Organizing Vacation Bible School, or VBS, Online * Sagepoint – ONLINE ORGANIZER with FREE online sign-up sheets, calendar, automatic reminders – all printable
Sagepoint makes organizing Vacation Bible School (VBS) easier with free printable online signup sheets, calendars, schedules, group communication, fundraising, and more.
National Teacher Appreciation Week is Monday, May 7 – Friday, May 11, 2012.
Sagepoint has some ideas to help PTA and PTO groups and classroom parents fill Teacher Appreciation Week with celebration & fun activities; we want to make activity-planning easier for you. Check out our ideas below, and be sure to click one of the example signups. Try out the free, time-saving organizing tools at www.sagepoint.com.
TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK IDEAS
TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK IDEAS FOR THE WHOLE SCHOOL
SONIC FOUNTAIN DRINK HAPPY HOUR: In the morning, take Sonic drink orders from teachers and have them delivered to their classrooms in the afternoon. Sonic offers a half-price drink happy hour from 2-4 pm. If you have Sonic or another fountain-drink restaurant in your area you can have a fun & memorable day with this idea. You’ll need several volunteers & drink-carriers for this idea, and you’ll also want to contact the restaurant manager in advance to let them know you are coming in. They may have ideas on how to make everything run smoothly.
CAR WASH: Collect the teacher’s keys and treat them to a car wash right in the school parking lot. You can use your own parent volunteers, but contact some local car washes in the area to see if they would be interested in donating some supplies and coupons for future car washes. Leave the coupons on the dashboard along with a hanging air freshener and a little thank you note. Contact your local newspapers & tv stations to see if they would be interested in covering the story, further extending the excitement of the event.
“FUTURE TEACHER” WALL OF FAME: Ask teachers to bring in a school photo from when they were in the grade they are teaching (ex. 2nd Grade teacher brings in a school photo from when he/she was in 2nd Grade). Don’t forget to include teachers in specialized areas. You may even have part of the wall for “FUTURE SCHOOL NURSE”, “FUTURE PRINCIPAL”, etc. Prepare a bulletin board in a main hallway. Post their photos along with their current name, name or nickname in school, name and location of the their former school, favorite subject, and favorite moment in school. Kids, parents, and teachers will LOVE this. You may want to leave the wall up until the end of the school year.
CATERED BREAKFAST OR LUNCHEON: Ask local businesses if they would donate a catered breakfast or luncheon just for the teachers and staff. Maybe several businesses could collaborate to make the event a success.
THEMED POTLUCK: Ask parent volunteers to participate in decorating, donating foods, serving and cleanup. Also consider asking for parent volunteers to supervise classrooms to allow the teachers to eat all together. Use this time to invite any special guests to speak, or coordinate a special presentation to the teachers. Don’t forget to have themed music to go along with some of the ideas below.
SOME THEME IDEAS:
- We LOVE Our SOUPER Teachers (Soups, Salads, and Decadent Desserts)
- Mahalo, Kumu! (Thank You, Teacher!) Luau (Hawaiian-themed feast, great to coincide with Hawaiian shirt day)
- Gracias to our Volunteers, Con Queso (Mexican Food Fiesta, With Cheese!)
- Thank You, Teachers, WITH ALL OUR HEARTS (various sandwiches, finger foods, and desserts….all heart-shaped by using cookie cutters)
- Our Teachers TAKE THE CAKE (major dessert extravaganza)
- Our Teachers Are The Ice CREAM OF THE CROP (Ice Cream Sundae Bar)
TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK IDEAS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL CLASSROOM
A WALL OF APPRECIATION: Cover a wall space or classroom door with butcher paper and decorate it with notes of thanks from the children and from parents. Make a floral bouquet by painting green stems on the paper and having each note written on a flower-shaped paper. To add dimension, place a real bow made from pretty ribbon around the bunched up stems. For a male (or female) teacher, use an underwater theme with different tropical fish and coral for the notes, or, if you know a favorite hobby of the teacher, base it on that hobby.
