Wednesday, May 6, 2015

End of the Year Activities

It's May!

As you can see from our calendar, our month gets a little busy towards the end.
I need to make a card for Park Day, Awards Day, and Movie Day; because those aren't even on our calendar at the moment.
And we are also celebrating our last 2 birthdays this month.

Excuse the glare.
This monthly subway art usually sits on the cart outside my classroom.  But my school just finished TCAPs and we're getting ready for SAT-10, not us but the older kids, so everything in the  hallway with words had to be covered up, so I brought this cutie into my room to enjoy.
You can check out my monthly subway art set here.

And our plant buddies that I blogged about, here, are finally growing some hair! 
Yay, I didn't kill them.

Friday was also Ms. Kelly's last day.  We are blessed to have a university in my town.  So teachers in my county mentor practicum students and student teachers almost every semester.
Ms. Kelly was only with us a month, but is pretty awesome and we'll miss her.
These are the cute little goody bags she made for each of my kiddos!

And this is my goody bag!
She didn't know that I am a total snob when it comes to hand soap.  And the foaming kind from Bath and Body Works is the only kind I use.
And funnily enough, that's exactly what she gave me!

So that's what's been going on around my classroom.
Now, I thought I give a little glimpse of the end of the year projects we're working on.
First up are my Year End Books.
These are a huge project that lasts all year for me.
Each year I've put a little more thought and time into them and the results are definitely worth it.
A week or so ago, I blogged that I wasn't sure if I wanted to do my typical scrapbook style cover. 
I still love those covers, I've just used that format for 8 years and kind of wanted to go with something different for year 9.
So here they are!

I blogged about taking the pictures for my covers here.
They are based on a pin I found on Pinterest.
So I had the pictures, I just didn't know what kind of cover I wanted to make to display them.
Then, one day, a week or so ago, as I was checking out the seller updates on TpT, I found this set from Dancing Crayons Designs!
Those colors!
I knew right away that one of those fun colorful borders would be perfect for my covers.
I had originally wanted to use the funky frames that had all different colors (it's in one of the thumbnail images on the TpT product page).  Then as I was looking through the set, which is massive by the way, I saw that there were lots of funky frames in 2 color combinations.
So I thought it would be neat to use the same style frame for all my kids, but each child get a different color combination.
And I love the results.

I purposefully tried to choose colors I knew each student liked.

And this was way easier and less time consuming than my scrapbook version.
Scrapbook cover VS Printed cover
Scrapbook cover
  1. Choose scrapbook paper, trim scrapbook paper to fit front binder sleeve
  2. Print out student names and class info, cut out with wavy scissors
  3. Tape names and class info onto black construction paper, cut black construction paper with wavy scissors and leave a border.
  4. Tape names and class info onto scrapbook paper
  5. Tape photos onto black construction paper, cut black construction paper with wavy scissors leaving a border
  6. Tape photo onto scrapbook paper
Printed cover
  1. Choose frame, drag frame over to PowerPoint slide, drop onto PowerPoint slide
  2. Type in student names and classroom info (Actually I typed in one student name and classroom info once, then duplicated the page enough times for all my students, then went back and added frames to each slide, and changed names on each page)
  3. Print onto cardstock
  4. Tape pictures onto cardstock

I am in love with these covers!
Next up I had these pictures I took on the first day of school with a cute chalkboard idea I saw on pinterest.  I think the pin actually came from someone's blog, but I can't remember who and now I can't find the pin.
So I used another fabulous frame from the set I bought.
This border reminds me of Candyland!

I am still working on crafts and writing activities to add to our Year End Book for the May section.  But this little poem along with a picture will end up being the last page in the book.  I'm sure you've probably seen this poem before.  I didn't make it up, and I'm not sure who did.

Such a sweet poem!
I jazzed it up this year with a cute border from Graphics from the Pond.
At the top, I'll add a photo of me with each student.
But this has been very difficult because I keep having kids absent, so that has pushed back this project. Grr
Usually I have my assistant take a picture of me sitting in my rocking chair with each student sitting in my lap or standing beside me.
But once again, I want to switch things up this year.
So I was thinking of having the teacher/student photos taken on the playground.  Maybe we both sit on swings, or we're climbing the jungle gym, or slide down the slide side by side.  I don't know.
I'll post a finished page later.

And here we have the back cover of our Year End Book.
I usually just do an autograph page, but when we were taking the individual pictures with the chalk art, I thought it would be cute to take a group picture and put it on the back with the names.
I love how it turned out!
Another task I've been working on for the end of year is our awards.
These awards came from Mel-D's Seusstastic TpT store.  Check it out here.
I actually bought these awards over Christmas break and printed and filled them out over Spring break.  So they've been completed for awhile.
I printed them on fun colored cardstock.  I love this cardstock because it has different colors on each side.  So you get twice as many color choices.

I also laminated them.

Then we have these super cute certificates that our county's photography company made for us.  When they came for spring pictures back in March, we took spring individual pictures, a group picture, and these cap and gown pictures.
Getting 20 kids into caps and gowns in 20 min by myself was a bit stressful!  But we got it done.
So these 2 awards along with others that haven't arrived yet, Reading Olympics, Encore class awards, Principal awards, will be tucked down into a white envelope.
That way they are all kept together.

I even made these little labels on printable Avery shipping labels with each student's name and our class.

Once the awards are in their envelopes, they are tucked away until the awards program.
I still have a few more awards I have to add to the envelopes, so I keep them within easy reach.

The day before the program, I'll double check each envelope and make sure everything is in the correct place.  Then the morning of the program, I'll seal them.
Having all the awards together in one sealed envelope makes things go some much smoother at the awards program, because you don't have kids playing with their awards and papers dropping everywhere.

Before I place the awards in the envelopes I create a notecard for each student.
It includes their full name, their superlative award, their Reading Olympics award, and any additional awards they receive.  I use these notecards when I'm on the stage during our awards program so that I can read off everything a child received and not have to go digging through their envelope.
And yes, I used a black pen for all of their names, a purple pen for their superlative, a green pen for their Reading Olympics awards, and I'll use a red pen for the encore and principals awards.  I just like to keep things uniform.
That was a lot.
I guess we've been busy getting ready for the end.
But now I'm almost finished with my end of year list, and then I'll be able to sit back and enjoy my last few weeks with my kids while everyone else is making a mad dash to get things completed.
Yay for getting things done early!

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