting this. If you do have a pretty involved set of parents, send out an email asking for one baby photo of the student in your class. This time when you create the Kahoot, you will use the photo as the “question” and different student names as answers. You could also do this more informally by creating a slideshow and just having the students guess.
This idea seems SO fun. There are a few other bloggers out there who have explained running a virtual talent show in more detail, so I will link those below if you’re interested. In short, have students choose to demonstrate a talent live (in a Google Meet) or you can have them send you video clips. If they are doing clips, you can just put the clips into a Google Slideshow and present them to the class at once, which realistically makes a lot more sense than relying on students to perform on the spot, over a computer.
End of Year Slideshow
If you are someone who takes a lot of pictures in your classroom, an End of Year Slideshow can be such a fun way to wrap up the year. Students LOVE looking back on memories, and I can imagine that this year they would feel particularly sentimental. It may be nice to include send off video clips from staff members that were part of your classroom as well (paras, EA’s, principal, etc.) if they are willing.
Songs to Include:
Time of Your Life: Green Day (classic)
Here Comes the Sun: The Beatles
Trendier Songs (listen first and decide if your they are appropriate for your class).
Jubel - Klingande
I’ll Wait - Kygo & Sasha Sloan
Laxed (Siren Beat) - Jawsh 685
Sunday Best - Surfaces
Whether the end of this year brings you sadness, confusion, relief, joy, or any combination of emotions, finding some closure with your class is a great way to finalize the year. I hope you are all staying healthy & positive and I hope these ideas help!