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Back to School May Designs Giveaway

When it comes time for back to school, one of my favorite things to do it pick out brand new stationary for a fresh start to the year! There's nothing I love more than being able to personalize it too! #Monogrameverything ... am I right? I'm thrilled to be sharing some of my favorite back to school products with you!

I was thrilled when I stumbled upon May Designs a few years ago. Their designs are completely customizable. You can choose the print, font, color, accents and more! They are well known for their "May Books," which can be customized to be a calendar, agenda, notebook, list, planner, and more! However, their stationary is all the rage too! 

This year I chose to go with the notebook. I am always running from meeting to meeting with post-its and it just seemed time to have one central location for all my important information. Since I was designing it for the purpose, I choose the lines. They give you the option to include colored lines, dots, grids or blank pages. 

This print is one of my all time favorites! May Designs recently teamed up with Emily Ley to include her eye catching fresh prints from her own personal planner brand. It was a tough choice between the stripes and pineapples, both are so me! However, the name of the striped print sold me. It's called Happy Stripe!

Lucky me, they also included the Happy Stripe print in the stationary styles. When customizing the stationary, you the option to choose the print, font, color, accents and more as well! I decided to have a plain back with my name at the top. I plan to use these to send notes home to families. However, I am tempted to go back and snag some personalized thank you designs as well! They are too cute!

Hoping to get one of your hands on these beauties for back to school? Shop May Designs here and be sure to enter my giveaway for your coupon code to get a May Book for free!!! In order to enter, visit my Instagram here and follow the entry details. Giveaway runs August 5th-8th 11:59 PM EST. 

Starting off the Year with Student Portfolios

Last year I dreamed of completing a special project to surprise my students and their families at the end of the year. I had found the idea and inspiration for a Student Portfolio from the sweet Cara Carroll over at The First Grade Parade.

The primary grades are filled with immense amount of growth and special memories that you want your students and families to always remember and cherish. Student portfolios are the perfect way to capture all of that and more for your students!

I had posted some pictures of the completed portfolios at the end of last year and had received some questions regarding how I put them together. In attempt to answer those questions, I wanted to share with you the year long process in time for you to start the year off with them!

To get you started, you'll need a class set of three ring binders (I use 1 inch but you can adjust to fit your needs), manilla folders and Avery 5160 labels.  I am lucky enough that my student supply list includes binders. Therefore, the students already have them and do not need to purchase them.

The manilla folders are used to house the student's complete products all year long. Each student gets one folder. Once the student's work comes down after being hung up, it goes into their manilla folder, rather than home in their homework folder.

If you begin to notice in the picture, I attempt to keep at least one thematic piece from each month/holiday season. This can include writing responses, crafts, lists, etc. It's up to you to customize what you would or would not like to include.

I also keep a writing portfolio specifically for their writer's workshop pieces. Both portfolios measure and show an immense amount of growth.

If you choose to keep the student pieces in a manilla folder, it will help to keep the items in chronological order. This will make it much easier when assembling them at the end of the year.

I didn't put them into the binder until the very end of the year. I used a hand held hole puncher  due to the fact that most of the student pieces were larger than a 3 hole puncher.

Something I will consider and try to do more is use student name labels on each child's completed work. Often times due to the limited time constraints in our schedule, we only have a minimal amount of time to complete these types of activities. Therefore, we finish and clean up in a hurry which means sometimes our names don't always end up on our completed work.

The times I used Avery 5160 student name labels, it was not only easier in managing the student work, students felt proud when they saw their work clearly labeled and identified.

I will admit that I had help when assembling these. It didn't take as long as you would think! No matter how long it takes, I assure you that it's worth it!

Both the parents and students loved them equally! I can only image myself as a parent and how special of a gift that would be for me to receive at the end of year. It's priceless! :)

If you're thinking of doing student portfolios, you can find the Student Portfolio cover I used here. It is a document that will allow you to add text as you need. (Student name, year, teacher, school, etc.)

Be sure to let me know if you have any other questions that I missed!!