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It’s the end of the year, the emotions are at an all-time high, you need to say goodbye to the little learners with who by this point you will have shared so many memories. What better way than to indulge the end of the year awards to bid them farewell and celebrate their learning experiences and achievement before they start their journey anew in the coming year. In our opinion, the best way to end the year is when your students can gleefully celebrate their graduation and are ecstatic to join their next grade.
While most schools these days tend to give away yearly achievement awards in the auditorium. No doubt, serious achievement awards give recognition and inspire students to strive for better. They don’t exactly celebrate the personal quirks and abilities that you as a teacher may have seen in your students across the year. This calls for conducting a superlative award ceremony in the classroom before the main school ceremony.
What is a superlative award ceremony? It’s a category that gives recognition to the auxiliary achievements and attributes of students. It’s a wonderful way of saying goodbye to your students and helps them keep a memoir from the times they spent in your class.
Now you may be wondering, what exactly do superlative awards encompass. Well, they are limited only by your and your students’ imagination. For example, a viable award can be ‘class negotiator’, which can go to someone who has been known to bargain for others and you throughout the school year. Another example could be the ‘class jester’, which goes to someone who made other people laugh. These awards don’t necessarily need to be comic, you can even have more prudent awards such as the most ‘diligent student’ or ‘student of the year’.
We’ll list down some more to provide you a count to start with:
- Bizarre Outfit
- Fashion Icon
- Class Leader
- Outstandingly Organized
- Tech guru
- Care Giver
- Future Teacher
- The Scientist
MAKING END OF THE YEAR CLASSROOM AWARDS
Now that you know what superlative awards are, you may want to prepare them. To this end, you can either tackle deciding the award alone or have the whole class participate in giving ideas. Of course, they don’t need to know who will get what award just yet. For the awards themselves, you can either go for the standard printed certificate format or make them more personal by creating them yourself or with the class. As an example, you could make small hats out of chart paper and decorate them with the award titles written on them in vibrant colors.
DECIDING THE END OF THE YEAR AWARDEES
While making the award you may have a general idea of who should get what award, but as teachers, we can often miss some subtle student idiosyncrasies that peers are better aware of. So why not turn the award ceremony into nominations and let the students vote who should get what award. You choose the nominees, and the students will choose the awardee. This can be a fun way of involving everyone in the celebration and helps in leaving a lasting impression on the student.
THE INCLASS END OF THE YEAR CEREMONY
Now that you have created the awards and you have your list of nominees or awardees. You need to decide what kind of ceremony you prefer. You can either go all out and invite parents over or you have the option to make it personal, roll out the red carpets ask students to be dressed for the occasions, and even have them give small speeches when they accept a reward. You can put a small refreshments bar on the side where students can drink juice or take snacks from to make the ceremony a more fun affair.
CELEBRATING BETWEEN THE SUPERLATIVE AND SCHOOL CEREMONY
Often, times you may be done with your in-class ceremony and will have some waiting time until the students are called to the auditorium for the official end of the year awards and recognition ceremony. Instead of sitting idly, why not partake in some fun activities.
Memory or Reflection Activities
You can ask students to write down their favorite memory of the year and you can discuss why they had so much fun with it. Alternatively, students can also write down the things they loved most about their school year. It can be friends, a trip they went to a particular teacher, etc.
Another activity before the final ceremony is discussing future goals. You can sit down with all the students in a circle and ask them what they want to be and why they want to be that. You might find some surprising answers.
You don’t necessarily need to sit down to spend the time. Why not put on some music and have some good old-fashioned dance-off. Make a playlist out of your student’s favorite songs and enjoy the remaining time while moving yourself to the rhythm.
A thoughtful activity that can help students keep a memoir for the days to come is the autograph activity. Let students know to either bring a notebook or shirt or any other viable object that other students can sign and write a few words about. Give your students a little time to get each other’s autographs and maybe you can get their autographs as well!
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
How you spend the end of year awards and recognition ceremony is ultimately up to you. Creating a day full of fun and giving out honors and celebrating the students’ achievements and quirks are by far one of the more ambitious and fun ways to wrap up the year. All students deserve praise and rewards and we are here to make sure they get what we are meant to deliver.