Monday, May 23, 2016

You Rocked the Test Celebration

Back in the fall, I threw a little "You Rocked the Test" celebration for the teachers at my daughter's school. You see, this was the first year that the SBAC test scores were released in the state of California. It turns out that my daughter's school had the highest test scores in the district. This is a pretty big deal. It's a complete underdog story. My girls go to an amazing school with staff that are dedicated to helping their students succeed. It's not even our "home" school. I purposely chose this elementary school knowing that the staff there really "get it". Sure, they could go to the school I teach at, or their home school, but I truly believe the school they attend has an amazing culture where kids really do come first.  It happens to be a Title I school with the highest percent of EL and special ed in the entire district. But their years of looking at learning in a different way with RtI and addressing all learners seriously paid off!

When I found this out, I just knew that the PTA needed to celebrate all of the staff and their hard work! Finally all the work truly paid off and now everyone knew what ROCKSTAR teachers work at this school! I made invitiations and put them in all of the teachers/staff boxes inviting them to the celebration breakfast. 

I went to every thrift store in town looking for vinyl records.  I scored at the Goodwill with sets of 4-6 in one box for 50 cents! I bought a red/aqua digital paper pack and printed all the papers with my new HP Instaink. I cut out tons of circles with my circle cutter to cover up the middle of the records. My patient husband drilled holes into all of the records so I could hang them from the ceiling with fishing line.

For centerpieces, I cut out stars on the Silhouette machine.  I wrote all of the teacher/staff names on each of the stars that were glued onto wooden skewers. 

 I also made a Congratulations and You Rocked the Test banners to hang. 

 For the table runner, I used mesh wreath fabric to run down the center of the table. I added single records all the way down the table with a disco ball I also found at Goodwill.

For the food table, I typed up a note for the teachers/staff thanking them. I also found some old candle stick holders that I spray painted black and hot glued records to the top. The PTA provided bagels, coffee and juice from Panera Bread. 

 This theme was a huge hit with the teachers. PTA was delighted to provide the teachers and staff with a special celebration. It was exactly what they needed... surprise celebration to recognize their hard work.  A little thanks goes a long way.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Award Winning Classified Staff Appreciation

Each year my colleague and I decorate the staff lounge to celebrate our school's classified staff. We have quite a few support staff that work in our program and at our school. Without their help, our program would not run as smoothly. We enjoy decorating and bringing attention to all their hard work!
This past week we decorated the lounge using an Award Winning theme. It really turned out cute and we got lots of compliments from the staff. Since we decorate and celebrate each year, the staff look forward to it every year. 
 Luckily, we invested in a Silhouette last year which helped cut all 200 stars that we hung from the ceiling. I cut the stars and my colleague sewed them together. We make a great team!   

Each year we give the classified staff a little treat. This year I made little swag bags with Zebra popcorn. (Zebra popcorn is seriously addicting! Just a warning!) I bought the large bags of Zebra popcorn from Costco and filled up these cute little treat bags I found on Amazon.  I cut more stars and printed each of their names on the stars. I found these adorable little clothespins at Michael's for the perfect finishing touch. Simple and done!

 The table runner is made out of a roll of polka dot wrapping paper, a folded red plastic table cloth and strips of tickets. Throw on some star confetti, extra stars and some movie clap boards from Party City and it turned out pretty cute!

The popcorn center pieces were found at the Target Dollar Spot. The red starbursts in the center pieces are from Dollar Tree. Seriously simple.

We also provided the staff with a nacho bar on Monday. We typically do a sign up list for various snacks throughout the week. 

We saw this cute idea on Pinterest and created our own version. The "curtains" are plastic table cloths and the gold background is rolls of gold wrapping paper I found at the dollar store. The gold popped and turned out awesome!

We had a great week celebrating our Classified Staff! The lounge looks so plain and boring now that the decorations are down. Until next year.....

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Rise & Shine Staff Appreciation Breakfast

Hey! Hey! Long time no post! Now that the school year is winding down there are so many things to talk about! First off, how the heck do people do it? I don't know how they balance teaching, family and blogging. I just can't seem to get all three down at the same time! But I am looking forward to the summer when I have more time on my hands! Yahoo!
I've decided I'd like to be a party planner in my next life. It certainly taps into a creative outlet that I enjoy. I thought I'd share a few photos this weekend from celebrations during the school year that I helped with. 
One of my many other hats that I wear is Secretary on the PTA at my daughter's school. It's important for my girls to know that I am involved in their education and in their school. I may not be able to volunteer in the classroom or go on every fieldtrip, but being apart of PTA is the right balance for me. Plus, we make time for things that are a priority, right?
So I finally convinced the PTA President to let me decorate for the Staff Appreciation breakfast... oh you know, 24 hours before it happened. No problem. I got this! I quickly threw together some invites for the staff. Complete with Stickles. Because everything is better with a little sparkle.

I quickly put together some last minute decorations for a Rise and Shine breakfast theme. Simple, but bright and cheery. It's all about the colors. I hung some pom poms and lanterns. The huge sun is made out of poster board.

Oh Pinterest. You get me every time! I saw these sunburst pom poms and needed to make some. The round table ended up being too big and my table cloth too short to make the sunburst table cloth. So I ended up hanging them above the food table. I really could have used some more poms and lanterns there, but that's what I had to work with at the time.

I found this perfect little free You are My Sunshine printable. I had some frames laying around the house and decided to resize the prints to make them fit the IKEA frames I had. 

 I added lemon slices to the mason jars for the flower center pieces.  The four lines from the song fit perfectly down the staff table. (The runner is mesh wreath making material and worked perfectly for a long runner.)

This little celebration came together quick and the teachers really enjoyed it. As a teacher myself, this is really the least I could do to thank them for all of their hard work!

 But they sure were surprised when they came into the breakfast the next morning to new couches, tables and a rug! PTA showered them with love this year! Now they have a cozy place to relax and enjoy their breaks. You do not want to see the couch that was there previously. This was a major splurge, but the teachers are worth it!