Prepping Student Gifts & Rewards

I've mentioned this a few times before, but I spent a lot of May getting ready for the next school year.  Not because I like working like a crazy lady but because there is a *slight* chance that one of our sons is coming home from the Congo this summer.  Nothing gets me in prep mode quite like adoption does.  Not knowing when he will come home is not easy on so many levels... especially when it comes to preparing for a sub that you may or may not need at any given time.  I could seriously have busted my rear in May for no reason at all.  The good thing is that whether he comes home or not, now this stuff is ready and I won't have to worry about it in August!

So, since I prepped quite a bit, I have lots to share and I'll do that over a few blog posts throughout this summer!  This post is all about student rewards/prizes/gift bags.

Each year our school chooses a new theme.  We've done ocean, Olympics, superheroes, candy, and now PIRATES!  So, I prepped this little banner for above my classroom door.
Ribbon Banner:  Etsy
Gold Lettering:  PK Studios
Pirate Clipart:  Melonheadz

I decided that I would incorporate the new theme into my B2S gifts for my kiddos.  My plan is to have these little Pirate baggies out for Meet the Teacher Night.  Before I get into the contents I have to say that I went the easy route.  When prepping all of the gifts in this post, I knew tying up cute little gift bags with pretty ribbon would not be an option.  I prepped over 100 bags in all (you'll see why in a bit).  So, instead of making everything Pinterest-ready, I decided to purchase quart-sized Ziploc baggies.  I taped a tag on the outside and stuffed the goodies inside.  They are not frame-worthy, but I'm fairly certain my new 7 year olds won't care!  
 Each baggie contains an eye patch, mustache whistle, and pirate pencil.  I bought everything from Amazon (only because who doesn't love 2-day FREE shipping??!!  I get no referral money from them... I just shop there for EVERYTHING!!).  I put all 22 baggies into a tub and stored them away for next year!  Done and done!
Now onto the next reward bag!  Before we left for the summer my students got their "Get Ready to Be a Big Kid" booklets ready for the summer.  If my students bring these books back to me during the first week of school then they will get a prize from me.  A little incentive never hurt AND I love seeing my sweet babies again!
For these prize bags I did the same as above... taped a label on the outside of a baggie.  The label actually has ZERO to do with the gift inside, ha!  I don't know exactly how many kids will complete the challenge, so I just used numbers from the years past when making my bags.  Normally at least half of my students participate.  If I made too many bags I will just put the extra prizes into a prize box that I will use with my current class!
I ordered a whole bunch of randomness from Amazon to make my prize bags.  I didn't price things out too much because I wanted to use my Amazon Prime... but I think I got a decent prize on everything!
3.  Glasses

While I was putting prize bags together I realized I had enough stuff to go ahead and get birthday baggies ready also.  I had lots of stickers left over from years past... added in a random pencil and glasses!  When I get my class list I will write their names and birthdays on the outside of the baggies!
Now my birthday bags are all stored and ready to go!
My school uses Scholastic Summer Reading to track minutes that our students read over the summer.  It's not mandatory, but students that read 400 minutes receive an ice cream party at the beginning of the next school year.  To motivate my litter readers I use this cute little book craft from The Teacher Wife.  I've been doing this for several years and I always have great participation in summer reading!
To prod my students even a little more to read over the summer I offer rewards to students who meet our school goal.  So, they get an ice cream party AND a gift from me!  

A little side-note:  I totally left out the word "of" on this note, and didn't even realize it until after several comments, ha!  I'll just go in to my gift bags and pencil it in!  But, I fixed it on the download!  I look at these things a thousand times and still make mistakes!

So, while they may not be tied up beautifully with a ribbon, they are all prepped and ready to go!  When you are making birthday bags, B2S gift bags, Summer Reading bags, and Summer Challenge bags all at one time, you just want to get it done rather than worry about cute, ha!
You can get the three labels that I used HERE!


Pam H. said...

Very cute! How nice to have 3 things checked off your Back to School to-do list! But . . . check out your third label - you forgot the word "of" . . . ack!

Lori said...

Love the birthday bag idea. Finding a way to commemorate birthdays is something I struggle with every year. I will definitely be using this idea!

Bienvenido Adventure said...

Great idea to prep gifts ahead of time! Going from a university position to elem school, I forgot about the little things like that and it drove me nuts trying to scrounge things up when birthdays came around. Not next year! Also, your tag with the frog may have a typo on it (missing the word "of").

Victoria Lee said...

Wow! This is fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

Victoria Lee said...

Wow! This is fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

Victoria Lee said...

This is fabulous! I love the simplicity in this. Thanks for sharing!!!!

Pat Parrish said...

I tried to download the tags and the link didn't work. Could you check it out? Hope to see you in Vegas.

graciegirl said...

Love these ideas. Thanks for sharing.
Just wanted to let you know that the frog label is missing the word 'of'.

It's Kinder Time said...

I love your cute back to school gifts! I also love that you motive your kiddos to do summer reading! What an awesome prize! Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas!
It’s Kinder Time

amy.lemons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amy.lemons said...

Pat- I think I fixed it!

Brittney Henry said...

These are wonderful! Should the third tag be "I'm so proud of you for hopping into your summer reading"? If so; the word 'of' is missing after the word 'proud'. Thanks! :)

amy.lemons said...

I see the mistake now! I fixed it on the download... thank y'all!

Vanessa Mejia said...

Wow, talk about prepping!This is awesome ;) Love that pirate banner.

Vanessa Mejia said...

Wow talk about prepping! You are on it. Love that pirate banner.

Rachel Lamb said...

haha! I'm actually proud of you for using ziploc bags!! yay Amy!

Kathy O. said...

Thank you so much for sharing! Good luck with your adoption!!

Kathy O Third Grade Doodles