|A look at the contents.|
As my first year teaching 8th graders began to wind down, I kept thinking about what I could give them as a parting gift. I not only hope that they remember something (anything!) that they learned from my class, but I wanted them to walk away from our 8th grade year together knowing that I cared for each and every one of them. At the same time, I needed to give them something on the cheap (teacher’s budget over here!), so I decided to put together these “goodie bags” that cost about $4 each.
|All 26 of the goodie bags I made. I think they turned out super cute!|
On the inside of each goodie bag, I included a letter they had written to themselves at the beginning of the year, the college pennant they made for my class (free on TPT here), our close reading strategies bookmarks (on TPT here), 2 pencils, 2 pens, 2 erasers, a highlighter, a laminated quote from class, and a class activity they did when we read Huck Finn (that’s the rolled up scroll-looking thing). I purchased nearly everything from the Dollar Store and the $1-$3 section in Target 🙂
|I think these turned out great with the cute gift tags (from Target!).|
In addition to the inside contents, I also hand wrote each of my darlings a note that mentioned something specific to them. In the student’s case below, it was one of the most profound moments of participation for him and it really touched my heart. You will also see the words, “CARPE DIEM,” which was a central theme in our class this year, but is also extremely applicable to their lives as they move on to high school.
|I purchased these blank notecards from Target as well – 50 for about $8!|
This is one of my favorite items that I put in their goodie bags. It is a laminated quote from Walt Whitman’s “Oh Me! Oh Life!” that we studied this year and holds great significance to our class. “Answer: / That you are here – that life exists and identity; / That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” (I mean, I truly cannot even handle the brilliance – it makes me giddy inside!) I don’t know what they will do with it, but in my heart of hearts, I really want them to tape it on the inside of their lockers in high school … one can only hope! 🙂
Yes, these took me a while, but at the end of the day, it was absolutely worth it to see my students’ faces light up knowing that I truly do care about them and their future.
Do you give gifts to your graduating students at the end of each year?
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