Have you spent the last few nights scouring Pinterest for the perfect gift to celebrate your students’ successes this year? With the million and one things to do before the school year wraps up, you should choose sleep instead of pinning into the wee hours of the morning. Lucky for you, I found some thrifty (and educational!) ways to send your students into summer with a little love.
1. Sidewalk Chalk
A creative way to have students practice their writing, drawing, and problem-solving skills, chalk allows student to play countless games. From hopscotch to tic-tac-toe to hangman, the activities are endless.
Cost per student: 50 cents-$1
2. Reusable Water Bottle
A nifty, reusable water bottle encourages students to be active and stay hydrated during the summer. You can even fill the bottle with flavored water packets or snacks. Your students will be healthy and refreshed to start the new school year.
Cost per student: $1-$2
3. Word Cloud
Using free websites like Wordle, create a personalized word cloud for students. Take a favorite essay they’ve written this year or a heartwarming note they sent you and paste the text on the website. The frequently used words appear more prominently. You can pick funky-shaped clouds like an apple or a thumbs-up.
Cost per student: Free
4. Books and More Books
If you can part with any of your classroom library books, let each student choose a book to keep. I let my students select books from our take-home library, and they are thrilled to get to keep a piece of our classroom. If you don’t have books to spare, be sure to check discount bookstores, like Half Price Books, before spending big bucks.
Cost per student: Free-$2
5. Summer Journal
Write a personalized note to each student on the inside of the journals. You can even write prompts on pages to encourage your students to keep writing all summer. Can’t buy spiral or composition notebooks? Not a problem. Staple 10-20 sheets of paper together.
Cost per student: Free-$1
6. Keepsake Photo with Teacher
Take a photo with each of your students. Once you print them, write your favorite memory of each student, some words of encouragement, or your class motto on the back. You can even put some magnet tape on the back of the photo.
Cost per student: 15-50 cents
Just remember, no matter what you give your students, they will love it because it came from you.