Presenting classroom superlatives at an end-of-year award ceremony is a fun way we teachers can show appreciation for our students and tell them how much we've enjoyed working with them. While recognizing serious achievement can be inspiring, recognizing students for their unique personalities and quirks can be a more lighthearted way to celebrate everyone in the class.
The key to giving out these fun awards is finding something unique about each of your students. A fun idea may be to allow the students to submit nominations for their peers (keep it PG, of course). Then, on the day of the award ceremony, students can find out who won for which category.
Classroom Superlative Award Categories
One of the most common ways to award a student is based on their academic or extracurricular activities. Awards such as "most improved" or "most valuable player" recognize hard work and dedication both inside and outside of the classroom. While this is an honorable way to pay tribute to students for their achievements, consider recognizing other attributes. The student who's always bargaining with you probably earned the "class negotiator" award, and the student who's always taking charge in class might deserve the "future teacher" award.
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I've found that the easiest way to come up with creative classroom superlatives is to have the students brainstorm ideas. They're the ones who know their peers the best, and they can come up some pretty hysterical options. When teaching in a fifth grade classroom, my students came up with the award for "most likely to be a cat lady" because one student not only had a lot of cats, but she also wore a lot of cat clothing and always drew cats on her papers. They also came up with the "most likely to be president" and the "best laugh" awards. In my experience, having the students choose the award categories makes it more fun for them.
Here are a few award ideas to inspire you and your class:
- Technology guru
- Spectacular speaker
- Best compliment giver
- Outstandingly organized
- Spunky spirit
- Most outrageous outfits
- Most inquisitive
- Class comedian
Creating the Awards
An easy way to create the awards is to search for an award template online or in Microsoft Word and then choose your favorite. Another option is using the website Certificate Magic. This site allows you to create a certificate in three easy steps: select your design, personalize, and download. I prefer using Certificate Magic because I think it's the easiest way to create an award. However, if you're feeling crafty, you can always make your own from scratch, or you can give your students actual awards, like plaques or trophies.
End-of-Year Award Ceremony
Now it's time to hand out your classroom superlatives at the end-of-the-year award ceremony. Many teachers like to make a big deal out of it and invite parents. Some even like to roll out the red carpet and have students get dressed up and have the option to give a speech when they accept their award. Other teachers choose to hold a more intimate ceremony with just the students and a few refreshments. How you choose to structure your ceremony is ultimately up to you. I like creating a full day of fun that honors and recognizes my students.
The options for creating meaningful and entertaining classroom superlatives are endless. All students deserve to be rewarded for something, so why not honor your students based on their unique personalities?