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Sunday, May 6, 2012

End-of-the-Year Student Gift

I am so excited about this project! I finally found a meaningful, budget-friendly gift for my students at the end of the year that I know they'll just love.


Instructions:
 1. Give each student a copy of the class roster and a Positive Attributes sheet. (You can also use the Class List form included in the free download below – just change “Student” to the names in your class.)

2. Ask your students to write down one positive trait, adjective, or attribute for each person in the class. You can also include other staff as well, such as teaching assistants, student teachers, aides, special education staff, parent volunteers, etc.

3. Collect the papers and create a Wordle for each person at http://www.wordle.net. Type the student’s name in many times so it is the largest word, and then add the other attributes. The more times an attribute is added, the larger that word will be. Experiment with the font, layout, and colors. (I preferred the half horizontal/half vertical option, with "wild" colors. Also - the black background looks great on the computer, but will really eat up your ink, so I opted for white.)
 

4. Print a colorful Wordle for each student and frame it. (They had a ton at my local Dollar Store.)

 

Tips:

*Don’t reveal the purpose of the exercise – it makes the surprise at the end of the year better!

*Discussing the definition of a trait, quality, or attribute ahead of time helps. I encouraged my students to use their own ideas but had the Positive Attributes sheet as a reference in case they got stuck.

*This can also be done as a carousel walk, where each student puts their name at the top of their paper and then they rotate to each student’s sheet adding a word. This does make it easier to input the words. However, I was concerned that they would be influenced by what others wrote before them. It also wouldn't really be anonymous and they might not give an honest response.

FREE Download - Wordle Student Gift Guide

Do you have any traditions or send-offs for students at the end of the year, or suggestions for gifts that won't break your budget? I'd love to hear your ideas!

15 comments:

  1. Hi Corrina! I absolutely love this idea for an end of the year gift. So glad I found your blog. I, too, am a middle school language arts teacher. Happy to be your newest follower!
    Andrea

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    1. Hi Andrea - so glad that you like it! I started it today with my students and you could hear a pin drop for 20 minutes straight as they worked on adding positives for the rest of the class.
      ~Corrina
      (Following you, too!)

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  2. This is an AWESOME idea... I am your newest follower!

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    1. Thanks! I can't wait to see their faces when they get them at the end of the year. :-)
      Corrina
      (Following you now, too!)

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  3. Thanks, Mimi! I saw that you won the Honey Bunch Blog Design giveaway - awesome! They are doing the makeover for my blog here and I just saw the "Sneak Peek" yesterday and I'm so excited! You won't be disappointed - they do amazing work!

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  4. woooooow,it's a F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C IDEA,I'm gonna do it and pin it and save it!

    Thank you
    Lusine
    Enjoy Teaching English

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  5. Thanks, Lucine! I'd love to her how yours turned out!
    Corrina

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  6. I LOVE this idea! Thank you for sharing!

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  7. I, like the others before me, LOVE this idea! It is so hard to find/afford a special gift for each child and this is a wonderful, personalized treasure! I would have been tickled pink to get something like this from my teacher when I was in school! I hope you will check out my site as well....5thgradetomfoolery...and let me know what you think! I would love to share ideas with you! Teri

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Teri! The kids really loved them and my team had fun making them, too. And you're right - we spend so much of our own money of things throughout the year that it's nice to have something thoughtful AND inexpensive! Thanks for stopping by and please stop by my new blog sometime. I'm moving to 5th next year - yeah!!

      Corrina
      Mrs. Allen’s 5th Grade Files

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  8. This is a fantastic idea! Kids LOVE a personalized gift and it is one that they can hang up on their wall to promote self-esteem as well as one to keep as a keepsake. Thanks for providing your framework for creating them! I will definitely try this out next year. I usually do something similar just before Valentine's Day called, "Words From the Heart", but this is a wonderful alternative!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I really like your idea, too - now that I'll be in an elementary school I'm looking for more holiday ideas. Thanks for stopping by and please stop by my new blog sometime. I'm moving to 5th next year - yeah!!

      Corrina
      Mrs. Allen’s 5th Grade Files

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