Here is the first thing parents saw when they entered our classroom. I didn't do much in terms of decorating, but I thought it still turned out cute and simple. I made stand-up signs (I'm pretty sure there is a term for these but for the life of me, I can't think of it!) using scrapbook paper. Whenever there are visitors coming to the classroom, I know there will be a point where someone will be talking to me and I won't be able to get away, so I made these signs to help with that problem. The signs in this photo just welcome parents and ask them to fix a plate for themselves and their child. We had our get-together right before lunch so the parents could each lunch with their child if they wanted, which explains the lack of food in the photo. :-)
Also included in the photo is a collage I made with all of my kiddos. All I used to make it were fingerpaint paper, fingerpaint, scraps of paper, a photo, and a frame. I saw it originally on Paint Cut Paste (Hers is far better!) as a gift for new mother/baby but later got the idea to do it with my kiddos about the school year. I had each of my students write what they loved about second grade on the scrap sheet of paper and sign their name to it. Yes, I originally had them write their memory on another sheet of paper before they wrote their final copy with a pen on the scrap paper. :-) Later, I called my kiddos over a few at a time to fingerpaint a blank sheet of paper, which I used as the background. I absolutely loved how this turned out! I plan to hang it in my classroom, and I hope to do one with each class I have. It's a special memento, and I know my kiddos each year will love looking at them. The parents loved it as well!
Here is a close-up of the collage. In case you're wondering about the large gap on the right side, I had a student who was absent while we made this, and I left a spot to add her memory later.
At the other side of the table was a box of DVDs. Every year I put together a slideshow/movie of all the pictures I have taken throughout the school year. I wish SO MUCH that I could share it with you! The kids and parents LOVE it. Each video lasts around ten minutes. I begin every video with a picture of each child. The photo includes their name, and I also record each child saying their name that I later add in with the photo. It's precious. The video then moves into different segments that include holidays, special events, subjects, etc. It concludes with a slow, kind of sad song and eventually two photos: 1)all the kiddos lined up facing me and it says "Look out Third Grade" and 2)all the kiddos running at the camera and it says "Here we come!" The video is my favorite moment of the school year.
During the get-together, the kiddos shared a snack with their parents while reading biographies they had written about each other. The event concluded with the first showing of our Second Grade DVD. There wasn't a dry eye left in the classroom when it was over. :-(
The next day, which was the last day of school, I handed out these simple End of Year Reminder Kits.
The kit includes simple items to remind the child of their time in second grade. It could work for any grade though. Some items include a seed to remind them of how much they have grown and a bookmark to remind them to read/always enjoy books, etc. I got the idea from Teaching Heart.
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