Thursday, March 20, 2008

Learn it! Know it! Show it!

Annie Kate's third grade teacher asked me and another mom to come up with a "you can do it" kit to give the kids before their week of county testing. Testing here is a big deal in this county, in my opinion too big of deal. There is no doubt Annie Kate is getting the education of a lifetime here and I think it will give her a great head start, but since I have never been about test scores, it kind of drives me crazy.

The test in not for two weeks but we wanted to get them done before Spring Break (which started here about 15 minutes ago YEA!). The teachers theme is all about you have learned it, you know it and now it is your time to show it!

While I am sure not many out there will be making kits like this there are a few tips that may help someone in other projects.

First thing - Whole Foods may never forgive me about telling you about this one. Their salad bar boxes are these awesome recycled chip board like box. It is AWESOME and has been catching my eye for sometime for an upcoming project. The store gave them to us to have since we said we were with the neighborhood school. (i can't take any credit for picking them up, my friend did all the negotiating, if you could see how cute she is - no one could turn her down.)

Here are all 25 boxes all tied up with wonderful ribbon in school colors
The box was full of little items to get them excited about the test.
keep in mind these little doo dads could be used for any motivating kit,

first day of school
athletic event
musical concert
going to college
for a missionary

Fruit by the foot
Put your best "foot" forward

Stick to it, there is nothing you can't do

Rubber band
"Stretch" you mind and you will do just fine
Hershey Hugs
Just some "Hugs" from Mrs. Dembrow
Band Aid
Wear this "Band Aid" one day of the test to remind you how much I care about you

It is time to "Highlight" what you know!"

Extra Gum
Just a little something "Extra" for good luck

"Sponge" Bob smarty pants

Water Bottle
MSA (title of the test) Super Juice
Little bottle of bubbles
Blow the bubbles not the test
I am "cert"ain you can do it!

Smarties for the Smarty

You can do it you are "Sharp"

Pencil Grip
"Get a grip and a goodnight sleep"

Here is a "tip", eat a good breakfast and come in with a smile

Just in case you need to "Erase"

we used little jewelry bags that are so cheap from any craft store. You can usually find them in the Jewelry making section. Then used return address labels for a lot to the labeling. We asked 5 parents to each donate the random items which really helped and they were all happy to do it.

Is your county testing a big deal?
Can you even imagine getting something like this when you were in third grade?
What other ideas to you have to add to this or reasons to make it?


patsy said...

first- woo hoo!

patsy said...

Kristi~ you did it again- inspiring... love it! I could really use this idea for so many occasions. Thanks for sharing!!

Price Cream Parlor said...

totally cute idea! Love the Whole Food box idea and all the clever little statements! I will have to remember that. TX was over the top on testing. So much so that when I had my 9 year old in the ER as he had just cut his cornea with a piece of plastic - sitting there with an instant cataract and blind - he was worried about his TESTING that was coming up! @$*()&(#*$& - that is when I get a bit crazy with the testing.
Great education though in TX for sure! I do miss that!
Thanks for sharing! Clever, clever ideas!

Rebecca said...

Those are awesome!! Forget how I would feel about getting that in the 3rd grade; I would love something like that now!

On another note, do you have any tips for your pretzels? I tried making them and the taste was right on but they weren't as heavy as I would have liked. The texture was off a little. Do you think I let them rise too much? They were more like rolls (fluffy) than pretzels. ??

Jenmomof4 said...

Great ideas Kristi!!

I am filing it all away for when I need it! Hope you have a great Easter!

Tasha said...

I think those tests are getting to be the norm every where. People what schools to be held accountable and they know no other way. Now. I won't go into what I think about it.

What I thnk about those kits... what a boost! What are you doing for spring break?

denise said...

Love, love, love this idea - your mind is truly over flowing with great ideas. I'm gonna definitely check out Whole Foods and try to get my hands on those containers - love them!

By the way...I finally got around to posting a thank you on my blog for the awesome ribbon you sent to me. You are too kind. I'm just glad that you are enjoying the sunglasses.

Mandy said...

Those are amazing boxes! No, I can't imagine getting that in 3rd grade. You went to a ton of work and they are wonderful! What a great idea for a "motivational" box.

denise said...

Moved you to friend. I feel like I'm in middle school again and finally get to hang out with the cool kids :)

Lauralee said...

great idea.. wa state has the WASL.. it is a BIG deal and takes like 2 weeks.. CRAZY...anyway, it is coming up in April.. I am going to have to do something like this.. what an incredible idea!
WHOLE foods? I don't think that is out here, darn.. love the boxes though.

Anonymous said...

I so love this idea! I am going to do it for my daughter's testing in April. Thanks!

Kristen said...


Greg Garrick said...

