Sunday, May 22, 2016

Finish the End of the Year with a Bang: Kids Choice Awards

Happy End of the Year!!! You've {almost} made it to lazy days, pool parties, and cool cocktails! But, until then make sure you finish the year with a BANG!

We've been giving you tips and tricks for the month of May to make sure this happens, and today I'm here to share one of my most favorite events of the entire school! The Kids Choice Awards!

A few years ago, some teacher friends introduced me to this absolutely amazing event and since then I've been doing it every, single year! It requires some preparation, but it is worth every single second of work, I promise! The students run the entire thing, and parents absolutely LOVE it! You can easily alter it to fit the needs of your classroom, and make it only for students! But, I love inviting our families and making it a very special event!

To begin, we start with the voting process! We go over each award (there are thirty different choices) and discuss what they actually mean! Then, students are given a list of their classmates and a voting sheet. This is TOP SECRET! In my classroom, I put the offices up and make sure students don't even write their own name on their paper!

After all the students vote, I actually go through and tally up the winners. This process takes a minute, but I really love having my students choose who they think should win each award. And, I think they do a great job of choosing the students that really deserve each award. It always makes me proud of the community we have in our classroom and how much they really, truly get to know each other over the course of the school year!

After I've figured out who has won each award, I get started on choosing parts for the script! This part doesn't have to be completed and it takes lots and lots of practicing and rehearsing, but in my opinion it's completely worth it! I make sure to give students parts that are not close to when they actually receive their award, just make sure they aren't giving out their own award! This also keeps them engaged during the actual show because they have to get up at two different times!

Rehearsing also keeps us busy those last couple weeks of school! We practice at school and they practice at home. They are given a copy of their lines to keep at school and I send one home to practice for homework! I've done this with first AND second graders and it's very rare for a student to NOT learn their lines!

I send home invitations to student's families! I always print them on colored paper so they stand out and I save my colored ink for the actual awards!

Then, it's time to get ready for the show! I always have my students make their own version of a Hollywood star! Handprints, a star, and their name written with a silver sharpie is all it takes! 

You can easily line the hall with these to create your very own Hollywood! I always place them on students' desks so that their parents can see where their children sit! They make a nice decoration in our classroom! 

I also make sure to leave out plenty of brochures! This always makes a great keepsake for the parents and I always love having something to follow along with at any event! 
The BEST part of this whole event is watching my students hand out their awards to each other! After days and days of practicing, they are SO excited for the actual event and to finally see who has won each award! I hand each presenter an envelope and they open it up to see the winner, just a real awards show! 

Like I said earlier, there are 30 different awards! There really is an award for everyone and it's so much fun to see everyone cheer and clap for their friends! This year we had EVERYONE shouting out the name of the winner of the Best Sense of Humor Award before the name was pulled out! Everyone laughed when the presenter said his name! LOVE our sweet class and the community we've built this year! 

After we pass out all the awards, the hosts introduce our special movie! I always make sure to include a special slideshow of our year! Bring on the tears! What is it about pictures that always make you cry!? I use iPhoto to create my slideshow, but there are lots of different programs out there!

It's also a lot of fun to decorate the classroom! This year I added a {Photo Booth} which was a HUGE hit! Everyone loved getting their pictures taken! It was a great photo opportunity for friends, families and for the kids to get a picture taken with their teacher! I would HIGHLY recommend having some type of photo booth! 

My sweet husband built me this photo booth out of PVC pipe pieces and I ordered a backdrop and some fun photo props! It was SO much fun!! 

This really is one of those events that students will remember! I love having previous students come back and tell me how much they loved the Kids Choice Awards! There are plenty of smiles and some tears! 

I hope you have a FABULOUS end to your year!!! Make sure to end it with a BANG and then enjoy that sweet, sweet summer!

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