UPDATED- One Word End of the Year gift

WOW!!! I have had a lot of interest on my end of year gift I make for my students each year. My first post generated a lot of questions so I decided to create this post to help answer some FAQ about them.  See the original post here.

I always try to start this project around the beginning to middle of April. This way it gives me a chance to get everything done without feeling super rushed at the end of the school year.


How do I keep track of what the students say?

To begin creating this I type all of the kids names into a word document like this:

Next, I circle the name of the student who will be saying something nice. I do this to make sure I don’t forget anyone, because I know myself and would somehow forget a student on the list. Especially since I’m the special education teacher and co-teach in one room  (I make all students in the room I co-teach in a gift) and pull students for resource from 2 other classrooms (I only make those student I pull out, not their whole class). I will talk more about how I make the students’ who are not in the co-teaching room without making one for the whole class later.

How do you get your students to only say one thing about each student?

To begin this project I begin by reading a mentor text, usually Have You Filled a Bucket Today? You can also begin with a similar story, I just always try to choose a story that teaches students about feelings and how what other people say/do can make or break your way of feeling.

Next, we talk about using nice words (adjectives) to describe something/someone and make an anchor chart. I forgot to take a picture of it. I will try to remember to take one this week.

I then tell them that over the next few days (weeks) I will be asking each student to say something nice about everyone in our class (and other kids too if they know them well).

How did you get the background color behind the shape to stay white but color the rest of the perimeter in?

Answer: What I do is save the Tagul image in Word. After I print it out on a word document (this is how I am able to size each Tagul project) I cut it out around the shape and glue it on a piece of scrapbook paper (the child’s favorite color).

In order to keep the background color white instead of the shaded blue you need to go to the color and animations tab and turn the shape transparency to 0.

What have you put on the bottom corner of each one?

Answer: I put a little blurb about how it was made. Something like one word from the kids in room ______.

Where did you get the frames and matting?

Answer: I buy document frames from Dollar Tree and 8 1/2 x 11 scrapbook paper in each students favorite color. I cut out the wordle that I printed on white card stock and glue it into the scrapbook paper.

How do you get the words in different colors?!

Answer: To the right of each name is a column for color. I put the student’s first name in their favorite color (also the background color). I put the school and grade in another color and the teachers in another color. After that I pick random colors I haven’t used and choose that color for about 4 words and then repeat with a different color for the next four word and so on until I have used a different color(or group of colors) for each word.

How did you get the picture to be printed as large. It is only showing me a half page star when I print:!

Answer: I copy and paste the image into Word and am able to resize there.

How did you print them?

Answer: I copied them and put them into a Word document. After they were all on the document I just printed on a color printer.