Another idea I thought of was lemon drops. Our school has these for the kids on their state testing days. The lemon is supposed to help with recall I guess. They also suggest that the student put on some citrus scented lotion while reviewing for the test, and then apply it again just before taking the test. Again, supposed to help recall.
I am not a fan of these standardized tests... especially when they get the kids so stressed. I always tell my kids-just do your best and remember that this is testing how well the teachers taught you. This is not a part of your grade. This is testing the teachers!
These boxes you put together seem like it makes the testing fun not stressful. Love them!

Greg Garrick said...

oops! I was signed in as my husband! (It's Nikki, not Greg)

Michelle A. said...

This is such a great idea, those whole food boxes seem perfect. This must have been a lot of fun to put together.

Becky said...

I am amazed and excited by this idea--my brain is running full speed, thinking of all the ways I can use it! Those kids and their parents should be super-excited about those kits--as always, you are an inspiration, Kristi.

Amanda L. said...

Oh my goodness! What lucky kids! Testing is very big here in CT. It's happening this month..although I have 2 years until we delve into it. Those are great boxes.. a whole foods just opened up a few weeks ago the next town over and I've been wanting to go. I'll have to check out the boxes...very cool. Awesome ribbon too!

Charity said...

Regardless of how hard the testing is on our 3rd graders...You and your friend, are amazing! What a boost for all those kids...

Thanks for showing all of us how easy it is to be amazing!

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher in NY and we just finished our Math Assessments. The kids get so stressed about them (as do the teachers!) and it would be so nice to have parents in our community work together to support our students to feel motivated and loved, as you have done. Thank you for what you are doing for the future of these kids.

Jill said...

These are fantastic, the kids will love them (who wouldn't?).

Testing isn't such a big deal here (which is sad) and I don't think our teachers would ever ask for help like this. I don't know if it's because Utahns have so many kids or what, but everyone ends up being tapped out or something.

TheVasquez3 said...

these are adorable! you are such a creative chickie!

Barb said...

You are not the first blogger to mention testing coming up. We have provincial testing here, but it doesn't seem so stressfull.
AK's teacher sure knows how to take advantage of your talents! Lucky 3rd graders. . .

The 5 Bickies said...

We have testing coming up and I think these are an amazing idea. Thanks for being such an inspriation. Were the labels hard to make? How do you come up with such clever fonts?

Hilary said...

What a fun little gift! I love it all! ANd they look so darn cute toO! Love how your mind works!

andrea said...

Yikes, I wish I would have read this a few hours ago. I just put together a kit for my 7th grade son and his upcoming test. It was nowhere near as cute or clever. I may have to copy this for my 5th grader's test which is coming up in a few weeks.

We have what is known as the WASL test and the teachers place so much pressure on the kids that they are scared to death to take the darn thing.

Thank you so much for posting this super cute idea.

kristi said...

5 bickes:

the labels are so EASY> you can make them in microsoft word under label maker or i use Scrapbook factory to do all my graphic stuff.

i get all my fonts from they are only $1.99 each

good luck

stacy{s} said...

Love it. it!

Bren's Life said...

Oh my Goodness! I wish my kids school was this awesome. They never have anything cool like this given to them. But I could of never thought of this in my life! You are one amazing woman & I truly look forward to learning more about you. You are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing...

wende said...

too cute! you really are the idea lady and i agree that it's what makes you "extra special". :) i'm sure that the kids will totally enjoy the "good mail" pkg! thanks for sharing.

Natasha said...

The LEAP tests her in Louisiana are a big deal to the schools. The kids take them in 3rd grade and I dislike the way the teachers hype the kids up. Luci already knows all about LEAP testing and she's only in 1st!

Where does your creativity end? I am so impressed (AGAIN) how you can take a test and turn it into fun. Annie Kate must be proud to have you as her mom and what a gift you have!!

The monkey bunch said...

Testing is a huge deal here, too. Virginia, you know. They have to keep up that one of the best places in the United States to get an education thing. It drives me nuts. They do give aways like that and have pep rallies and everything. Sometimes I wonder how much more they could be learning if they weren't studying so hard to do well on all these tests!

Deb said...

lucky kids! that will put a smile on their faces for sure. nice presentation with school color ribbons

Jenny Dahl said...

No doubt the teacher knew exactly who to ask to take on this project. You did not disappoint! Another fantastic idea I will store away and someday do a lame version of the same like I do with everything you so generously share.

Jenne said...

That is SO cool! My dh is a HS principal, and he would LOVE it if parents did this for testing!!!! I'm going to share with him if you don't mind. ;) I think it's FABULOUS!!!!

michelle said...

This is so cute, Kristi! The containers rock! We don't hear so much about the testing here -- I mean the kids know when it is and they tell me, but it doesn't seem to be such a big deal.

Laurie said...

Those are all amazing ideas! Thanks for sharing.