18 days...and counting

So we are 18 student-days away from Summer Vacation...but who's really counting (LOL, we are in my classroom!)

Last year at the end of the year I was packing up my classroom and school in preparation for our students, staff, and school stuff being moved to a new building over the summer.  Although we were all very excited, I was not able to do a lot of the fun things I like to do with my students because everything needed to be clean, packed and on ON PALLETS that last day of school!  WHEW!

So this year, I am making up for it!  I found this fun Summer Countdown idea on one of the blogs I love...I can not find it now, so if this was your idea, please let me know!  I want to give credit where credit is deserved.

So first I decided to make this a 10-day count down, with the last day of school (technically the 11th day of the count down) being a special summer sendoff gift from me.  After about a week of brainstorming here is my list of surprises:

These surprises will be separated, folded, and placed in a blown-up, numbered balloon with fun confetti to be popped at the beginning of each school day as we count down to Summer Break.  Many of these surprises do not cost money :) some do cost a little though... but I think my students will just LOVE this, and what better end-of-the-year memory then daily surprises!

Quick descriptions of each surprise:
1. Bubblegum and Books: each student will get one piece of Bubblegum (flavors will be available to choose from) and we will take our books outside to read to self and blow bubbles!  At the end of our time we will have a bubble blowing contest! Cost...$5.00

2. Sidewalk Chalk: Students get 20 - 30 minutes to decorate the sidewalks and blacktop in the back of our school.  Cost...well I have chalk left over from last year, so free for me this year!

3. Tape Ball: click the link for this genius idea!  I can't WAIT for this one!  Cost: $10 for candy and tape.

4. Make your own Ice Cream: students will each make their own ice cream in a baggie :)  Science experiment/procedure/following direction activity all in one!  Cost: I have most of the stuff at home, but will need to buy half and half along with some toppings, so $10+

5. Use markers ALLLLLL day:  students get to use markers for all writing, drawing, math...everything they would usually use a pencil for :)  THEY WILL LOVE THIS  because I am pretty stingy with marker use :)  Cost: FREE!  Students have their own markers in their desks!

6. Paper airplane contest: two months ago in our Force and Motion unit we made paper airplanes for one of the activities and my students wanted so badly for just play with them.  I gave them some time to throw them around and just have fun so designing, decorating and flying their own paper airplanes should be a hit!  Maybe there will even be a prize for the best decorated airplane!  Cost: FREE!  Paper and decorating materials can be found in the classroom!

7. Lunch in the Classroom + a movie: YAY!!!  I have already asked my wonderful principal for permission to bring my students back to the classroom for lunch and she is A-OK with it!  Last year, at our old school, we have lunch in the classroom everyday, but at our new school we have a lunch room, so eating in the classroom should be a special surprise :)  Cost: FREE! I will miss out on my duty-free lunch time, but eating with the kids for a day will be fun :)

8. Bubble Party:  Each student will get a container of bubble to blow bubbles galore!  Maybe we can have a bubble blowing contest with these kind of bubbles, too!  Cost: $10 - 20  hopefully I can find small bubble containers or packs at a good price!

9. Desk Switch:  Basically students get to sit where ever they want in the classroom for the day.  They get to sit next to whoever they want to :)  Cost: FREE!

10. Guest Reader + Surprise:  my wonderful dad has come to my classroom once a week to read with my students all year (this is his 3rd year doing this!).  He helps me track student fluency throughout the year.  I am so thankful for this as it frees up so much of my time to focus on other reading skills at the same time.  My dad wants to come in and read to my class and bring them popsicles as a thank you for reading with him and a congratulations for improving so much throughout 2nd grade.  Cost: Free for me!

11. Have a KOOL summer (last day of school):  I will bring Kool-aide packets, crazy straws, and colorful cups for a last day of school treat!  Cost: $10 - 15

Some of these surprises will be weather dependent so the order may switch around a little.  I can't wait to start this countdown!  I will post pictures and updates as it begins!

If you would like the PDF document with the countdown slips send me a message with your email address and I would be happy to send it your way!


  1. I am new to this blogging thing, couldn't find your email address. Can you send me the pdf. amerrwet@hotmail.com

  2. Hi there Sarah - I just found you and am your newest follower. I know how fun it is to gain followers in the beginning. :o) I love Mystery Readers...have been doing it for about 5 years now. The kids do love it so much! Look forward to seeing what you are up to.
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

  3. Love these ideas and would love the pdf. Enjoy you site and all your great ides.
    Thanks so much,

  4. I would love this document, please! eliza.f.miller@gmail.com

    Thank you in advance!