how do you make your students feel special?

Last year I had a "Safari Spotlight" and each student got a whole week to themselves.
On Monday they would bring in a poster all about them, I would put it up on the spotlight wall, 
and they got to be my special helper all week long.

This is where I need your help.

Since I am looping, I need some other ideas. Some new ideas.
I can't do the same thing with the same kids, ya know?
Been there... done that!

So what I need from you... How do you make your students feel special?
Do you celebrate VIPs? Star Students? Spotlights?
How long do you celebrate each student?

Any ideas will be seriously appreciated! 
Seriously... I'm gettin' a little desperate!


  1. This totally depends on your school set up and procedures, but during my "Starfish of the Week," the student eats lunch in the classroom with me and another student of their choice. It's a really nice way to have some one on one quiet time with the kids and I got to know them so well this way. I would do it on a day that I didn't have recess duty and sometimes I would let them stay a little longer than the lunch period.

  2. Hi Lindsey! To celebrate my students, I have a Super Star of the Week. A new student is chosen each week, on Monday. When students walk into the classroom each Monday, they excitedly look to see who's been chosen. On their desk, they find a star cutout, letter to their parents, and their Super Star questionnaire. It's so cute when they realize who was chosen and they congratulate that student, saying, "I knew it was going to be you! You are always so good." The Super Star may lead the line for the week, sit at the teacher's desk, choose where they sit, lead calendar, etc. On the parent letter, it asks parents to send in 5-8 pictures of their child to post in the classroom. I have a picture board with elastic criss-crosses to hold the photos without stapling, taping, etc. On Friday, we sit in a circle so the Super Star can share their pictures, tell about their Super Star questionnaire, and read their favorite story to the class. Afterwords, all students go back to their seat and write to the super star. They describe the student, write nice thoughts about them, and then illustrate. The super star writes to the teacher. I compile all of the students' writing and place the super star questionnaire on the top. I place these pages in folded construction paper to make book for the student to take home and share. On the top of the book, there is a super star cutout, along with the child's name and date.

    Hope this helps! I will work on posting my Super Star pages.

    First Grade Factory

  3. I had the same problem when I looped from 1st to 2nd. I picked up an overstuffed chair and ottoman for about 25 dollars (looks almost like a recliner). The star student had their own thrown to sit all week. I keep the chair at next to the rug for whole group intruction. He or she is allowed to sit in the chair at anytime we are meeting at the carpet. The chair can be used during independent reading while other students are sitting at their desk or on the carpet. It's a beloved treasure!

    Primary Graffiti

  4. I guess it depends on your theme?!? I have a Hollywood theme and my kids do a little something special each day. On Fridays, we do a little "walk of fame" ceremony right after lunch. I cut big stars, they "autograph" it, and then they stamp their handprints with paint. It's pretty fun and the kids LOVED it last year!
    When I taught 2nd grade, I had my kids use the letters in the Star Student's name to make new words. Then I took all those words and typed them into Wordle. I printed out the little Wordle, laminated it, and gave it to the Star Student at the end of the week. That was lots of fun, too and the kids couldn't wait to get their Wordles!!!
    Can't wait to see what you come up with!!!!

    Cara :)
    The First Grade Parade

  5. Here's link to my Star of the Week template:


    Feel free to use any of my ideas!

  6. Each week the entire third grade does what we call "Brag Time". We brag on one student from each class that has been showing our character word of the week.

    - I have given my student a certificate and the poster to hang.
    -I have allowed them to create a voki instead of the poster and I uploaded it to our classroom blog. THey love it, but it takes a little bit to create the avatar and then record their voice. Then on Monday or Tuesday the class would check it out!
    -This year I am allowing my star student to pick the student suggested book of the week. That way I know everyone has a chance to feature their book.

  7. I used to have Shining Star (but when my class size grew to 32, I ran out of weeks especially with kids coming and going) and each day, the Shining Star had something special to do. I sent home the Shining Star bag (I used a bag from Michaels and ironed on cute "Shining Star" labels and clipart) on the Friday before their week.
    Monday: bring student info sheet and 10 pics
    Tuesday: bring 5 special items (trophies, stuffed animal, blanket, etc)
    Wednesday: secret box with 3 clues
    Thursday: estimation jar
    Friday: parent visit (parents talk about their career or culture and then read a story to the class) and if parents can't come, they send a book for me to read to the class

    I had a special bulletin board dedicated to Shining Star and hung up their pics. Their special items went into the "museum", etc. I was always the first shining star to show kids how it worked. The parents LOVED coming on Fridays . . . I sent out a schedule at back to school night so parents could make arrangements with work or whatever. I had some awesome presentations - rocket scientist, chef, firefighter, dentist, etc. Lots of times, the kids would get little "gifts" such as toothbrushes or stickers, etc.

    If you want any of this, feel free to email me!
    Kristin ateenytinyteacher@yahoo.com
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  8. I call my student's special week, "Star Scientist". Each day there is something those kids get to do (along with special items they can take home with them over the week). I purchased a lab coat that has a bunch of special stuff sewn on it for them that they get to wear at school.

    Here are a few of the things they get to do: Lead our morning "Brain Boost" (which is 15-20 minutes of some type of design, collaboration, or team building activity) each morning. They get to take home one of our class pets (Socko the Sock Monkey) and create some type of electronic presentation about his adventures with them...One day the Star Scientist will eat lunch with all of the 1st grade teachers and typically on Friday. The Star Scientist will bring in a snack in which the other children have to listen to the the directions to create...I call it "Super Tasty Treats". I am in the process of adding all of my Star Scientist items to my blog or you can email me if you want me to send you anything else!

