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School's Out for Summer Part 3: Celebrate Learning!


I have one more day left with my kiddos this school year! Man, it has been a fantastic year. Full of lots of energy, growth, firsts, and amazing activities!

I wanted to finish up my School's Out series with ways that we celebrate and remember our learning form the year!

Does your school do Awards Programs? We do! Each grade level invites parents and we present awards such as A Honor Roll, A/B Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance, Most Courteous Boy/Girl, Writing Award, Reading Award, and so on.

It's a really nice program, every student gets recognized, and the parents get to see the kiddos walk across that stage proudly!

Back in the classroom, we do our own little awards ceremony for Accelerated Reader and brag tags.


I look at alllllllllllllllllll the data that AR has compiled throughout the year and assign kids awards such as Most Quizzes Passed, Highest Passing Rate, Most Certifications Achieved, and things like that. 
I also make certificates for the most brag tags or the most books read according to our reading logs. The kids eat it up. Any time they get to brag about their accomplishments is a time they adore. 

Grab a set of these blank, editable AR certificate frames {HERE}.


I like to send my students off to summer with a a few fun gifts. 

I don't know about you, but I take an absurd amount of photographs throughout the year. Like, thousands. For a while, I just kept them in a file folder on my computer. Forever and ever. Now (for the past 6 years), I put them into slideshows burned onto DVDs for the kids to take home! Then I delete the pics from my computer and start the process all over again. :)



And I'm sorry, I know there are so many Mac lovers out there, but I am truly a PC girl (though Windows is starting to change that......) and I can't give up my PC and move onto Mac just yet. Unless Mac users can fix my problem as outlined below. Let me know!

Well, SOMEBODY at Windows 8 and 10 decided "Hey, let's build laptops with DVD burners, but not create any compatible software to help users create DVDs. They can just upload it to the Internet. They'll love it!"

Uh, NO. That's not a very smart idea. What's the point of my laptop having a DVD burner if I can't burn DVDs with any software??? I am a teacher and literally only use the burner once a year and refuse to purchase third party software. I promise I am looking into this issue and WILL find a way to utilize my burner. If anyone cares. 

But I digress....

Thankfully, my school district has yet to update my school laptop from Windows 7 so YAY!!  

I use Windows Essential Movie Maker (which is downloadable to any Windows running PC HERE)

It's super easy to work. Just upload your pictures. Add music. Use an AutoMovie Theme for auto transitions and cool effects. 


 It really is super easy to navigate. I then take the Mp4 to Windows DVD Maker and burn it. 
Again, that program is super easy to use, but you have to have it. There are a few free alternatives but I have not checked them out yet so I'm not going to recommend them yet. 

I used Avery Design and Print online and a premade template they had. I typed First Grade and 2015-2016 on the label, printed, and stuck to the DVD. 

I also uploaded the video to YouTube as UNLISTED. This means, only those with the link have access to it. I made the link into a QR code and taped it to the back of the DVD case. 


One of my favorite things to do is make these AMAZING Memory Books from A Year of Many Firsts.

One of my sweet little kiddos had some nice things to say!

I like to bind them using my Proclick binding machine. I make copies, front and back, punch the holes, and bind! I put a bright Astrobrights color as the back cover for that added POP!

Another thing I like to do is send home some fun stuff to do over the summer! Many times my parents will ask for extra work to keep up what they have learned throughout the year. No summer slide here!



This pack has math and phonics and reading! It's got everything and it's adorable!

Finally, I send home my summer fun finder flip book, done in purple and gold obviously! 

Well that's it! I thank you for reading along with me and I hope I gave you some great ideas! Have a happy summer!