Blog Archives

Teacher Appreciation Ideas for a Theme – YOU are INCREDIBLE!!!

Bulletin Board PDF File

(Pre-note: All the files I created, I printed through Alphagraphics in Bountiful.  Grant, the owner, was exceptional to work with and I never print anywhere else.   Also, I will include all the PDF’s later today after I work on this year’s Teacher Appreciation, I am in charge of, that comes in just under 2 weeks.  A different theme with loads of fun that I will  post about next year.  Lots of files to finish making and details to go over.  Each picture you see on here will have a PDF file to go along with it.  Each file is press quality.  None of that grainy stuff.  I am a print snob.)

Eagle Bay Elementary Teachers and Staff are INCREDIBLE!!!!  They really are.  Back in 2009, because of circumstances beyond the person’s control, and with less than 2 weeks to the event, Teacher/Staff Appreciation had no one in charge of it.  I decided that being PTA Treasurer was a cushy job (LOL!!!) and that I could head up this event with no problem.  I wanted to create a theme that was fun, easy to work with, and had endless possibilities.  Somewhere on the internet, (I don’t remember as it was 3 years ago) I found someone’s post on a blog that showed they had used The Incredibles when they decorated their Teacher’s Door.  As soon as I saw that, the ideas started flying and what you see is the result of my imagination and love for the Teachers and Staff.

This is a sample of what the door kits I made looked like.  I made sure to make the kits ahead of time, so that it was a simple task of just hanging them up.  It is easier to get people to volunteer to hang up door kits than it is to get them to volunteer to come up with an idea all by themselves and then put it up.

Instructions PDF File

Isn’t it cool that we can find just about any font we want on the internet now?  The have an Incredibles font which I used to make these signs.  There are some that I made specific to individuals, all the rest had this.

Our Teacher is Incredible PDF

This is the Pow that was used to put behind the teachers to get the more super hero affect.  It was cute.

Pows PDF file

I created a special poem to the teachers and used it for their doors.  These are my true feelings of how much I love teachers.  Growing up in a divorced family, I stayed after school a lot and was the teacher’s helper.  In Elementary, I would stay after school and go around to the different teachers to see if they needed my help.  I grew to love them and their kindness towards me influenced my decision that I wanted to be a teacher someday.  This poem is from my viewpoint of what I saw growing up from Elementary through High School.  My favorite High School teacher, Mrs. Thompson, became a really great mentor to me and even gave me her clothes she didn’t want anymore, which I LOVED!!!  You have to understand that all the girls in high school, even the popular ones, which I was NOT a part of, envied her.  The reason?  She NEVER wore the same outfit to school twice.  EVER!!!  They even kept track of it one year, which I thought was hilarious.  That is how many cute and stylish clothes she had.  Then you had me, whose mother didn’t have a lot of money and we did our shopping at the D.I., which didn’t bother me at all but I got teased incessantly about it from those popular girls.  I think I had even purchased one of their outfits one time and they knew it. (I realize this is becoming a extrememly long side note, but it’s important to my feelings on teachers. )  So, back to the story, my Senior year, Mrs. Thompson approached me and asked if I would like to have her clothes she wasn’t using anymore.  Imagine, if you possibly can, my thrill and excitement that I would get her clothes and that I would get to wear them at school, AND that those same girls who teased me, who wanted her clothes, would KNOW they were Mrs. Thompsons!!!!  The irony was beyond my wildest imagination.  She was an AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, kind hearted, and caring teacher, whom I love and I am still in contact with today.  Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for your kindness towards one girl, and for making my life a little bit better my Senior year because of your thoughtful act of charity towards me.

Teacher Poem PDF file

I made this sign for the bottom of the door as a signature that this was from the students in their class.

Dashes and Violets PDF file

For each Teacher/Staff person I made them into either a Mrs. Incredible or a Mr. Incredible.  All the women loved that they looked skinny and tall . . .

. . . and all the guys loved that they looked buff and super strong.

