1-2-3 Come Make A Keepsake With Me!
A super-fun project I like to do with my students at the end of the year I call "Sweet Summer Dreamin' Pillowcases."
Just about every month we have practiced the art of stamping something with a foam stamp.
I have collected them through out the years to use for our science units. They make fun art projects and are great for math extensions as well.
My Y5's self-esteem is also built, because the process is quite easy and the results are simply smashing. They pat paint on a foam stamp and then press it onto paper and a lovely print of something is left.
They make beautiful collages, paintings and patterns and are really quiet proud of their projects. In the process, they have become quite skilled at this technique.
Instead of doing an autograph book, I thought it would be fun for my students to autograph a pillowcase that they have stamped with all of the various foam stamps, depicting everything they have studied throughout the year. This makes a wonderful keepsake for them.
I send a letter home to parents asking them to send in a plain, light-colored pillowcase and ask if they would be able to volunteer to help. I've found that having 4 helpers makes the process go faster and stay organized, but I've done it with only one daddy as well.
One year I asked several 5th graders if they could come and help during their study hour when I was short on parents and they worked well with the little ones too. I chose students who had also been my Y5 students, so that made it extra fun as they even remembered doing the project when they were little!
I do this project on the floor in our entry hall atrium so that the children can spread out. Be sure and lay plastic or paper down in case of spills. There are very few, but The Dollar Store plastic tablecloths make clean up a breeze. I put 5 children in a row and made a large square.
Insert a piece of tag board (I recycle them each year) inside of their pillow case so that the paint does not bleed through. I write their name in large print on the edge of their pillowcase.
I buy primary and pastel colors of the acrylic permanent paints that are only .59 cents at a hobby/craft store and spill a dollop of one color on a paper plate.
That paper plate, a foam brush and a stamp is given to a helper who pats the paint on the stamp and hands it to a child, they press that stamp anywhere on their pillowcase, lift it straight up and then wait for the next stamp.
We rotate all of of the stamps in this assembly-line fashion, until everyone has done every stamp and used every color. This takes about 45 minutes if I have help. Afterwards, the children go wash up and go outside for recess with several of the parents.
When they come back in, the paint is dry. We flip the pillowcases over and everyone is given a permanent marker. I have 10 different colors. I remind children that they cannot rest the markers on the pillowcase as they will start to bleed into the material and run.
I also tell them that it is hard to write on fabric so that they need to hold the fabric taught. I demonstrate this as I "autograph" a pillowcase.
Everyone signs their own pillowcase first, then they stand up when they are done so that I can see when everyone is finished; when everyone is standing, they move to the next pillowcase and sign their name; when they are done, they stand up again.
We do this until they are back to their own pillowcase and have signed everyone's. Make sure you remind them that they are writing THEIR name and "autographing" each other's pillowcases. I had one little guy who was trying to write each person's name on the pillowcases instead of his own!
In the beginning I had the children sign the fronts of the pillowcases where the stamps were, then a mom thought it would look nicer, since the children wrote so big, to sign the backs! I've done it that way ever since. I don't paint the backs of the pillowcases, because the paint is scratchy when it dries.
I type up a little note about washing directions which reads: When your child brings their pillowcase home, turn it inside out and toss in the dryer on high. This will set the paint. Wash in cold water on your gentle cycle, for years of wear. Sleep on the side that is not painted. I hope you enjoy your sweet summer dreamin' pillowcase and that it helps you to remember all of the fun we had learning in young fives with all of these wonderful friends!
Some years I had one or two children who were absent. Because I did this "assembly line process" it was easy to lay out the missing child's pillowcase and simply stamp theirs too. I've gotten lots of positive feedback over the years about this project, and my students absolutely loved making their pillowcases. A plain white or pastel colored T-shirt would also work.
That's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. It's a beautiful sunshine-filled day, with a refreshing spring breeze. The perfect weather to work in my flower garden. Wishing you a relaxing day filled with memorable moments.
"I am grateful. My life isn't perfect, but I am grateful for the perfect moments that make it special. " -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Make A T-Shirt With Me
Because it's very versatile, I'm especially excited to post this latest FREEBIE for some end-of-the-year fun.
As I was designing the "T"-'rrific Memory Book packet, I thought, with a few tweaks this can also be used as a self-esteem builder, for your "fill a bucket" activites too.
Students choose a T-shirt and matching cover, sign their name at the top and glue their photo to the pocket.
Children pass their booklet to another child, who writes a compliment (why that person is terrific) and continue passing, 'til everyone has signed everybody's booklet.
If you're looking for a Father's Day activity, or you have grandparent's come visit at the end or beginning of the year, you can fill the blank in with My Dad is "T"-'rrific or use the other blank template for My Grandparents are "T"-'rrific. Students write why they think so on the blank pages.
If you like to have lots of interesting writing practice for back-to-school week, as icebreakers to get to know your new students, use the My Summer was "T"-'rrific template. These would be cute displayed on a clothesline, along a wall and hung up with clothespins!
Any option you choose is pretty easy-breezy. Run the T-shirt pattern and covers off on a variety of colors of construction paper. (Make sure the cover matches the T-shirt so they blend.)
For even more pizzazz, use scrapbook paper! You can also buy a 50-sheet pack of printed paper (they have lots of options like tie dye, rainbow and animal prints, which would also be cool).
Students choose one, trim their pages, collate and staple their booklet to the front of their T-shirt so that it flips open. Adding a school photo gives it that finishing touch.
I'd take a few days to make the memory book. To ensure quality, students can work on 1 or 2 pages each day. (Great for Daily 5)
I've included color templates as well as black and white to save ink, but also because I think it's even more of a keepsake if kiddos do the coloring.
There's a blank template for you to write a note to your students. You can print the templates and write a personal note to each one, or if you're pressed for time, write a generic note to everyone, sign and run off. To make it more personal, write the student's name at the top.
To help you out, I searched for some sweet teacher comments and found a variety of poems by unknown authors. I revamped them a bit and included two options for you to include if you want.
Click on the link to view/download the versatile "T"-'rrific Writing Prompt Craftivity Packet. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
If you're a frequent visitor to the TeachWithMe blog, you know I like to end with some sort of quote that pertains to the topic.
While surfing I found this sweet one from Winnie The Pooh. Hope you enjoy it too!
1-2-3 Come Build Self-Esteem With Me
"Filling buckets" seems to have really caught on in a lot of schools. I know we have this program in our school as well. The idea is to encourage positive behavior. Children catch on fast and see how easy and rewarding it is to express sincere kindness, appreciation, and love on a daily basis.
With that in mind, I wanted to think up a quick and easy end-of-the-year "bucket filler" so to speak, that would help promote a child's self-esteem. Thus the Classmate Compliment Cat Craftivity was born. (Try to say that tongue twister three times!)
Run off the lined paper pattern. Students accordion fold it following the lines. This provides wonderful fine motor practice. Students color and glue their cat to the top of the folded paper.
Pass out a different color marker/pencil to each student. Children pass their "compliment cat" to another child to write something nice about about them on one of the accordion-folded sections.
They continue passing 'til everyone has signed something on every child's cat, finally ending up with their own.
So students get a special compliment from their teacher, make sure you are part of the signing, Add the finishing touch by having students glue a piece of colorful bulletin board boarder to the top.
Give students time to read the nice things their classmates had to say about them, then have children accordion fold their papers back up and fasten with a paperclip to take home.
Skip refolding and let the compliments dangle; display them on a bulletin board, (cover with paw print wrapping paper) or hang in a long row on a hallway wall. Your caption could be "A purr-fect way to end our day." or "'Paws"ing To Write."
The packet also includes a bookmark that you can pass out to everyone after they have completed their projects.
Click on the link to view/download the Classmate Compliments Cat Craftivity packet.
Finally, if you're new to the "Fill A Bucket" idea and would like to add this to your teaching bag of tricks, click on the link for a sweet "Fill A Bucket" song by the Learning Station.
This link has all of the Fill A Bucket books for children, with some free resources, coloring pages, puzzles, and activities.
My personal favorite is their alphabetical bucket filling checklist.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. If you're looking for more end-of-the-year activities, click on the link to zip on over to that section of my site.
Blessing to you and yours, today and always!