First of all, after four years of trying to get a class of my own, I wanted a special way to remember them. I did not want the typical class photo with students signing the matte... mostly because I already have one of those from my student teaching class. As I was wasting time, I mean "researching," on Pinterest, I came across these gems for my favorite team... the San Antonio Spurs!
And then I got to thinking. I am pretty sure, I have worn one of my five pairs of TOMS at least 3 days every week of this year. I find TOMS to be some of the most comfortable shoes to teach in. I have them in lots of colors to match with just about every outfit and am affectionately known as the TOMS teacher. So, I thought, what better momento to have of my first class, than student-designed TOMS? I ordered a pair of white TOMS and bought some fabric markers. I used these. I would definitely recommend thin-tipped ones.
My students this year are amazing artists, so I held a contest to design the TOMS toes. I chose two winners and let them draw their designs on my shoes. Then I had every student in the class sign around the sides. I am in love with how they turned out! I wore them on spirit day and got so many compliments! I don't think I will wear them too often because I don't want to ruin them, but I know I will have these for many years to come!
Now, for student momentos, I went with another fantastic idea I found while pinning. My classroom theme is the beach, so this beach ball idea was perfect. On the last day, I will let students write their own names large on one section and then sign each other's beach balls with Sharpies. I can't wait to see their excitement!
Finally, I wanted to give them a useable end-of-the-year gift. I definitely want to encourage summer reading, so I thought a fun bookmark would be perfect. I know you have probably seen this gem floating around Pinterest.
They are listed as being great for a Mother's Day gift, and I agree. But I also think the students will love to read using themselves as the bookmark. I decided to try it. I erased my whiteboard and used that as the background for the photos. I had students pose with their arms over their head as if they were holding on to something. Some got really into it with faces and everything. Then I printed out their photos on 4x6 photo paper and cut out their shapes (this was the crazy time-consuming part, but my own children helped out a lot). I laminated each one to make them stronger and used a small hole puncher to make a hole on the hands. Finally I added a string to the top (I used embroidery thread since my daughter has a ton of that from making friendship bracelets).
Come on, summer! I can taste that frosty adult beverage now.