Wednesday, July 6, 2016

End of the Year Student Gifts & Freebie

Hey guys!  I know I'm a little late with this, but I wanted to share what I gave my students as EOY gifts with you.

My first few years of teaching were spent in Pre-K and I would normally give my kiddos a "Summer Survival Kit" which would include things like workbooks for their next grade level, goggles, beach balls, water squirters, bubbles and sidewalk chalk all nicely packed inside of a beach bucket - shovel and all!

Now while that's all well and good, it was also very EXPENSIVE!  I still wanted to give my students something but I didn't want to spend a fortune doing it.  I also wanted to be sure that the gift I gave them would be something they could use more than once, not something that they would just throw out after a few days.  So, I thought to myself, what would be something useful that the kids can use during those hot summer days?  And then it hit me - water bottles!  I did some searching on Pinterest (of course) and I came across this pin from The Polka-dotted Teacher.  I opted not to give the kiddos the Kool-Aid packets, however.

First, I ordered these awesome water bottles from Dollar Tree.  They came in four bright colors and they were 30 to a case! Next, I needed to find a way to figure out what color water bottle my kids wanted without giving away the surprise.  So, I pulled up a blank PowerPoint slide and simply displayed the words "pink, blue, purple, green" on the SMART Board.  Then, I called the kids up one by one and asked them to look at the colors displayed on board and to list (just those colors) for me in order, from the one they like the most to the one they like the least.  I had a class list printed and ready to go, so when the kids listed their choices for me, I could just write them down next to their names.

Lastly, I printed out these adorable poems from Primary Peach and got to work on making my labels.  I used a hole puncher to punch a tiny hole in the label, then I used some ribbon to tie it around each water bottle.

When I got to work in the morning, I laid out the poems and water bottles on the kids' desks and just waited to see their reactions when they came in.

If you'd like to grab a copy of these labels for free, you can do so by clicking here.  I hope you've enjoyed this post and have found some of these ideas useful.

What do you give your students as End of the Year gifts?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Winner Wednesday! - July Edition

Hey guys!  I'm teaming up with Jennifer from A Dab of Glue Will Do and Sara from Sara J Creations for this month's Winner Wednesday link up.

What's Winner Wednesday, you ask?  It's a monthly link up where you can have a chance to win some amazing products and resources!  All you have to do is hop along through each of the blogs participating in this month's link up and enter for your chance to win.

This month, I'll be featuring a product that I've blogged about before - my 
I Rocked This Test! (A Test Taking Motivational Kit).  You can read all about how I used this with my fifth graders this year here.

This was my first year working in a grade level that took standardized tests.  You could tell my kiddos where a little stressed out, especially since they were taking the test just two days after returning from Spring Break.  I wanted to find a way to boost their confidence before the big day, so I searched for test taking strategies on Pinterest to see if I could find any ideas and I came across this anchor chart. Then, the kids and I made our own version of the anchor chart and hung it up.

We also made some mini versions of it for each of the kiddos to keep.

This next thing is what got the whole ball rolling on my Test Taking Motivational Kit. I wanted a way to really get their confidence levels up, so I created this form and assigned it for "homework". I wanted them to really reflect on what makes them so special and to see themselves how I see them - wonderful, kind, caring, funny and amazing!  I gave them two days to work on it and it was due the morning of the big test.  Sneaky, huh?

Lastly, when the big day finally arrived, I surprised them with some fun gift boxes for a little motivation.

I got the idea from this pin, then I went ahead and created my own labels and put my own little spin on it.  I went to Party City and picked up some adorable gift boxes. They came in so many different colors, but I settled on these four.

The kids were so excited about the gift boxes.  I really didn't expect much more than a "thank you" from them.  But, to my surprise, many of them brought their gift boxes every day of testing as their "lucky charms".  That made my little teacher heart melt!

This Motivational Test Taking Kit includes the "10 Reasons Why I'm Awesome" worksheet, the "Smarty Pants" labels, the "RELAX" testing strategies poster as well as some mini "RELAX" bookmarks for your students and much, much more!

Would you like a chance to win a free copy of this Motivational Test Taking Kit? All you have to do is enter your name and email address in the rafflecopter below. The winner will be emailed on Thursday morning.  Be sure to visit the other blogs that are participating in Winner Wednesday this month for your chance to score some more freebies!

So there you have it, folks!  I hope you've enjoyed reading about how I used the "I Rocked This Test!" set with my students.

Thanks for stopping by!
a Rafflecopter giveaway