Do you celebrate a “Student of the Week” each week? It is a great way to make each child in your class feel extra-special while also encouraging kids to share what makes them unique. Starting off the celebrations early can set the tone for the rest of the school year. It not only makes children feel incredibly special, it gives them something to look forward to all year long.
The key to a successful year of “Student of the Week” activities is to plan out the school year and assign each child to a week. Be mindful of holidays, wintry weather possibilities and testing time. During the first week of school (or even beforehand), send home a list of assigned weeks. If you have a class blog, it is also a good idea to post the information there. Do not forget to send home a reminder email, text or phone call the week before to give families a heads-up. A gentle reminder home can mean the difference between a successful week and one that falls flat.
Once you’ve assigned a week to each student, it’s time to think about what you’ll do to celebrate each kid. There are plenty of activities you can do to make the week one to remember. You can choose a single event to keep things simple, or you can celebrate the student of the week each day with a smaller activity. Here are some of the top student of the week ideas to get you started.
Student of the Week Celebration Ideas
Idea #1: Student of the Week Bulletin Board
Create a special bulletin board that is dedicated to honoring the student of the week. If you do not have extra wall space, use a large piece of foam board covered in fabric or paper. Use bulletin board lettering to proclaim it the “Student of the Week” board. Place it on an easel or along the whiteboard edge.
Let students create their own board with things they want to share with the class. Maybe it’s a few family photos, a drawing of their home or pictures of their favorite sports stars. Allow each child to demonstrate their personality and individuality in the way they see fit.
Idea #2: All About Me
Send home an all-about me poster the Friday before the student’s special week. Ask them to work with their family to color, decorate and fill-in their poster. When the poster comes back in on Monday morning, hang it on the Student of the Week Board. Have the student talk about what they have included during a special sharing time. Topics for the poster can include things like their birthday, family, favorite subjects or hobbies.
Idea #3: Student of the Week Crown
A paper crown with the student’s name and “Student of the Week” is an easy and inexpensive way to add that little something extra to the week’s festivities. Allow the student being honored that week to wear the crown during designated times. You can also have the student add special embellishments like stickers or glitter to give each crown a personal touch.
Idea #4: Student of the Week Book Recommendation
Every child has a favorite book, and when a student is the Student of the Week, it is the perfect time to share. Have the child bring in (or get from the classroom library) his favorite book and place it in a large book bag. Place or hang the book bag by the Student of the Week board and encourage other students to read it throughout the week. Allow the student to explain why it is his favorite book and give a brief oral report.
Idea #5: Lunch with the Teacher
Let each student of the week invite two friends to have lunch with you and him in the classroom. This special lunch is a great way to get to know your student a bit better and make him feel special. Keep a bag or basket with a vinyl tablecloth, colorful paper plates and napkins, and a fun centerpiece in your classroom closet to re-use each week.
How do you celebrate your student of the week? Share your ideas with us below!
By Brandi Jordan
This piece was originally published in 2013.