Tuesday, June 21, 2011

End of the Year Gifts

It was so sad to say goodbye to my students on the last day of school last Thursday! I loved this group. I was fortunate enough to have many of these students not once, but twice. They were in my very first Young 5's class 3 years ago.

I put together a special gift for them at the end of the year. I wish I would have gotten a picture of it, but I forgot with the last day madness! Hopefully you can envision it...

I started with a sand pail from The Dollar Tree. I filled it with 3 laminated, bound books: one of our Snazzy Snack recipes from the year, one for them to do summer journaling in, and one was a Memory Book in which they wrote about their memories from 2nd grade. Next, they got a pencil that read "Have a Super Summer!" (to use with their journal, of course). :) After that they found a beach ball that read, "Hope you have a ball this summer".

Then came the gift I was most excited about: a DVD that I made for them. I used iMovie on my Mac to compile pictures and video clips I had taken throughout the year. I set them to music and created a 14 minute long DVD displaying our memories from September to June. We watched it on the last day, and I don't think there was a dry eye in the classroom at one point! We were all getting pretty emotional as the end of the day drew closer. You can see the movie by visiting my Vimeo page at the link below.

The last thing that I put in their sand pail was an idea from my amazing mom! She is a professional baker/cake decorator, and she came up with the idea. The book worm cookies were ADORABLE!!! Use the link below to learn about it. :)

I had a student on the last day of school bring their postcard BACK about an hour after he left for the day. (I was still there packing up my classroom...ugh.) He was so excited to get the postcard back to me that he ran right home and read 3 books so he could return it. Pretty sweet, huh? :)


Jennifer said...

I loved your end of the year video. I can see why everyone got so teary-eyed! It made me miss my kiddos from this past of the year so much! Great job!

I also loved the video of your kiddos doing the Phonics Dance! I use it in my classroom too and love it! I saw that you have some kind of visual of it on your smartboard or activboard that your kids refer to during the hunks and chunks chants. It looked awesome! Did you make this or know where I might find it? That would be so helpful in the classroom!


Amanda said...

Hi Jennifer! I love the Phonics Dance! We have so much fun with it. I actually made the SmartBoard slides with each hunk/chunk. I am happy to email you a copy if you'd like. Just post your email address here!

Jennifer said...

I would LOVE your smart board slides! :) Thank you so much for offering to send them.


Mrs. Lamb said...

I was just thinking about your site the other night! I didn't know you had a blog! yay-always great ideas

Miss Erin said...

Hi Amanda,

I am about to take on my first year of teaching and I will be working with some fabulous second graders. The is random but I didn't know how to contact you any other way. I stumbled upon your blog from Mrs. Winstons website.

I was wondering if you could go into more detail about your writers workshop. Such as what the other kids are doing while you conference, where do you get ideas for a new thing to teach daily, do you give the students a time limit to work on a story, etc. Sorry if this is random and I missed the explanation to all of this somewhere but I am in love with the idea. Also do you think this is a good thing a first year teacher could do or would it be too much to handle?

Thanks for your time!!! Erin

Sheena said...

What a wonderful, memorable gift!

Learning in 2nd Grade

Devin said...

Hi Amanda! I love your site and blog! I use a Star/Hollywood theme in my second grade classroom too. I know this is random, but I was wondering if you could email me the label template you used for your book boxes... They are super cute.

Allison @ Room Mom 101 said...

I just came across your blog for the 1st time and must say that the title of your blog is what caught my attention. Super cute. After looking through some of your posts, I noticed your post on the golden spatula. In case you haven't noticed, the idea is now linked up all over Pinterest! I will be adding your blog to my list of 2nd grade blogs on my sidebar, even though I am a 1st grade teacher. Thanks!


Elizabeth Goold said...

I love the idea of the Snazzy Snacks. What recipes did you use? I would love to do this during this school year!

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