We had a number of teachers who were pregnant or who had just had a baby, so on their doors I included a little Jack Jack.  All the rest of the doors had just the teacher or teachers who were in that classroom.

Jack Jack PDF file

For the Principal, Vice Principal, Secretaries, Custodians, Lunch Ladies, and all Specialist, I made their signs more individualized.

I thought it would be cute and appropriate to have our Principal, Mrs. Wade be the lady who seemed to be in charge of all the Super Heros, well, at least their clothing for sure.  Mrs. Wade LOVED it!

I always like to include the Officer who works with our school when I do these things.  Officer Winkleman thought this was the neatest thing he had ever seen and couldn’t recall a time he was ever included in the Teacher/Staff Appreciation week.  Don’t forget your Officer who works so closely with the kids!!

Attached to the thank you gift of movie tickets to the Kaysville Theatre, we had the little thank you note as seen below.

Thank you notes PDF file

On the Wednesday, while the teachers were off having some free time to themselves, I had a helper in each room come in and help the students fill out a paper telling the Teachers and Staff why the students thought they were Incredible.  We put them together and gave them to the teachers and staff the next day.  A copy of it will be pictured below.

Our Teacher is Incredible Student Notes PDF

PLEASE REMEMBER that I worked hard on these and to direct people back to my blog.  Please do not re-post onto your own. Thank you for respecting the creativity and copyright.

St. Patrick’s Day Ideas

Two years ago, we published some really great ideas for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  This year we want to do something a little different.

What, if any, celebration traditions do you do with your family, friends, classrooms, etc?

For everyone who leaves a comment on something they LOVE to do, your name will be entered into a drawing for a Mother’s Day Coupon book.  You can choose from the youth, teenager, spouse, or friend series.

Just think, you could be preparing WAAAAAAAYYYY in advance, if you won!

Here is a link to our past post on ideas: Lucky Leprechaun Strikes Again

On the left of this blog there is a link for March.  Click that and you will see all our past ideas and even some freebies in there too.

THANK YOU Jessica for your wonderful comment. You inspired me to create a small thing for everyone.  So, as following Jessica’s explanation, here is a Lucky the Leprechaun for you to use.  (This is the Lucky that Tricia originally created.)  There are two different sizes to choose from.  Print it out and laminate, then hide Lucky somewhere kooky in your house.  Whoever happens to find him gets to choose where he hides next.  I am sure your family will come up with some pretty weird places to hide him! 🙂

Find Lucky Game Pieces

FHE – For the Strength of Youth – Dress and Appearance

Let me start by saying I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted for a few weeks!  Our computer crashed so we got a new computer and it is a Mac.  That meant that we had to oder it, transfer all of our documents and then I had to figure out how to use it! 🙂  Anyway, I now have access to all my documents and I have sort of figured out how it works – definite progress!

This lesson is important for all ages.  My 4 year old daughter is always asking why she can’t wear things that show her back or her whole arm.  She is so funny that way.  It is probably a good thing that I am starting young with her! 🙂  This lesson will help your children understand why it is important to be modest and dress appropriately.  I have included a couple of articles and stories for you to read and share according to the guidance of the Spirit.  For some kids this is a no brainer and for others it may be a struggle.  In our world today the lines don’t seem to be so black and white.  I am loving the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet because it is very black and white.  There is a definite right and wrong and it is very clearly laid out.  In my day it wasn’t quite so clear – it didn’t need to be.  In today’s world there is no question what the Lord is asking of us.  It could not be put any clearer.

For the Strength of Youth – Dress and Appearance

http://lds.org/Static%20Files/PDF/Magazines/Friend/English/2010/FR_2010_05_06___09265_000_009.pdf

FHE – For the Strength of Youth – Family

Opening Song:  Families Can be Together Forever

Opening Prayer

Scripture:  Read from the Proclamation (the portion at the top of the Family section in For the Strength of Youth pamphlet) then read the Family section in For the Strength of Youth

Discussion:   Talk about what makes a happy family.   Ask:  How can you do your part to build a happy home?  Is our home happy?  When is it happy? (when we are kind and considerate of others)  When is it unhappy?  (when we are selfish and unkind to others)    Talk about what it means to respect your parents.  Ask:  How do you show respect?  (help when you are asked, participate in family activities with a positive attitude)

Activity:

Principles to Make our Family Happy

Application:  Talk about your summer schedule.  Explain what your expectations are each day and have everyone agree to pitch in.  Explain that if everyone helps out in the morning they will have all afternoon to play and have fun.  Being part of family includes showing respect and helping out around the house.  Have them sign the T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Accomplishes More) committing to being a member of the Family Team!

