Framed Thank-You Photo

Have children sit together by classroom with some holding letters to make the words “thank you,” like this class of 3rd graders from Kolb Elementary in Dublin, Calif. Ask the room parent to print her classroom’s photo and present it framed to the teacher.

Picture Perfect

After class pictures are taken for the yearbook, mount each one on its own piece of poster board and have the students sign it. Leave enough room for them to add a short note if they’d like to.

Memory Book

Ask students to make drawings for the teacher illustrating their favorite moment of the school year. Have a volunteer or room parent collect the drawings and place them in a keepsake album or binder.

Video of Thanks

Ask a volunteer with video skills to capture children talking about their teacher. This might require a bit of advance prep to encourage kids to say what they love about their teacher, what makes her the best, etc. When the video is complete, post it to your group’s YouTube channel or Facebook page and send the link to the teacher.

Applause Parade

Have students line up in the hallway and clap for their teachers as they enter the building.

Class Song

This requires a little rehearsal. Have a class parent work with students to sing a simple song like “You Are My Sunshine.” Rehearse during recess and set up a special surprise performance for the teacher.

Thank-You Announcements

Have one or two children from each class join the morning announcements (perhaps do five to 10 classes each day) to say one nice thing about their teacher.

Love Notes

Have children each write a handwritten “love note” about what makes their teacher special. Ask room parents to collect the notes and present them in a special box or jar.

Download the Love Notes

 

Coupons for Services

Print up some simple coupons for jobs students can do for their teachers, such as wiping down desks, sweeping, and helping with the school garden. Encourage the kids to present the coupons to their teachers and to set a day to do their tasks.

Download the Coupons for Student Jobs

 

Chalkboard Thanks

At the Memorial School in Paramus, N.J., students gave personal cards as an end-of-year gift for teachers. Each child wrote a thank-you message on a chalkboard, then posed for a photo. The photo was glued to a card. Children decorated their cards and included notes of appreciation.

Car Window Messages

Buy special markers that write on glass (or use white shoe polish) and encourage kids to write nice messages on their teachers’ cars, like “Thank you, Mrs. Smith” and “We (heart) our teachers.”

Sidewalk Art

The Muraski Elementary PTA in Strongsville, Ohio, has a tradition of celebrating its staff members through sidewalk art. On a designated Sunday evening, students and parents set to work with sidewalk chalk. When staff members arrive at school Monday morning, the sidewalk is covered with encouraging messages and colorful drawings.

Pinwheel Garden

Students at Prairie Hills Elementary in Thornton, Colo., planted a pinwheel garden to honor their teachers. The kids wrote kind words about the teachers on small slips of paper. Parent volunteers attached the notes to 500 paper pinwheels and “planted” them one morning before staff arrived.