25 May 2012

Goodbye Class of 2011-2012

Wednesday was our last day of school.  This has been such a challenging school year that really tested my nerves and skills as a teacher.  I was very happy to have almost all my students pass the C.R.C.T. (just my one E.S.O.L child did not pass...but she has only been speaking English for a year and a half and was expected to pass all of the tests! Umm...yeah ok...passing the English/Language arts section alone was pretty amazing...)  I am happy to see this group move on to fifth grade!

Before I let them go for the summer, we marked the day with a few special events.  I found 350 and 500 piece puzzles at the dollar store, so we had a little puzzle competition.  (Kids today just don't do puzzles anymore!  I remember as kid being excited to go picked out a new 1,000 piece puzzle to complete as a family...maybe I was just a big geek though!)  We also watched the movie Tale of Despereaux.  (Thank you Netflix for having it for instant download!)

I ended the day by giving them the special end of the year gifts.  First I gave them a personalized water bottle with a special little tag on it...

I adapted these from B. jane brewing... and Lorraine from Fabulous Fourth Grade Froggies's Classroom DIY post.  (If you haven't already noticed my little OCD self has to have things match, and the phrase "Don't Reinvent the Wheel" just doesn't make any sense to me!)  Attached to the back of the tag with two little mini glue-dots is a packet of Kool-Aid.  If you would like a some simple directions and a copy of my tag, click on the picture below...

Then I gave them a little something else...

This gift was inspired by Teresa at Confessions of a Teaching Junkie.  I used the Just One Word like she did...
but since we have learned hoe to use this resource this year (and they love it)...I challenged my students to use a thesaurus to help them find better descriptors for their classmates.  They have been eager to find out what words their classmates used to describe them.  (What was more funny to me was the word they picked to describe themselves!)

I presented each student with their framed word art...and they were thrilled!  I wasn't prepared for just how excited they would really be...just look at them...

I was so excited that they were excited! 

Quickly came the end of the day in which we must say our goodbyes (including some sad goodbyes to student who would not be returning to the school) and lots of hugs!  So long Fourth Grade class of 2011-12...you will be missed!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
An update for this post explaining a little more about these name clouds can be found here.


  1. I love your word framed art! Such a creative idea, it looks like it was a hit! Did you use a special program to create the word art? I'd love to do it for my 4th graders this year and look forward to hearing how you created it! Thank you and enjoy your summer!

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  2. I used Tagul.com to make the word art. On the link I posted Teresa at Confessions of a Teaching Junkie explaims how to do it!

  3. Hi there! I just found your blog through Math Coach's Corner. You have some great ideas & I am excited to read more of your blog!

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  4. Love the new plates! Any student would be super excited to get one. I might have to try that next year. Thanks for sharing.
    Special Teaching in the Middle

  5. You are so cool, with a name like Fernley, if my teacher had made me something as wonderful as your name frames, I would still have it 36 years later! I love your blog!
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith’s Pinterest Boards!

  6. Hi, Jessica!

    I'm here via Manic monday. Great post - your students are lucky to have such a thoughtful and generous teacher! I love the way you got your students involved in gathering the adjectives for the word art - so clever!

    I laughed and laughed when I read your line about reinventing the wheel. Me, too! Never quite caught on to the KISS method, if you know what I mean. But I guess that's part of what makes us teachers who continue to blog and crteate and sell, and enjoy what we do!!

    Primary Inspiration

  7. Hi Jessica!!
    I love love LOVE that word art!! What a thoughtful gift! I'm so glad I found you on Manic Monday!
    Rowdy in Room 300

  8. The name frames are sooo cute & creative! I am definitely doing this next year!!!
    Third Grade Love

  9. I am doing the word art on tagul.com, and can't figure out how to size it so it fits the 8 1/2 x 11" paper. is there a quick explanation for that? i absolutely love what you did. thanks so much for the inspiration. :)

  10. Ok to get the word cloud to be 8 1/2 x 11" paper size...
    1. Go to the Appearance tab
    2. Customize cloud shape Angle: 0 Aspect ratio: 1.25
    3. Make sure you have cloud shape click as rectangle.
    4. Click on "visualize" to cause the changes to take effect.

    1. you are fantastic! thank you a million!!!

  11. Wow! I am so impressed with your creative effort! I can only imagine how long it took. Those children were clearly loved. Kudos to you!

  12. I have been on tagul.com and am having trouble figuring out how to get the kid's names to stand out the most and be the largest font with the description words surrounding it. Any suggestions?

    Again, thank you-- loving this idea!

  13. I saw this post on Confessions of a Teaching Junkie too and am thinking about doing the same for my class...Your's came out so adorable! I like how you added the grade level too. Great idea and if I wasn't inspired already, I certainly am now! Thanks for sharing,

  14. How do you get the student's name in the middle of the art?

  15. Hi Jessica. Thank you for sharing this idea. I too would like to know how to make the child's name stand out in the center of the descriptive words.

  16. How did you get their names to be in the middle and to be so big?

  17. I have been playing around with Tagul and can't see to figure out how to make the name in the center? Please share how you managed to make the name in the center.

  18. I did something similar for my fourth grade students and they loved it!!! I had the students write the words to describe the other students on a sheet of paper, but wouldn't tell them what I was doing with it so it made them even more excited to find out what was done with the project. Every class should do one!:)

  19. Hi, what did you use to write the names on the water bottles? xx

  20. Hi! I love your ideas and can't wait to use them in my class. I am wondering how you printed them? I am looking in their store and see only postcards... what option did you choose and what was the cost?

  21. Love this and working on making them! Did you print on any special paper or just regular copy paper? Thanks!! :)

  22. Love it! So happy to have found this. I had been using wordle in the past, but I would have to type the words {hundreds!} of times to make them big. This is such a time saver and they turned out so cute! I ended up doing the rainbow layout and all their names and grade stayed gray. Can't wait to give it to them!

  23. I don't see an 'Apperance tab' to use to make the figure fir an 81/2 by 11 sheet. thanks

    1. Click on shapes. When you click the shape you prefer, hover over the lower right corner of that box and a circle/star will appear. Click on that to customize, then you can add your dimensions.

  24. Hi! I LOVE this idea! What size frame did you use in the above pictures? I don't really want to have to cut and size.

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