TEAM

Closing Prayer

Treat :  You can eat the treats you made during cooking time today if you used the job chart I created! 🙂  If you didn’t have cooking time make a quick treat together before Family Home Evening so you can eat it when you are finished.  My kids love to make chocolate chip cookies together!

FHE – For the Strength of Youth

In our area we have been encouraged to use the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet when we teach our children.  I had always thought of this pamphlet as being just for the youth (ages 12-18).  However, I think it is very beneficial to all ages.  I have decided to take it and base my family home evening lessons on its contents for the next couple of months.  This pamphlet is a very useful teaching tool and my kids are responding great to it!  The first lesson is just to familiarize your children with what is in the pamphlet.  I recommend that you read it from cover to cover yourself and pray about what you need to share with your children.  My oldest kids are almost 10 but I have found plenty to share with them.  It is both sad and scary that we have to cover some of the topics in this book at such a young age but unfortunately it is the way the world is today.  I would rather be the teacher than have my children learning things from their friends and older kids in the neighborhood! 🙂  I also feel like this is a great way to open the door to important conversations.

I started by getting a pamphlet for each of my children.  I even gave one to my 4 year old.  She thought she was very important!  We read the message from the first presidency and talked about who they are and why this book would be so important that they would write their message on the first page.  We talked about how important it is to be a good example and to keep the commandments.  In order to keep the commandments and do what we have been asked, we need to understand what is expected of us.  We then read the section on Agency and Accountability.  We talked about what it means to be accountable.  I found this FHE from Families in Zion and I thought it applied to what we were talking about.  It is about being an example and why it is important to make good choices.

Be an example FHE

I plan on covering one section at a time and just covering the information on a level that will make sense to my children.  If you have older kids, you will want to cover each section in detail.  If you have both, you may want to cover the basics with all of them and then go into more detail with your older children later.  If your children understand what is written in the pamphlet and if they know how important it is to live by these standards, it will make their choices and decisions so much easier as they grow in a world with such different morals and values than what we would want them to live by.  Good luck!

FHE – An Attitude of Gratitude!

Is today Tuesday?  My husband decided to stay home from work yesterday and my whole day was thrown off as we worked on his projects.  Unfortunately, that meant my Family Home Evening idea is, as they say, “a day late and a dollar short”!  Hopefully, you can use this idea for a future Family Home Evening.

My husband has decided (and I totally agree) that we don’t say “Thank You” enough in our family.  It’s easy to point out what others are doing wrong and of course, let them know!  It’s hard as parents to look for the positive and appreciate what your children ARE doing and not getting after them for what they aren’t doing.  My children are quick to “tattle” or easily ask for favors, but don’t always appreciate what they have and what others do for them.

Our recent Family Home Evening was about showing gratitude for others.  We have a challenge this week to see how many times a person can say, “Thank You”!  Hopefully, we are learning to have a new attitude in our home!

An Attitude of Gratitude

Time for Families – Words that Build Up!

Last week I needed a quick idea for Family Home Evening.  I was so grateful for the Friend that is put out by the LDS Church.  What a great resource for us busy moms!  I found an article on words that build up instead of tearing down.  Perfect for my family as I listened to them fight and not talk nicely to each other over the past few days.  Even I have lost my patience and haven’t said things to my kids in the nicest tone or way.  Here is what we did for our Family Home Evening and it turned out great!

