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If you have read any of my teaching posts before, you know I’m all about intrinsic motivation with my students. I honestly and truly believe that by motivating a student extrinsically you are setting them up for failure.
Since I am opposed to just going out, spending money, and buying something just because, it is very hard figuring out what to do for my students at the end of each school year. I did want to give them something though! They’ve been great students, and I want to give them one last parting gift before they move on to the next grade. After much thought, I did eventually decide on the perfect end of the year gift!
My Goal With End of Year Gifts to Students
My main goal for gifts is to give them something that will show them that I truly care about them AND their future. Granted, I have tried doing this all year, but I want them to leave with a way to remember.
I’d like to think that during my year of teaching the kids, I’ve changed a few lives. At the end of the year when the kids leave me, I don’t know where their future will take them. I’d hope that by giving them something special, they will cherish it and it will help keep them on the right path in life. I might be a little ambitious, but I will honestly always care about their future.
This year, I decided to paint rocks with motivational quotes!
I chose a quote that I thought represented each of them or one I felt they needed to remember. Each and every student had a different quote. Then, on the back, I wrote my name and my email address. I told the kids that if they ever needed someone to place them on the right path, encourage their positive mindset, or help them with math homework, to email me. The kids seemed to love them!
How to Make Your Own Rock End of Year Student Gifts
Finding river rocks was the most difficult task. They needed to be perfect. I looked at all the craft and hardware stores before going to our local wholesale bulk rock distribution center. I told them I only needed about 21 river rocks. They gave me a bag, I filled it up with actually 46 rocks (my own kids had fun decorating their own), and it cost me $5! Not to mention, I was able to pick out the specific rocks I wanted. Not too bad at all!
Before painting, make sure to wash the rocks. I rinsed them off in a bucket outside and let them dry over night. If you want the rocks to be smooth, you can sand them down. However, they work well just the way they are. Using paint pens, write on each of the rocks. When you are finished, add some gloss Mod Podge to the front and back. This gives them a nice finish and protects the paint. Let the rock dry and you have the perfect end of the year gift!
Here are some pictures of my motivational rock gifts:
I am always in need of other end of the year gift ideas. If you have something similar, please share!!
If you’re a teacher also frazzled with everything going on at the end of the school year, here are few of our other end of year posts:
- Quotes to Get Teachers Through to the End of the School Year
- Preparing Your Classroom for the End of the School Year
- End of the School Year Student Awards Ideas