The end of the school year marks a milestone for students and teachers alike, who are ready for a break. Year-end celebrations deserve to be memorable, and distributing awards is an inspiring way to observe achievements that have occurred during your time together. Rather than focusing solely on academic achievements, however, award students in a variety of areas so no one feels left out.
Academic awards can be given in each subject the class studied during the year. Titles can include Math Whiz, Radical Reader, the Mad Scientist, Voracious Vocabulary, Happy Historian, Stellar Speller, Grammar Guru, Astronomy Star and Literature Leader. Recognizing academic achievement is an effective way to inspire hard work and honor those who have put forth exhaustive effort in their studies.
Personality awards are a cheerful way to recognize the characteristics of your students. Class Clown for the boy who kept the class in stitches, Truly Talkative for the girl with a lot to say on every topic, The Joker for the kid with the best jokes and The Game Show Host for the boy who asked endless questions. Always keep these lighthearted and focus on positive personality traits. Never give an award that might be construed as negative.
These awards are encouraging to students. Even if they did not completely master the topic or turn out to be at the top of the class, the fact that they worked hard should be noticed. Awards such as Extraordinary Effort for the boy who never gave up, The Survivor to the girl who was always up for a challenge and The Mountaineer for the boy who kept climbing to new academic peaks are appropriate to recognize effort over ability.
Social skills are equally as important as academic ability. These are for the kids that possess innate people skills: They work and play well with others, assist you without being asked, encourage their fellow students and possess composure beyond their years when interacting with others. Some awards you can bestow in this category include Team Player for the girl who was always willing to pitch in, Helpful Hannah or Helpful Henry for a boy or girl who sees a job and does it, Super Citizen for those who always get along well with others, Fabulous Friend to the boy who always treats everyone well and Miss Manners to the girl who always uses a napkin and never chews with her mouth open.
- award ribbons2 image by Clarence Alford from Fotolia.com