“HAND-PRINTS” T-SHIRT: If you are crafty, visit a hobby shop to pick up a colorful t-shirt, a fabric marker, rhinestones, rhinestone application glue, and non-toxic fabric paints. Have the classroom children place their palm in a plate of paint, and neatly help them form a hand print on the shirt. Be sure to pre-plan so there is room on the shirt for all hands(use those shoulders and sleeves, too). After paint is dry, use a fabric marker to print each child’s name near their hand print. Finish by gluing rhinestone bling randomly around the shirt. Create both a keepsake and a really fun t-shirt for the teacher to wear.
GIFT CARD TREE OR BOOK: Coordinate the classroom parents to purchase $5-10 gift cards from local restaurants, coffee shops, car washes, dry cleaners, bookstores, gas stations, teaching supply stores, or even Amazon.com where you can get just about anything. Arrange the gift cards onto a small tree, or insert onto pages of a homemade book decorated by the students. What a treat!
GIFT BASKET: It’s so exciting to explore through a gift basket to see what surprises are in there. Choose a great basket and a theme near and dear to the teacher’s heart and pack it with goodies. Some theme ideas are: Classroom Supplies, Spa/Salon products with a gift certificate for a service, Book Worm, or Tea Time.
When you are planning your celebration activities, be sure to include:
- Teachers who teach all grades in the areas of physical education, art, music, theatre arts, special education, accelerated programs, teacher’s aides and other support staff.
- The school nurse (Wednesday, May 9 is National School Nurse Day).
Sagepoint was created for volunteer coordinators & volunteers as a free set of organizing tools to simplify planning, organizing & signups.
So, it is with great esteem that we at Sagepoint join in celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week April 15 – April 21.
Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another. –Erma Bombeck
When you think about how much our clubs and organizations in this country are strengthened by the volunteers who give generously of their time, talents, and possessions, it is fitting that we should take a week to give special thanks and recognition to them.
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for someone else. – Benjamin Franklin
I think the very best gift to give any volunteer is a heartfelt “thank you” acknowledging their work, and specifically what you admire about them. In cases where children are the recipients of the volunteer’s work, a card from the children would make a treasured keepsake, and even more special would be a photo of the volunteer “in action” along with it. So many times, words of admiration go unspoken. Speak up and tell someone you appreciate them and why.
“Thank you for volunteering to read stories to my class, Mrs. Jana.”
Amazing, and You Just Made My Day:
”Mrs. Jana, you are the best reader. My class loves your pretty voice, and the way you bring the characters to life in the stories you read. You know how to captivate them.”
For larger groups, use Sagepoint (www.sagepoint.com) to organize a themed potluck in honor of volunteers:
- We love our SOUPER Volunteers (Soups, Salads, and Decadent Desserts)
- Gracias to our Volunteers, con queso (Mexican Food Fiesta, with cheese!)
- Our Volunteers are the TOPPING to our Club (Ice Cream Sundae Bar)
- Our Volunteers are ALL HEART (various finger foods and desserts…..all heart-shaped)
- Volunteers, you TAKE THE CAKE (major dessert extravaganza)
If you are looking for other ways to recognize volunteers, there are a good variety of ideas on the Energ!ze Inc. website at http://www.energizeinc.com/ideas.html.
If you have other ideas to share, or questions to get help with, please POST THEM HERE on Sagepointers.
Free Online Signup Sheets
Today I discovered a whole new way to use Sagepoint to organize my son’s baseball team. Read this…..it may save you some time and from possible discomfort.