    Katie Appel

  9. Hey Lindsey!!
    I just posted about my C.E.O. here:


    Check it out if you get a chance! Have fun looping...I looped last year and it was great for everyone involved!


  10. Hey Lindsey,

    Here's the link to my post about Star Students in my classroom.

    First Grade Factory

  11. OK, this is what my son's 6th grade teacher did - she had an "I LOVE _____ !" day for every student randomly throughout the year. On I Love Joshua day, for example, he was the star student of the day and got all of the extra warm fuzzies that everyone is writing about AND - and this is the REALLY special piece - he got to stand by her side as she phoned home to tell me all of the reasons why she LOVES and appreciates my child. Cost her 60 seconds of her time but was priceless to me and my husband. I could FEEL his glow through the phone. I wrote about it on my blog if you want to read about it in more detail. Blessings on your year, Barbara

    The Corner On Character

  12. I did something called "Me Stew" the last couple years. You get a Halloween cauldron from Party City or something and each student gets one day. They get to fill it with their special things, pictures, ballet slippers, jerseys, etc. Nothing super expensive and limited amount of toys-if any.


  13. This is what I do! :) I think you'd love it!


  14. Lindsey...I noticed that you are sending out circus postcards...so why not do a Ring Leader of the Week?

    I think that would be a super fun idea!!


  15. I was thinking on the same lines as a guest ringmaster with teacher assistant duties for the week. Or how about making it to the BIG Time (as in elephants). We're nuts (peanuts) about .....


  16. Wow! You guys never seize to amaze me!!! I am so impressed at all your suggestions! Thank You! You are life-savers!! :)

  17. My favorite thing to do for the star student is to make a class book. I teach first grade so the pages in the book say "blank is special because blank.". We do one book a week until each child has one. It always turns out cute and it's something special they can keep.

  18. I teach Kindergarten and students love being Star Student of the week! On Friday I choose a student and their name is featured in the newsletter. They then get to take home a large "All About Me" poster. On Monday they return it and we display it in the hall. On Monday, the students get to take home a Star Student Bag. Included is a personal froggy (small froggy from oriental trading that they get to keep), 4-5 Froggy books, journal, and the class scrapbook. Over the summer I send home a scrapbook page for all students to return the first day of school. These are placed in a 3 ring binder in page protectors. Students LOVE to take this home and share with their family. They get to keep this home all week. As far as in the classroom, the Star Student is line leader and calendar helper all week. They get so excited when they are chosen. In the journal they get to write about their favorite part of being star student whether it is calendar helper, line leader, or taking home the froggy book. Every student is different. Hope that helps! You just gave me a topic to blog about!

  19. We have a student of the day. Every student decorates a 3x5 card, with their name on it. Then I hole punch all the cards and put them on a ring. At the end of the day, I flip to the next student. They may bring a special item from home (to keep away from "show & tell" I suggest they share something they made, created, or a story/memory they have. Then we spend a few minutes giving the student of the day compliments.

  20. I have little denim bags (found at Michaels Craft Store) and we call them "Cool Stuff Bags". The kids can bring things to school in the bag that show things about them. They get to share them and pass them around if they want.

  21. Lindsey....I am a big believer in positive recognition and I wanted to share with you some information about BRAG TAGS (plastic laminated award "Dog-Tags"). I have been involved in the printing industry for many years, and have been able to use my contacts and save my daughters’ school a significant amount of money on their laminated tag costs. With school budgets being so tight, I wanted to offer other schools the opportunity to take advantage of the savings as well. The costs are over 50% off any other companies making them now! The designs are so fun and you can even personalize or customize make any tag. Contact me for more info and special discount info.


  22. You could have a special activity each day for your star student. For example, on Monday, your student could fill out and share an "All About me" sheet. On Wednesday, they could bring in something for show and tell. Then on Friday, they could bring in their favorite book to read to the class (or have you read it). On Tuesday and Thursday, they could get special lunch time with you or extra computer, recess, etc. time. I did the book days when I taught preschool and allowed the kids to bring in something that went along with the book or to dress up as a character from the book. They had a lot of fun!

  23. Check our Beth Newingham's website for wonderful ideas. I've used her's the last few years. My week looked something like this . . . Monday/All About Me Bag, Tuesday/Favorite Book and Recipe, Wednesday/Special Lunch, Thursday/Letter from Parent or Someone Special, Friday/Compliment Book from Class.

  24. Since I need things simple and don't like "Show & Tell", the easiest way for me to 'spotlight' a student's birthday is best! I use a BIRTHDAY BACKPACK (a small Jansport). Every student is able to celebrate their special day - even 1/2 birthdays for summer ones. (I schedule those.) Anyway, the birthday backpack goes home the day before. It has a letter inside to explain what might be included - treasures, family pictures, favorite books, etc. Students come in the morning of their day with a cover over the back of their chair proclaiming "Happy Birthday" and their chair on top of the desk for all to see.
    We celebrate the last part of the day. I let them bring store-bought treats if they want, but they aren't required. We make a birthday wish book that they LOVE. One student carried his in his backpack for months. Hope this suggestion helps someone out!


thanks for the love ♥

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