Sunday, April 18, 2010

Teacher Gifts

If you are via Kelly's Corner, welcome! When I saw this blog hop topic coming up, I KNEW I wanted to be sure and participate. I taught elementary school for 6 years before the birth of my first child. Now that Miss M is in kindergarten, it has been strange to be on the other side of the desk! Keep reading to learn more about the water bottle gift.

First off, the two major don'ts for teacher gifts: nothing that says #1 teacher or with an apple motif and no more coffee mugs....we have plenty and some teachers don't even like coffee! Some of my favorite gifts or ones fellow teachers have received:
  • One family asked my partner teacher a few of my favorite places to eat and they used her suggestions to get a gift card from one.
  • Target giftcard
  • gift certificate for a car wash/detail
  • handwritten note from one of my more difficult students
As the home room mother for Miss M's class, I am putting together a little thank you gift for her teacher from the entire class. The best parts: it's one of a kind, personal, AND only costs about $2!! Have you heard of Wordle? I posted about it here when I made some Christmas gifts. Basically, you type in words or phrases until a free program and Wordle creates a word cloud using the text. You can play around with the fonts, colors, and arrangements until you find one you like. Then print it out on glossy paper or card stock, trim to an 8 x 10, and frame. That's IT...couldn't be easier, could it? Two hints: to make any word larger (like the name) just type it several times. Also, use this ~ to connect text into a complete phrase. There is also a great FAQ page that answers most basic questions. It's hard to describe but makes a really special gift, so be sure to check it out!

I will send a letter home next week with each student, explaining what I am making. They will have 1 week to return the note with a phrase or words that either describe their teacher or something they liked about being in her class. Simpler and shorter phrases work best. I usually get unfinished wooden frames at the dollar store, paint it black and you are done! Hobby Lobby also has some cute wooden cutouts if you wanted to add a few on the frame. I don't know yet if I will do that or not - have to see how it turns out!

Now, back to to the water bottle. This easy gift is for other teachers and instructors in the, computer, music and the like. I saw the original idea here. Hers is much cuter but I managed to make a sample using materials I had on hand. I don't remember the exact price per bottle, but I will guess it was maybe 50 cents. I found both the water and mixes on sale. No exact directions to post - I think you can see from the picture how to construct it. I am sure some of you card making people would really make a cute one! Let me know...I would love to see them!

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