Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher

notsowimpyteacher.com · Apr 19, 2018

End of Year Student Gift Ideas

As we get closer to the end of the school year, teachers in my Facebook groups are asking for end of year gift suggestions. I put together some of my best ideas!
First, gifts are not required! Don't feel like you have to give one. I honestly don't think that students expect them. The end of the year is a blur for students and teachers. If the gift is stressful- don't bother. It does not mean you don't love your students. Give hugs!
I liked to give a gift, but I am not the kind of teacher who is willing to waste money on dollar store junk. I am a mom and I know that those trinkets get broken and/or thrown away within a day or two. It might seem cheap, but really it ends up being a waste.
I also like for my student gifts to be meaningful and help my students to remember our year together. A sand pail or a beach ball just don't generally hold much meaning.
Instead, I like to give one of the following gifts...

1. Book

I always took great pride in helping all of my students to discover their love for reading. We shared many books during the year and so it makes lots of sense to give a book as a gift. Plus, I am encouraging a little summer reading.
Books can be purchased very inexpensively through Scholastic. I collect the $1 books or buy the sets that are discounted. If you plan ahead, you could try doing a Donors Choose project for books from Amazon.

Make the gift more meaningful by writing a personal message on the inside cover. My own children cherish books with notes from their former teachers.

Book Raffle

I really LOVE to make the book gift a fun end of year activity with a book raffle! Students can earn the raffle tickets based on behavior. This helps with the end of year itch! Students love the actual raffle and go home with a book that they can't wait to read.
Click HERE for more information about book raffles.

2. Class Video

In my past life I must have been part of the paparazzi. I constantly took pictures of my students on field trips and doing fun activities in the classroom.
At the end of the year, I would use iMovie to make all of these pictures into a movie. Pair it with some fun music and you have a special gift.
You can burn the song onto a DVD. I like this option because it becomes a keepsake. If you want a less expensive option, you can upload the video to a class website or Google drive and provide a link or a QR code for students to access the video.
I love this gift idea because it reminds students of all the fun we had together!

3. Class Picture

Not a big picture taker? If you didn't take a lot of photos during the school year, it might be difficult to put together a video.
That's ok! Gather your kiddos for a class photo shoot. Print the photo for each student and stick them in dollar store picture frames.
So simple! And still meaningful!

4. Awards

Student gifts don't have to be elaborate to be meaningful! How about hosting a class awards ceremony?
Print an award that is special for each of your students. As you present them make sure to tell the class exactly why you chose that particular award for each student.
This is a feel good activity and gift! Students leave knowing just how proud you are.

Click HERE to check out these editable awards.

5. Handwritten Note

I feel that a handwritten note is one of the most meaningful gifts that you can give.
In this digital age, it is super rare to receive a handwritten note. That makes them a million times more special.
Grab some pretty stationary of notecards. Spend a few afternoons writing personal and heartfelt letters. What made you proud? How did they grow? What made you laugh? What is a fond memory that you have? What will you miss about them? What is your hope or dream for them?
If you feel comfortable, you might consider including a personal email address and giving students permission to write to you and keep you up-to-date on their family and schooling. They love this!

Whatever you decide, I hope that you are taking time to really enjoy your sweet students during the end of year chaos. These moments are fleeting.
Have a Not So Wimpy day!

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