Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thirsty? Grab a Drink to Give as a Gift!

Since my last post included a pop bottle, I thought I would continue on with the pop theme.  Here are some more gift suggestions including pop (or soda, depending on where you live!)

First of all I have to send a shout out to one of my college friends, Adrianne, who is the author of Cog Works.  Not only did she provide you with FREE printables for parent volunteer gifts, but some of these could even be adapted to become a teacher thank you gift.  Thanks Adrianne for sharing!

Make a tag that reads:  "My teacher is AWesome!"  and attach to the top of an A&W 6 pack or liter bottle.
Source:  My Mix of 6

"You're the apple of my eye" and other catchy sayings to attach to (non-pop)drinks from Darling Doodles.  Soda pop tags can also be found HERE.  Oh and can I just say, she has the greatest ideas for gift baskets for all occasions!?!  I will definitely be visiting her site the next time I am in need of giving a gift!!

Even though this next one isn't pop, it's close enough.  I wish I knew where this idea came from, but I found it on Pinterest without a link back to the source. :(  Let me know if you know where to find this idea so I can give credit.  Anyway, judging from the picture, I would say to fill a cello bag with lemon flavored items such as Minute Maid pink lemonade, Lemon Heads, lemon drops, crystal lite packets, lemonade flavored bubble gum, etc. and attach a tag saying: "When life hands you LEMONS, make lemonade!"

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sticky Pop

What a clever and useful teacher gift idea!  Sticky pop!
Take an empty, clean pop bottle and cut a slit down one side.  Stuff glue sticks and Easter grass (as filler) into the bottle.  Cover up the slit by wrapping a label around the pop bottle and you have yourself a simple teacher appreciation gift.

This great idea comes from The Organized Parent.

Here's another stuffed pop bottle idea from Cricut.  Think of all the fun things you could put inside!
I'm thinking about how much fun my kids would have giving something like this to their friends for their birthday or Christmas gifts!  Too cute.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gifts (for coaches, secretaries and parent helpers)

Judging from the title of this post, I hope I haven't left anyone out!  Whew!  What a mouth full!!  In case you aren't aware, today is secretary appreciation day.  Don't worry I am posting this in the morning so you still have time to get something together.  This year I decided to make a class book for each of my elementary school's 2 secretaries.  The pages in the book say:  "I think you're a great secretary because you __________ ."  I was a little nervous of the first grader's responses! :)  Here are a few samples:
...are funny and really nice.

...give us cookies.
I also included a little treat (Skor candy bar) with a tag that read:  "Our school really SKORed when we got you for a secretary!"  My daughter who is in middle school wanted to take some to her school's secretaries too.  Nothing like showin' a little love!
My same daughter recently completed her basketball season.  The season lasted forever and her coaches were both super cute.  Both coaches are young moms and with the hours of time they spent coaching games, driving to games and attending practices, we wanted to do something to show how much we appreciated their willingness to help out.  I came across this teacher gift idea thru Simply Savvy, and decided to change it up a bit to make it more coach friendly.  A few changes in the words, and wa-la:

 I grabbed two clear plastic paint cans from Michael's craft store for $2.00 each and filled them with candy (as labeled on the tag). 
Last, but definitely not least, I made my parent volunteer some thank you gifts.  This idea comes from Event Trender.  Put a green apple and jar of homemade dip in a clear cello bag, add a tag and hopefully it gets the message across of just how much I have loved and appreciated my parent volunteers this year!
See?  I told you...amazing helpers...9 to be exact!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Recent Spelling Activities

I thought I would take a break from my teacher appreciation door decoration posts to fill you in on what spelling activities we have been working on in my first grade classroom.  Recently my grade covered the OU/OW words.  I grabbed this activity from Babbling Abby at The Inspired Apple.  Where do I start with her?  Her talents totally inspire me to become a better teacher!
My kids wrote an OU and an OW sentence and illustrated each (as seen above).  I made a cow and mouse poster, which are now displayed in my room for the students to refer to.  Later in the week, I had my kids write about a time they got an OWie.  Trust me when I say that EVERY child has a story about that!! 
The kids enjoyed writing their stories, but even more so, they loved illustrating their hurt bodies and putting a band-aid on their owies.  I am going to have to stock up on cute band-aids just for this writing activity!
I didn't use this "My ouch story" paper, but it definitely a cute one to use! 
You can grab a copy of the paper at What the Teacher Wants.

Here are a couple of Owie stories from my students:

 And here are all of them, proudly displayed on the hallway bulletin board.
I came across these perfect little posters (via Differentiation Station) to reinforce R-controlled words (OR, AR and IR/ER/UR).  This is just one of the 3 posters, so head on over to grab all 3 for your classroom.
I printed them out, backed them with construction paper (to add more color), laminated and have all 3 currently hanging in my classroom.  I can't tell you how often I see my students looking at these as a reminder of how to spell a word.
Last week our words were "double o" words.  As spelling practice one day, we used Froot Loops for the OO's. 

