It’s always a surreal moment to realize that your class is graduating and moving forward; this was especially the case for me since my seven pre-k students were my first class I taught for a full academic year. If you don’t already know me, I love love LOVE to make goody bags for any sort of events (outreach, socials, etc.). As a token of my love and appreciation to the students, I made them a “small” gift to say goodbye and congratulations on their preschool graduation.
For reference, majority of my ideas came from Pinterest (You can follow me here)! Being that I had 7 students, I tried to buy my items in bulk, usually in packs of 3, 4 or 8, which was often difficult to find because a lot of things came in packs of 6. I also printed/cut/paste a lot of the items myself, and I used construction paper from work. Majority of the items I bought were from Dollar Tree, Walmart, Target, Michaels and Joanns. It also helps having a teacher discount. 😉 I also gave myself a budget of about $10 per student, so I tried to spend within a $50-$70 range.
First off, I had a bunch of stationary items that I like to collect from the $1 section at Target, so I picked out 7 different cards to write a short letter tailored to each student. There’s usually a pack of 8 cards for $1, which was perfect. On the left side, I included a generic letter to each parent from an outline that I found online; I changed it a little bit to my preferences. I typed it up and pasted it on construction paper, then stapled it into the left side of each note. Here it is below:
It was such a blessing to have your son/daughter in my classroom this year! Together, we learned so many things 🙂 They are now a few more pounds, a few inches taller, and months wiser, more responsible, and more mature than when they first arrived. Even though they would have grown without my help, it has been such a privilege to see their personalities flourish every day, and watch them develop socially, emotionally, mentally, and intellectually. S/he has enriched my life in his/her own blissful way, and I only hope that I have done the same to theirs. I will always have great interest in [NAME]’s future, wherever it may be, and I am sure that s/he will maximize his/her full potential in all of his/her life aspirations. Again, thank you so much for the opportunity to grow with your son/daughter.
On the right side, I handwritten each student a short letter. I started off with an opening sentence, such as:
- NAME has continued to have a great academic year.
- It has been such a pleasure having the opportunity to work with NAME during his/her Pre-K year.
- NAME has continued to have an excellent academic year in Pre-K.
Then, I used the sandwich method and wrote three positive attributes, three areas for improvement, and then another positive statement of how the student is a role model in our class. Here are some examples:
- NAME is a role model for our class with his/her kind, caring and affectionate character.
- NAME is a role model for our class with his/her charisma, friendliness and use of positive reinforcement with his/her peers.
- NAME is a role model for our class with his/her exceptional work ethic and strong interest in learning.
Then, I ended each letter with a closing statement, such as:
- I am so proud of all of your accomplishments, and I wish you the best of luck in Kindergarten!
- I am so proud with all of what you have accomplished. Keep up the wonderful things you are doing in Kindergarten!
- You are an amazing student and I am sure you will continue to shine in Kindergarten!
They were basically personal evaluations of their progress in my class, and I used the following 2 websites for tips on what to write for their letters: Scholastic.com and EducationWorld.com.
Every time I made goody bags for my students, I always include a pencil in respect to the occasion (Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, birthdays, etc). I bought a pack of 8 pencils from the Dollar Tree and typed out my students names. I used different adjectives to describe them based on the letters in their names, pasted it on construction paper, and attached it to the pencils. This was such a simple, yet cute gift I had to include.
You can find the details of my Survival Kit For Life graduation gift to my students in this blog post.
I loved this idea of bubble sticks and it was well within my budget. I got the tags from SparklingInSecondGrade! I bought a pack of Bubble Sticks, 6ct from Walmart for $3.88, and luckily they sold individual ones for $1! So I was able to get 7 bubble sticks for $4.88.
I already had an assortment of chocolate from Target, but for reference, I love to use the MARS Chocolate Caramel Variety Mix, which is $10.49 at Target. I also already had goldfish crackers at home, but you can buy them in bulk at Walmart for $4.98. I cannot find where I got the tag from, but I will update this section once I do! I had just cut and stapled them onto the top of the baggies; I didn’t think adding construction paper was needed.
I was going to include a “Have a BALL this summer!” tag, but I totally spaced and forgot to make it. I did find this awesome bookworm tag on Pinterest, but I can’t find it either (I’ll have to update this too)! I spent $1 per beach ball from Walmart, and I ordered two different books from my work’s Scholastics Book Club for each student.
To put it all together, I got summer pails from the $1 Section from Target, which also came with a cute shovel! I used tissue paper that I already had to hide the contents inside, which made it more exciting for my students to take out the items one by one. Altogether, I spent about $60 which was within my budget. Watching their graduation ceremony and taking pictures with them was a very precious moment for me. I truly hope my present was something my students would be able to cherish and continue to remember in the future.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a reply below!