Baseball Jersey Number Assignments the hard way:
My husband is managing a baseball team consisting of 12 wonderful boys. There I was at the team’s first practice, assisting, with my sheet of paper on a clip board and pen in hand. Twelve boys, twelve different numbers. One by one I spoke with the boys and their parents about their pick for jersey number. The first few were easy, but as the number choices got fewer, some negotiating had to be done. I was in a sensitive position a few times when kids asked for the same number. I did not like disappointing the kids, or their parents, with news that they had to pick a new number, especially since this was the first time meeting them. The whole process was a little awkward and took longer than I had anticipated. That’s when I realized it; I should have used a Sagepoint online signup sheet.
Baseball Jersey Number Assignments the easy way:
- Players and their families can discuss the signup in the comfort and privacy of their own home, and not feel put “on the spot”.
- Sagepoint’s signup sheets are in real time, so duplicates will not happen. If the jersey number is already taken, it shows on the list as signed-up.
- Remaining available choices are clearly listed. I set up the signup sheet, and it gets emailed to all parents along with an email invitation that I can personalize.
Reminder emails are automatically sent out to parents to sign up by my specified date. I login to my Sagepoint account from time to time to see if parents have viewed the signup, and if they have input their response. If they have not, I can choose to contact them individually by Sagepoint email, by phone, or in person.
After the signup due date, I can log into my account to access my completed list. The sample view to the right is what people who sign up will see. In my view, as the coordinator, I will have a list with names and jersey numbers.
If there are any questions or problems, parents can easily contact me through Sagepoint email or by phone, if I choose to list my number on my signup page.
There are countless other ways our baseball team will be using Sagepoint to simplify planning and fundraising, so why not start with this signup?
CLICK HERE to see the full example of a free online signup sheet for baseball jersey numbers right on Sagepoint website.
SAVE TIME by using Sagepoint as your coordination tool. Now you have time to explore other ways of contributing, or just spending a little time on yourself or your family.
“LIKE” us on our Facebook page to get more information and new ideas on setting up your team’s schedules. I will also have creative ideas on how to make your sports season more memorable.
If you have any unique ways that you have used Sagepoint, please leave a comment to share your ideas. Together we can help make organizing groups easier for everyone.
- Free Online Snack Signup Sheets for Sports Teams and Leagues (sagepointers.com)
Chocolate-drizzled Marshmallow Hearts
I made a batch for my son’s school Valentine’s Day party (see photo above). I am a room parent for my son’s class, which means I am in charge of planning their party (which I organized with my free sign-up sheet on www.sagepoint.com, of course). I still wanted to contribute something special but did not have time to bake. Perfect!
Here is what you will need. Everything is in the picture below to help you:
- A sheet of wax paper.
- A bag of Campfire-brand pink strawberry & white vanilla heart-shaped marshmallows – Cupidmallows (I found them at Wal-mart).
- Either Dolci Frutta chocolate, or Almond Bark in chocolate, vanilla, or both. (Note: Dolci Frutta is sold in a cylinder container and can be found in the produce department near the fruit, or in the baking aisle. Almond Bark can be found in the baking aisle.)
- Wilton “Sparkle Gel” decorative icing in red sparkle (purple and pink would be great, also). This is found in the cake & cookie decorating areas. Also find it in craft stores.
- Assorted Valentine’s Day sprinkles. I used red sugar sprinkles, and coarse purple and white (clear) sugar sprinkles.
- Toothpicks (1 for every heart you are making)
- A small spatula or spreader
- A pretty serving platter. The one I used in the photo is the ‘Dress Me Up Platter’ from Southern Living at Home, wrapped in hot pink ribbon. Presentation is important: Save the white paper plates for hot dogs.
Open bag of marshmallows and spear each one that you are planning to “chocolatize” diagonally with a toothpick (Cupid’s arrow style). Note that I have an example in the center of the ingredients photo seen below. Meanwhile, follow manufacturer’s package directions for melting either the Dolci Frutta or the Almond Bark.
