With the end of the year upon us, it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to celebrate your kiddos and the amazing work they have done throughout the year. With some schools still participating in virtual or hybrid learning, how do you hold a meaningful and fun end-of-year award ceremony? While this can seem like a less than ideal situation, it is possible to have a really amazing celebration to recognize your students’ talents, personality, and growth. Today, I’m here to share a variety of options for holding a virtual end-of-year award ceremony that will be fun and memorable!
Pre-Planning Is A Must For Virtual End Of Year Award Ceremonies
If this is not your first year teaching, you already know how hectic the end of the year is. Planning an end-of-year award ceremony of any kind is something that requires some advance planning. Depending on how elaborate of a ceremony you’d like to have I suggest giving yourself 1-4 weeks of planning and prep time.
A few questions to ask yourself before you start planning your virtual award ceremony include:
- Will my award ceremony be streamed live or recorded and shared later?
- Will there be a theme for the virtual award ceremony?
- Should we invite parents and other relatives to the virtual ceremony?
- When and how long should the ceremony be?
- What activities will be included in the virtual award ceremony?
- What types of awards will I give to my students?
Once you have a few ideas nailed down it’s time to put together a special event that fits your grade level, class personality, and available time.
Believe it or not, there are supplies needed to pull off a successful end-of-year award ceremony. It’s better to get these supplies ahead of time. Your supply list will be determined by the type of virtual ceremony or activities you choose.
Possible supplies include:
- Award certificates for students
- Small gifts to give to students
- Background decorations for your virtual learning space
- Fun music
- Digital slideshow of your year and/or awards
- Email addresses of guests you are inviting
Making sure to have your supplies in order well ahead of time will help you feel more prepared and calm as the day approaches. This in turn will help you and your students enjoy the virtual award ceremony so much more.
Once you have your supplies all set and ready to go, it’s time to think about how you are going to get the awards or small gifts to your students on or before the virtual awards ceremony day. It’s best to check with your campus administration to see what they would prefer. Some schools are fine with teachers dropping off supplies for parents to pick up in the front office while others would prefer not to have parents coming into the school building. You may also consider doing a quick drop-off at their front door if you have the time to do so.
We all know how much our kiddos love surprises. Giving students a little surprise, gift, or award to open on the day of the award ceremony will help them feel recognized. You can plan to have students open their certificates when you present their award, or have everyone open them after a quick 3,2,1 countdown.
If you are unable to physically get the certificates or gifts to your students, consider using digital certificates. This will allow you to give awards in a no-contact way. Before or after the ceremony, you can email the certificates for the parents to print out.
No matter which option you choose, your students and their parents will know just how much you care. Your students will see how proud you are of them and all of their hard work. That’s the most important part!
Countdown To Your Virtual Award Ceremony Day
A week or so before the award ceremony, take some time to talk it up with your students. Get them excited and ready to participate in this fun experience with you and their classmates.
If you are inviting relatives besides parents, remind students to talk to them. You can even design a virtual invitation to email to parents and relatives in the weeks leading up to the award ceremony.
In the days leading up to the celebration, share some details with your students about expectations. While they may have been participating in virtual learning for some time, an awards ceremony can and should be a little different.
You may have more people in your virtual meeting than normal, so keeping everyone muted until it’s their turn to speak will be a necessity. Reminding your students to be respectful during the awards ceremony is important, too.
Virtual Award Ceremony Day
On the day of the award ceremony remind your students of the expectations. You can also go over any special activities that they should be aware of. Everyone will be excited and there’s sure to be a buzz in the air!
Make sure to have some kind of schedule to remind yourself to pace your time appropriately. If you are like me, a list is the way to go. If you are afraid of getting caught up in talking, you can also set alarm reminders on your phone or computer. Just be aware of the time you have available.
Prior to the awards ceremony, make sure you plan a break and time for your students to get up and move their bodies before the ceremony begins. This will make for a better experience for students and visitors alike.
When it’s time to start the awards ceremony, it’s important to take a minute to review the virtual expectations. This is especially important if you will have parents and other visitors in your meeting. Remind everyone how important it is to stay muted, keep distractions to a minimum, and clap or cheer when appropriate. With lots of parents or relatives in the meeting, you might even need to teach them how to mute themselves.
While a virtual award ceremony may seem not as fun or special, this doesn’t have to be true. With a little pre-planning and creative thinking, your students will be talking about how amazing the award ceremony was. Parents and relatives will also have fun if you include them in the day. Including relatives is something that can’t always happen. Out-of-town grandparents and relatives will love this special opportunity to participate!
Awards And Certificates
Be sure to check out my end of year awards! You’ll find a variety of options that work well with virtual and in-person award ceremonies. With everything from colorful digital awards, to editable printable awards, to awards that include a sweet candy treat, I’ve got you covered! You can find all of these End of the Year awards and certificates in my store.
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