This winter I had a genius (well, I think it's genius) idea of a great personalized gift to give my departing 5th graders. The concept seemed simple at first, but as I delved into the project I realized that it may be a bit more challenging than I anticipated! I started by creating a ring of notecards, one labeled for each 5th grader, and I began creating lists of words that describe or remind me of them. Some have ridiculous seeming words because I wrote down something they did or said at one point in the past two years. It is easy to talk about kids in full sentences, but narrowing them down to single words was WAY more difficult than I thought it would be. After I compiled my words, I entered them into Wordle, a word cloud creator. A word cloud is literally a random grouping of words that you choose to enter. I then adjusted colors and fonts until I had each one personalized to the student it was about. I then printed them on 4x6 photo paper so they looked really nice.
Each cloud then got its own picture frame, purchased at IKEA in packs of two for $2.99. They are simple, inexpensive frames, but they worked perfectly for the project!
I then used Scrabble tiles to personalize the frames with the students names (Thanks to my aunt Kathy, Craig, and my parents for the donation of tiles). I have decided that Scrabble games should come with more Ls and Es! I used super glue to attach the tiles in a tilted manner, because after consulting an expert (my dad) we decided that straight tiles just looked wrong. Each frame has a different layout, some tiles run across the top, bottom, and shorter names went down the sides. The goal was to make it so no two were the same, just like my kids!
In the end they turned out way better than I even anticipated and I am so excited for the kids to open these up and reflect on our two years together!
Wrapping was simple, brown craft paper and some natural colored raffia bows. After the extensive project, I figured that wrapping should be the easy part!
Here's to a memorable two years and to bright futures for all fifteen of these kids. I wish them all of the best things in life.