Pick up your spreader or small spatula and dip into the melted chocolate. Pick up a marshmallow heart by the toothpick, and while holding it over the container of melted chocolate, drizzle tops and sides with chocolate in long strokes. Or, dip ½ of the heart into the chocolate. Or, frost the entire heart with chocolate (you can see examples in my photo). Since your first one may be a little messy, you’ll have to perform a taste test on it and eat it. Immediately add sprinkles to the “good” ones, if desired. Or, let chocolate set and move on to dipping your next marshmallow.
Once you have the chocolate and sprinkles on all of your hearts, add decorative details with your Wilton “Sparkle Gel” decorative frosting. Add dots, mini hearts, squiggle lines, or short words like “love”. This special sparkle gel is very pretty but will remain a little sticky, so don’t put your fingers in it or stack your marshmallows as it may ruin your masterpiece and create another taste-test opportunity.
Make every one different. You want them to look unique and hand-made.
Once the chocolate sets (which happens in 10 minutes or less), gently remove each heart from the wax paper and remove the toothpick. Or, if you are crafty and have the time, turn that toothpick into Cupid’s arrow and leave it in the heart. Place on a beautiful platter in a single layer and cover loosely with plastic wrap. You may want to store them overnight in the fridge, but serve them at room temperature.
I think this recipe would work any time of year. During the Christmas and Winter months you can find snowman-shaped marshmallows. Any other time of year you can use large, campfire marshmallows and let the seasonal colors come through in your Sparkle Gel and sprinkles.
I welcome your thoughts & comments. Let me know how you like this recipe.
Simple Ingredients, Impressive (and delicious) Valentine’s Day Treat
Want to lose weight? Eat healthier? Stop smoking? Spend less money? Volunteer more? Get a better job? Remember everyone’s birthday? Be kinder? BECOME MORE ORGANIZED (see upcoming blogs for wisdom on this)? Many of the resolutions we all aspire to can be achieved through mastering just one thing. And you don’t even have to buy a book to get my secret…….I’m just going to tell you.
It is not guaranteed to be easy, and it is not going to be a quick fix. But, it WILL make your life better. AND it will make many, if not all, of your resolutions quite doable.
Ready? The SECRET to achieving all of your resolutions lies in the mastery of SELF DISCIPLINE; Control yourself. Don’t overindulge. Do what you SHOULD do, not what you FEEL like doing. Don’t give in. Don’t doubt yourself. Persist in mastering control of what you think, say, and do. You can’t control others, but you CAN control YOURSELF.
How do you master SELF DISCIPLINE?
- Study it.
- Read about it.
- Find people who are better at it than you and get their support.
- Print the above paragraph and put it in a place where you can read it daily as a reminder, or better yet, block and copy it to your online Sagepoint calendar, along with a recurring reminder to read it three times daily.
- Take what you learn from small successes, and apply the lessons to the bigger goals on your list.
For example, I have a resolution to exercise but find that I am too tired during the day. I am going to start by going to bed consistently at 10:30 p.m. each night (instead of midnight or 1 a.m.). I can practice control, doing what I SHOULD do (go to sleep on time) instead of what I FEEL like doing (staying up to work while it is so quiet and I am on a roll). Once I attain this small goal, I will move on to start exercising since I will have more energy from the consistent and routine sleep I am getting. I will be persistent, as I will most certainly fall occasionally, but I know that I CAN control myself and I like how I feel when I accomplish even the small goals. Once I am on track with these goals, I will move onto the next goal on my list according to priority.
It’s worth repeating: Control yourself. Don’t overindulge. Do what you SHOULD do, not what you FEEL like doing. Don’t give in. Don’t doubt yourself. Persist in mastering control of what you think, say, and do. You can’t control others, but you CAN control YOURSELF.
Ponder the thought for a while….
I CHALLENGE YOU! Print or copy the reminders (Control yourself. etc.). Read them each morning, noon, and evening at meal time. Take one small goal, and retrain your thinking.
I’d love to hear what you think. Please, take a moment and leave me a comment.