It’s official.  The end of the year checklist magically made its appearance in my mailbox.  Summer is just around the corner! 

Image Courtesy of Chiara Mattirolo, USAG Livorno Public Affairs

Image Courtesy of Chiara Mattirolo, USAG Livorno Public Affairs

As I wrap up these last few weeks, I have to remind myself to focus on what matters most (and it’s not checking off the empty boxes).

The kids have made incredible strides this year.  I need to make sure they realize it.  I need to make sure they soar on into second grade feeling capable and confident for the next adventure.

One small way I support this is through the use of end of the year awards.  Here are some ideas to ensure that your classroom awards assembly is a fun, positive, and rewarding experience for all.

A few quick tips:

  • Avoid superlative words:  Try to steer clear of words like most, best, or greatest.  Our goal is to highlight excellent traits, not hurt other children’s feelings or demotivate in any way.  We know they can be pretty sensitive at times.                                        
  • Pick controllable traits:  Highlight classroom traits that the students have some control over rather than physical traits.  What special characteristics can you highlight that aid learning?
  • Describe special traits with specifics:  Providing specific feedback will not only help the children understand what they specifically did to earn special recognition, but it will be treasured by parents for years to come as well.

Here is a homemade certificate that can be manipulated as you see fit, along with 50 ideas of classroom traits that can be celebrated.

EOY Special Trait Award

If you can’t edit the online PDF, please download and open with your Adobe Reader.

1) Aspiring Author
2) Math Whiz
3) Bookworm
4) Perfect Penmanship
5) Social Studies King/Queen
6) Mad Scientist
7) Sight Word Wizard
8) Kindness Counts
9) Honest Abe
10) Inventive and Imaginative
11) Busy Bee
12) Simply Sweet
13) Brave Irene
14) Friendly Friend
15) Confident Kid
16) Super Studious
17) People Person
18) Chapter Book Champ
19) Poised Participator
20) Sharing is Caring
21) Right Hand Man
22) Right Hand Woman
23) Enthusiastic Learner
24) Outstandingly Organized
25) Curious George
26) Spunky Spirit
27) Wise and Witty
28) Superb Speller
29) Ray of Sunshine
30) Helping Hand
31) Lovely Listener
32) Mr. Manners
33) Miss Manners
34) Sportsmanship
35) Friendly Neighbor
36) Amazing Artist
37) Handwriting Hero
38) Technology Guru
39) Attention to Detail
40) Morning Person
41) Peace Maker
42) Awesome Attitude
43) Healthy Habits
44) Collaborative Kid
45) Really Responsible
46) Homework Hero
47) Chore Champ
48) Team Leader
49) Spectacular Speaker
50) Stick-to-itivess

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