Opening Song:  When There’s Love at Home

Opening Prayer:

Lesson: “Words that Build Up!”, The Friend, January 2010

I discussed the story by asking how we are doing as a family with how we talk to each other.  We ran through some examples that we’ve seen in the family.  Both in ways we have built each other up and ways we have torn each other down.  We discussed how powerful words can be and how they can make you feel.

Activity/Challenge:  I cut out the picture from the friend article and attached it to the top of my pantry.  I had my 6 year old help cut out paper strips for a paper chain before FHE.  I explained to the family that during the week we were going to work on how we talked to each other.  When we treat each other nicely, we add a paper chain to “build our family up”.  If we are not nice, a chain is torn away (although, we did say that if a person were to apologize, and mean it, we wouldn’t take off a chain).  Our goal was to build our chain until it reached the floor.  The reward is to go out for icecream as a family.  Everyone was very excited!

Scripture and Closing prayer:

Game:  We played a game as a family and I was amazed at how they were willing to share and take turns!

Treat:  I made a quick treat since I was running out of time, but it would be fun to make smores or icecream sundaes.  Somthing that the family can “build up”.

Step 2d – How Long Does It Really Take?

So how long does it really take to fold a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, or clean a toilet?  I’ll bet the answers would surprise you!  We dare you to take the challenge AS A FAMILY to find out how long each of the jobs you have take.  Post the jobs with the times on the fridge and then if someone in your family (or even you for that matter) complains and thinks it will take forever, you can walk over to the chart and ease their mind.  You can make this a part of a weekly challenge to see if the times can be beat.  Prizes can be given for the most improved times.  Use our good job jar coupons as part of the prizes!  I know it sometimes feels like it takes forever to fold the laundry so we just keep adding to the pile until . . . it does take forever!  Most of the jobs in your home will take less than 5 minutes.  It’s a lot easier to give up 5 minutes at a time than it is to give up 30 minutes.

Time flies whether you’re having fun or not . . . I hope you choose to make your jobs a little more FUN!

Weekly/Monthly Focus Sticks


In a previous post we talked about using our Daily Focus technique in creating more one on one time with each member of your family.  I would like to take that one step further and give you another idea to go along with it.  I found it was becoming really hard to always come up with something to do with each of my children on a weekly or even monthly basis.  I needed to be able to make it a lot simpler and thus making it more enjoyable to do the planning part of it.  Thus I created our Weekly/Monthly Focus Sticks.  I asked each child to come up with a list of things they would want to do with either parent.  For the babies I created a list for them.  Then I bought some big size colored foam Popsicle sticks.  They had all the colors of my children so it worked out really well.  After typing up their lists on the computer, I printed them out on clear labels, cut them out and affixed them to each individual stick.  Add a cute basket with 6 slots and you have a great way to put on the calendar what you are doing with each child for the month.  My children love pulling out a focus stick that they helped create because they know what went in there.  I even took the leftover color and created some great date night ideas to pull from.  Sometimes being stuck in the same rut for date night isn’t all that great, especially when all the new movies are R rated.  It’s fun to pull out something and then go and do it.  I made sure that there was plenty of ideas in there that wouldn’t cost a dime or that wouldn’t even require us to be out of the house.  Playing a game of Chess or Scrabble with your husband can be very challenging and fun.  I am still attempting to win a game of Chess since we got married 13 years ago.  One day I will, practice is everything!

FREEBIE: Click on the Monthly Focus Sticks link to download a few ideas for date nights and children to get your creative juices flowing.  Have fun with it, let your hair down, and remember to become a child again!

Jell-O Syrup

Jell-O Syrup is a fun way to add a new flavor or color to regular ole’ pancakes.  It can be used as a topping for ice cream, to make crazy oatmeal, or just to drizzle on a plate (if you like to go all out!).  The holiday possibilities are endless with so many color and flavor choices!  Enjoy!

Recipe:

1 3oz. box of your favorite flavor of Jell-O

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. Cornstarch

1 cup water

Bring to a rolling boil, pour into a syrup pitcher (or a pint jar) and let cool slightly before serving.  Syrup will set up as it cools.  Just reheat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and you’re good to go!