 You can grab your free copy from First Grade Wow.

I told the kids if they were able to all get 100% on our spelling test, we would celebrate by having a cOOkie & bOOk party! 

Put the word party with anything, and the kids get excited.  Apparently this trick worked, because EVERY SINGLE STUDENT got 100%!!  I was so proud of them!
I found these "You are one SMART cookie on TpT for $1.00 if you are interested, otherwise I am sure you could create your own little sign.
This time of year I find to be the hardest because the kids are all so ready for summer and things get a little crazy!  With that being said, this time of the year is also my FAVORITE as far as what my kids are capable of doing and what we teach.  I will be sad to let these cute kids go in a month, but for now we are still learning while squeezing a little fun in too!

Monday, April 23, 2012

To the BEARY best teacher!

Here are 2 examples of how you could incorporate bears to your teacher appreciation door.
"__________ is the BEARY best teacher!"

You could add the students' names to die cut bears or even a head shot of each student.  If you wanted to add a treat, you could glue on some cinnamon bears, gummy bears or even Teddy Grahams.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fish Themed Doors For Teacher Appreciation

"Mrs. Moon's School is cool!"
Use die cut fish to write each student's name on.
This door is a little blurry, but it reads:
"We think you are the greatest!  From all your little fish in the sea."
This door involves the students.  They choose a fish to decorate as they wish and then it is added to the door.
"Thank you for helping us swim through the deep waters!"
Fishing for FUN!  This wall display, which could be adapted to a door, looks as though it was created for an office staff.  I love the 3-D fish suspended in the air!
"What a great catch!"
To be honest with you, I 'm not so sure about the phrase on this door, which reads:  "Little fish, big blue sea", but I LOVE the 3-D look of all the elements added.  Check out the sand bucket in the bottom left corner and the streamers that could be used as seaweed.  Super cute!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Extra, Extra, Great Teacher Appreciation Doors!

Keeping with the Teacher Appreciation Door theme, here are a couple of EXTRA ideas...sorry, bad joke!
We think you're EXTRA cool!  (Attach pieces of Extra gum to the door.  I love how there is tin foil on the top and bottom of the door to represent a piece of gum.)
Using the same EXTRA word, you could do a door that reads:
"Thank you for going the extra mile!"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebrating Volunteers and Teachers

As the end of school is right around the corner, two very important weeks are coming up: April 15th starts National Volunteer Week in the U.S. and May 7th starts Teacher Appreciation Week.  I'm pleased to share that my friends at are celebrating your good work with a
$500 Do Good sweepstakes and Starbucks gift card giveaway. 
You can win for yourself and for your favorite school! (Must be 18 to enter. Promotion is U.S. and Canada only.) 

About VolunteerSpot:
VolunteerSpot saves time (and stress) and makes it easy to organize teachers, parents and volunteers with
FREE online signup sheets and volunteer scheduling.

Save time and plan all your end-of school activities online (without frustrating reply-all email chains!)!

Simply organize
  • Special events like field day, carnivals, and graduation 
  • End-of-school parties
  • Field trip chaperones and supplies
  • Club tournaments, concessions and swim meets
  • Library, recess, garden and cafeteria volunteers
With all you’ve got to do in the last few months of school – get more help with less stress from VolunteerSpot.
Don’t forget! Enter the VolunteerSpot Do Good Sweepstakes NOW for a chance to win Starbucks gifts for you and cash for your favorite school!

Happy Planning and Happy Volunteer & Teacher Appreciation Weeks!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Candy Themed Door Decorations

Holy cow!  Has a month already passed since I have been on here?!?  Yikes!  I guess that can only mean one must be spring!May 7 - 11 marks Teacher Appreciation week and since that is a little less than a month away, I thought I would start getting some ideas out there, starting with door decorations.  I will also be posting some gift ideas for parent volunteers and teachers in the weeks to come, so check back for more ideas!  For now though, the pictures of doors I have to share are from talented volunteers from my school or pictures that have been e-mailed to me.  If I have a source, I will make sure to include a link.  If you have a picture of a door that you have done or one from your school, and you would like it to be shared with others, please feel free to send me an e-mail too so that I may feature you! 

You're A Life Saver!  Tape or glue individually wrapped life savers to the door.
 Mrs./Mr. ________'s class are the flavors of the rainbow.  Attach rainbow circles to the door with a picture of each student inside of a circle.
 Many & Many Thanks! (M&M's)
 Thank you for helping us become SMARTIES!