End of the Year Survival with the ABC Countdown

Three students (two boys and a girl) are measuring the SMART board with a ruler at the end of the year.

​If you haven’t heard about the ABC Countdown before, it’s a fun way to count down to the end of the school year! The last 26 days of school are themed- one letter-themed day for each of the 26 days. You can make this as elaborate or as simple as you want/need! Also, this does not have to be an all day thing! Some of mine will only be 1 hour or so. While I didn’t do it this year (It’s been too crazy!), I’ve done it in years past and have loved it (so have the kids!).

I’ve included some ideas for each letter/day, and I bolded the days that I did last year, with some resources for my choices. Keep in mind, I’ve taught first and second grade, so the links below will best suit primary grades. If you like the theme that I picked for a day, feel free to use the same links. If you only like a handful of my days, use what you’d like! Hopefully this helps both teachers and students get through the end of the school year unscathed… 

These are all FREE resources that I found through TeachersPayTeachers.

​ABC Countdown

A- Art, Awards, Author, American, Addition

B- Beach, Books, Bingo, Buddy reading

C- Cookie, Camping, Crazy hair, Crazy socks, Character

  • Students wear mismatched socks or ones with unique designs! I’ll also let them take off their shoes while they’re in my room for added fun.

D- Drawing, Donut, Dress-up

E- Earth, Eric Carle, Extra recess, Exercise, Eat lunch in class, Experiment

  • I usually put on a show or movie from Youtube (like Magic School Bus), and have the class eat at their desks or choose seats next to their friends.

F- Finger painting, Favorite, Future, Fitness, Flashlight, Fruit

G- Game, Go Noodle

H- How-to, Helper, Hawaii

I- Ice pop, International, I (share about you), Indoor recess

J- Joke, Jersey, Jammie, Journal, Jelly beans

  • I’ll send a note home with the students saying parents may send their kids in PJs (either to change into or just wear all day). Some kids or parents won’t want to participate, but the class still loves to see their friends in sleepwear!

K- Kettle corn, Koo Koo Kangaroo, Kindness

L- Lollipop, Lights out, Letter, Legos, Lunch with teacher

  • Simply dim or completely turn off lights for the entire day! If it gets too dark, provide mini flashlights or open the blinds to let some light in- it still provides a great calming effect!

M- Music, Memory, Mismatch, Movie, Minute-to-win-it

N- Notes, Name, Number, Neon

O- Outside, Outrageous outfit, Origami

  • If your students already get recess daily, you could have them go out for an extra 15 minutes or so… or if they don’t go out (for whatever reason), this is a great excuse to let them play! If admin isn’t willing to accommodate, you can put on GoNoodle, do free choice centers, or do a nature walk.

P- Play-doh, Poetry, Picnic, Popcorn, Pajama

Q- Quiz, Quiet read, Question, QR code, Quiver, Quilt

  • This can be done multiple ways! Break the reading time down into 10-15 minute chunks spread out during the day (with plenty of movement in between), or have a long read-a-thon (hopefully by the end of the year, they’ll have a decent amount of stamina!)

R- Reading, Recess, Rainbow, Running, Rotation

S- Stuffed animal, Story time, STEM/Science, School spirit, Sports

T- Twin, Teacher, Time capsule, Treat, Toy, Tye dye

  • Teacher’s choice- or for an added bonus, student choice! Pizza, candy, snacks, ice cream, popsicles- whatever you have available or that can fit your budget. A treat can also mean a fun pencil with an eraser or something along those lines- this is a good one to get creative with!

U- USA, Used book, Under (desk), Uno, University, Unforgettable

V- Video, Vacation, Visitor

W- Water, Walk, Weather, Wacky, Watch a movie, Wild, Wild, West

  • If this one makes you weary, have the class vote on an educational movie! Check out your media center to see what may be available, and check out what’s online. Come up with a list your students can choose from.

X- X marks the spot, X & O (tic tac toe), eXtraordinary awards, eXtra fun, eXercise

Y- You (celebrate each kid), Yoga, Yarn, Year end (party)

Z- Zoo, Zero, Zoom out of school

  • I used this as an awards day with a timer to see how fast students can pack up and race to get in line for dismissal! (then afterward- lots of hugs, goodbyes, and well-wishes for a fun summer!)

​Have you ever done the ABC countdown? What are some of your favorite resources?

Check out my About page for links to my social media (including a teacher repost instagram!

Disclosure: This post has Amazon affiliate links- I’ll receive a small amount of money if you purchase through my link.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *