Monday, August 28, 2017

End of Year Teacher Thank You Craft from the Whole Class

At the beginning of the last school year, I signed up to help with the end of year thank you craft for the teachers at my son's preschool.  I love doing crafts, surely I could come up with something fun to do with almost no budget.  We wanted to do something that would allow participation from the kids but also could be useful for the teachers.  The previous year, we made the teachers custom tote bags.  We ironed on a class photo with a sentence from each student "I love XX because..."  The teachers loved the bags, but I knew that I would need to come up with a new idea for this year.

I polled my friends who are elementary and preschool teachers, and they all had similar responses.  They all said that they appreciated cards and thank you notes more than any other gift.  They didn't need more mugs or picture frames to clutter their homes, but cards and pictures from students were things that they held onto.

The sample folder I made to share with other parents.  
Lucky's preschool has 5 classes with over 22 teachers, specialists, administrators and staff.  We wanted a project that would be simple to execute, inexpensive (so most of the money we collect can go to gift cards for the teachers), useful (not clutter),  and something the kids can participate in.  Simple, right?

When I came across a Thank You Flower Card, I knew that I found a winning idea.  We would let all of the kids decorate petals for their teachers, and then assemble them together onto simple file folders.  I always need more folders and personalized ones would be super fun and potentially useful.  Decorating the petals didn't take very long, and I quickly whipped up a sample to share with the parents.  I knew that if I needed to, I would be able to decorate all of them myself.


For the first petals, I folded a piece of construction paper in half and free cut a petal like shape.  This length was a bit too long for the file folder, so I trimmed down the edges to make the petals a bit shorter.   I used my hole punch to make a hole in the edge of the petals and secured them to the folder just about where the pocket ended.  

I planned to send home 5 petals with each student.  Most classrooms had 3-4 teachers and there were multiple specialists. The teachers helped distribute the petals in the kids backpacks.  Since I knew that some might get lost on the way home, we sent a petal template in an email to the parents.  This way, parents could create their own petals out of whatever they wanted.  

Since I already did the hard work of figuring out the petal size, here is a printable template of the flower petals.  This is the exact template that I emailed the parents of the preschool.  

When I was preparing to distribute the petals, I realized that I needed to make enough to send 5 petals to about 60 students.  I didn't want to count the petals as I was counting.  I weighed 25 petals and then used that to calculate the total weight of petals I would need for this project.  It worked great!  I stuffed the petals plus a simple instruction sheet into envelopes to go home with the kids.  

End of Year Teacher Appreciation Craft Instructions (This is what we sent home with the envelopes.  A longer explanation was sent to the parents via email.)  

  • Please decorate one side of one petal for each of your child’s teachers. (Draw a picture, write a note, etc). Please note that we will punch a hole near the pointy end when we assemble the flowers. The finished petals should be flat so please don’t use bumpy stickers or glue. Make sure to sign your child’s name on the petal! 
  • Please also write the teacher’s name on the back if their name isn’t part of the decoration. 
  • Return the petals to Rebecca Brown (Lucas’s Mom - Dubim) by MONDAY JUNE 5. 
  • Extra decorated petals are welcome for non-classroom teachers and staff.

While I waited for the petal submissions, I started decorating the folders for teachers.  I added their names to the top and "Thank you for helping our children grow!" on the inside pocket.  

Lucky had a blast decorating petals.  He even started making petals for teachers in other classrooms!  I was nervous that we wouldn't have enough petals submissions, but the students and parents delivered.  I was able to make flowers of at least 10 petals for each of the teachers and staff we wanted to thank.  (Some of the specialists that see every student had a lot of submissions.)

Finally, we finished off these cards by adding Amazon gift cards and handwritten thank you notes from the parents into each folder.   We presented these cards to the teachers at the end of year portfolio breakfast and they were so excited!

I'm so glad that this project worked well... and now I'm already thinking about next year.  What kind of projects have you done to thank teachers?

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