Tomorrow is our schools Kindergarten Celebration Day, which means it’s the last Wednesday of the 2018-2019 school year! I can’t believe how it’s flown by! The excitement for summer is palpable in our school building, and especially in kindergarten! And with the end of the year comes my end of the school year student gifts!
My first year teaching I didn’t really do an end of the school year gift specifically from me to my students, but the past two I have, and this year was no different. There are so many amazing gifts to give your students, but I just stick to my summer buckets! Here’s a picture!
These are very simple, and perhaps overboard, but being in a Title 1 school with students who don’t have much, I enjoy spending my money on them to give them a little joy in the summer. What’s included? Lots of things!! I start with the Dollar Tree sand buckets. This year I ordered a set of 15 reader books from Scholastic for really good price and gave each student one. I’ve always wanted to do a Word Art picture for the kids, but I knew if I did that it would be too much money for me plus the buckets, so I did the next best thing. I made Word Art bookmarks! I found some positive character trait lists and used those to select a few words for each student. Then I designed them in a Word Art processor, printed them out in color, laminated them, hole punched a hole at the top and slipped some ribbon through and voila! A personalized bookmark for each student from their teacher! I love this idea!
My substitute parapro was amazing this year and she offered to purchase things for the buckets. She went to ReallyGoodStuff.com and ordered the small bubbles, sunglasses, and water squirters. Each kid gets 3 of those! I had forgotten that I told her to get bubbles, so I ended up getting some at the Dollar Tree. But to kindergarteners-you can never have enough bubbles! So I through them in anyway.
A fellow teacher had a lot of watercolor palettes and gave them to me. I remembered I had them and hadn’t used them, so I stuck those in the buckets as well! All I had to do was buy the brushes from the Dollar Tree. Last but not least was the tubes of M&M’s. You can never go wrong with chocolate (unless you have a student who’s allergic, which thankfully I don’t this year), so in went this yummy treat!
Yes, this is a lot. Yes, it did cost us both some money. Will it be worth it tomorrow? Totally. Will I do it again next year? Probably! Unless something else amazing comes along, and then I’ll let y’all know!
In case you have a paraprofessional graduating college or a student teacher and you’re wondering what end of the year or graduation gift to give them, here’s my suggestion: a teacher bucket! I received one of these when I student taught my last year in college. I was in the 5th grade classroom from pre-planning to the last day of school. As a graduation gift, the entire class pitched in and donated a huge bucket’s worth of office supplies, read aloud books, art supplies, and teaching supplies. It was amazing and touched me deeply! So ever since then that’s what I have done for my two para’s (teacher aids if you were wondering) who have graduated college with their teaching degrees.
Dollar Tree to the rescue again! The Dollar Tree has some amazing office supplies and teacher supplies. Since I don’t know what grade she will be teaching, I stuck to the basics: things like sticky notes, hi-lighters, markers, pens, pencils, sanitizer, crayons, chocolates and candies, paper clips, notepads, etc. A family donated a large teacher bag and my substitute para donated the adorable apple shirt (made by my fellow kindergarten teacher across the hall!).
I hope this gives you some ideas for your end of the year gifts. Thanks for reading!