Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to School Gift for Students - Cheap! Plus a FREE Download to Make It



Grab this template and more by clicking the collage above.

I love to give things to people.  I always have fabulous ideas for things I would like to give or make for all of the people in my life, but there is always this one thing stopping me:  money!   Everything seems to cost so much and sometimes even a tiny project can end up costing an arm and a leg (plus, if you know me or have been following my blog, you know that I am somewhat frugal in my ways). 
So, naturally, I love to give "things" to my students, but there are usually about 20 of them so it is difficult and, unfortunately, just doesn't happen a lot unless I have stocked up at an after-christmas 75% off sale for non-holiday items (which I do, by the way).  But, once in awhile I will come across something in bulk that is really cheap (yes, like the bouncy balls) or like these that I found 18 for a whopping $1.00 at the Dollar Tree:
To us, these are just cheap little capsules that turn into something in the water, but, to children, these are MAGICAL little beans that magically evolve into a wondrous creature and, for the moment, they are in love with the idea (and believing that their kindergarten teacher must be a little magical, too).
But, since I can't do anything simple and I could never just toss a little capsule in the students' Welcome Back to School Packet.
So, I created this (click on the picture and you can have it from Google Docs, too!)
Then I copied it onto some colored copy paper I had on hand and used double sided tape to attach the capsules next to the arrow.

And am now ready to "pack" the Welcome Back to School Packets for all my new little loves.
You can barely see it, but the little baggie on the left is the Jitter Glitter!  It is so fun!  These items may seem useless and silly to some, but, since many kindergarten children have a difficult time meeting a stranger (me!) for the first time, these are tools that provide as an ice breaker conversation with each child. 
"Is that Jitter Glitter I see in your hair? Look, I have it in mine, too."
"What color was your magic capsule?"
"What came out of yours?  I had a blue monkey!"
Before you know it, they are trusting me and ready to break free from their mommas and come with the crazy monkey lady!  Believe it or not, part of this packet is to ease the parents minds, too, remembering that, for many, this is their child's first structured, full-time setting away from home.  It might help parents feel that I must be okay if I take the time to send their child a special packet in the summer and they see, right off the bat, that I am willing to go the extra mile for their child.  Right now, it's fun stuff, but, eventually that follows suit with their child's academics as well!

14 comments:

  1. What cute ideas!! I love the description of yourself as "the crazy monkey lady!"

    Baggy Trousers at A Crucial Week In The Life of an NQT

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  2. Well, that's what I am! I have always said you have to be at least a little crazy to teach Ks! :) Thanks for commenting, I love to read them...it makes me know that someone out there is reading my little blog!

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  3. Krissy,
    I love this idea. I hope you don't mind if I "borrow" it for my beginning of the year. I will be visiting the Dollar Store very soon. Thank you,
    Sue Lattea
    www.arainbowofteaching.blogspot.com

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  4. You really have some great ideas! Your kids are going to love them all!

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  5. Love this idea. Can you tell me a little more about the jitter glitter and what you include? We don't have an open house but I'd like to adapt this to the first day of school.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Sue, That is exactly why I share my ideas here-- for people to use them! I did happen to come up with this one on my own, BUT, normally, I get ideas from other teachers and just adjust them to fit my needs/class.
    Kerri, Jitter Glitter is a poem about having "jitters" before the 1st day of school and putting "jitter glitter" on your pillow will supposedly allow you to get a good night sleep! I sprinkle some in my hair, too, so that the kids know I used some, too! I'm posting that poem on Google Docs later for you guys, if you want it.

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  7. Hi...can you tell me more about what your school does for KinderCamp? That seems like a neat idea to meet the students before school begins. How does that work?

    Laura
    http://laura-armstrong-martinez.blogspot.com/

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  8. Laura, Our KinderCamp used to be 5 half days, then 3, and has gone down to 2 this year. I use it as my first day of school, especially if all children come. This is when we do our School Tour when none of the big kids are there and just start laying the foundation. It really eases the 'jitters' on the first day for both them and me! I love it!

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  9. great idea, I am going to use this with my kinders.

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  10. LOVE the capsule idea! I always see them at the dollar store and want to use them but could never figure out how to make them work with giving just one or two. Super cute! I can't think you enough for sharing this adorable idea for FREE!!!

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  11. The parent letter that is on TPT in this packet.... could you by chance change to six year old? I teach first grade!

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  12. Hi Krissy, I love your capsule idea and would love to give this to my 1st graders at our Meet & Greet the Friday before school starts on Monday. Could you please edit this for me?
    Sandi
    purplelady913@yahoo.com

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  13. Thanks for all of the great ideas! I am teaching Pre-K thins year. Is there any way you could create the grow capsule freebie for pre-K as well? :)

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  14. I meant this year..sorry for the typo!

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