Monday, April 28, 2014

Message Center Kindness Cards with Treat by Shutterfly

What a treat to learn that one of our favorite photo sites, Shutterfly, has a sister site called Treat Greeting Cards!
What a treat to be given creative carte blanche by Treat to create a class set of greeting cards!
The possibilities are endless...But, we were super excited with our choice! Totally perfect for first grade! Don't you think?
We found a similar picture of kids' hands in the shape of a heart on Pinterest. 
The image led to nowhere, so if it's yours please let us know so we can give you credit. 
The idea was adorable and the perfect fit for our Class Kindness Cards. So we recreated the idea...and Viola!
Treat allows you to decorate the inside AND the backs of the cards with lots of options for multiple pictures and text. Truth be told, creating photo greeting cards has always been a fun hobby of ours, especially around the holidays. It's the perfect way to sum up the year with our busy families. So, bringing this hobby to our classroom has been a total Treat for us!
These cards are beautiful! Thick, high quality, and our photos turned out crisp and clear! The word "play" was part of the design, but we added a little message for our week-long class Kindness Challenge. Here was our deal...
On the Monday before Spring Break (why yes, our timing was impeccable-a little motivator to help keep them on target before break...), we had each of our students pick a secret name...OK, we sort of rigged it...boys picked boys and girls picked girls. We had a few (you do too) who we knew wouldn't completely freak out have any issues if they got a person of the opposite gender. So, we buddied them up and gave them a mission...
WATCH YOUR SECRET BUDDY FOR THE WHOLE WEEK FOR ACTS OF KINDNESS. WHEN YOU SEE IT, REMEMBER IT BECAUSE YOU WILL HAVE TO TELL THEM WHAT YOU SAW ON FRIDAY.
They had no choice but to accept it...And, they did wholeheartedly.

At the end of our Class Kindness Challenge, we got our cards and the real work began! They were so excited to share what they observed their friends doing during the week...and wow, were they genuine! It was really awesome to see!
We always have them rough draft on their whiteboards first. It allows us to do a quick check and super easy editing before they mark up their masterpieces.

Now, if you know us, you know we didn't stop there! There was this beautiful little space up in the top corner of our cards...so, we added our thumbprint people; one of themselves and one of their secret pal. It gave them just the personal touch we were looking for and painting on these cards was quick and easy!

Once dry, they used Sharpies to decorate their thumbprints.
 And addressed their envelopes...
Our kindness cards were ready for delivery, and there's no better spot than our Class Message Center.
If you've been following our blog for awhile you know we have a rule in our class... 
Nobody Gets Mail,
Until Everyone Has Mail!

We had a few friends who took an early Spring Break, so the wait was a killer great lesson in patience.
Delivery Day finally arrived! We called them back to the Message Center a few at a time and allowed them to grab their Kindness Cards. The best part was that all could read their own (thank you first grade teachers!). But the best, BEST part was watching them beam with pride as they read what their friends noticed about them throughout the week. 
Powerful stuff people....Powerful stuff...
So much so, that we're hanging onto these cards for our Open House. They will be on display for our class to beam to their families. 
They too are in for a Treat!
It was such a treat to try Treat in our classroom! But, we are also so excited to have discovered Treat for our personal lives too. They have an app that is easier than easy to upload photos to, create cards, and they will even send them off for you! Talk about efficient. They also have a Birthday Reminders feature which allows you to enter dates of friends and family members so you will never forget a birthday again!
They have just about every holiday to choose from, including Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother's Day too!
We can't wait to get creative again with Treat greeting cards!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! It was great seeing how your mailboxes are setup and I love the "nobody gets mail until everybody gets mail." I've done similar projects and assigned names so that everyone gets chosen. I like this idea better! Thanks for the inspiration! :)
    ~Melissa
    Teacher Treasure Hunter

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