Well, the countdown is on! And I am sure you know which countdown I mean...yes, the one to the end of the school year. Don't get me wrong. I love, love, love my peanuts. But I also love my summer time and getting to be an at home momma to my own baby. Being a teacher, for me, is the best of both mommy worlds. Now, I still have (a little under) a month to go...but I know some of you are talking days till your break begins. So I have teamed up with some of my blogging buddies to bring you this end of the year blog hop. Along the way you will find some fun tips, tricks, and freebies to help you end your year in a fun way!
Today I am going to be sharing two different ways that I celebrate the end of the year. One way that we celebrate is by having a 2nd grade end of the year cook out at a local park. The park happens to be within walking distance of our school and is free to use, so instead of asking students for admission money we assign each class a type of item to bring in. Since there are 3 sections of each grade level we usually do one sides, one paper products and condiments, and one deserts.
Then ,since we aren't paying for a bus, we supply hot dogs, buns, and drinks out of our 2nd grade account. We invite parents to come too and we usually get at least 1/3 of the parents who are able to come. It really is a great way to visit with our students and parents in a more relaxed fun setting than we normally get to.
This was my shopping cart full of hot dogs and buns for last year's picnic.
And me, manning one of the grills. Usually we have a parent who does this job, but last year it wound up being me!
The 2nd thing I have to share with you is the end of the year gift that I make for my kiddo's every year. This one does require some preplanning so it may be something you file away for next year.
I create mini photo albums of their time in 2nd grade.
Obviously in this picture their name is covered up.
I try to take a picture of at least one special event a month...although some months have 5 and some months have 1. I vary it between group shots, partners, and individual. I have a couple of pictures that I always take ( 1st day of school, last day of school, field trips), but every year it is a little bit different with what kinds of pictures I am taking.
This is what I do. I get those $1 photo albums that hold about 30 pictures at Walmart.
As the year goes along I try to do two things. Thing #1 is I try to buy the photo albums when I go grocery shopping so I am not scrambling to get 20+ at the last minute. Thing #2 is I try to print out a picture of each kid at least once a month, or every other month...so again, I am not trying to print a ton of pictures at the last minute. Walgreen's has great photo deals and I usually wait for one of those.
In the past I used scrapbook papers and stickers to decorate and hand wrote a little message about EACH picture. But last year, with my new found clip art and font knowledge I created them on the computer. SO.MUCH.EASIER!
These are just a couple of the examples of inserts I made for last years photo albums.
I wish I could show these to you a little more in depth but because of privacy issues I can't. I always get parents who compliment me on it and I have students who tell me 6-7 years later that they still have those memory books.
I send them in the mail to my students with a letter and a thank you note to their parents. My students love to get mail from me and even though it is money out of my own pocket, I know getting them in the mail makes them that much more special.
So those are my tips. I hope there was something that sparked your creativity...and if not, there is always the next stop! Go check out what Amna has to share over at Teach Two Reach