Monday Made It–“Unique of the Week”

It’s another link up with “Monday Made It” over at Fourth Grade Frolics!
This week I’ll keep it short and sweet–but I’ll offer you a little freebie along with it!  I’m sure many of you do something like “Student of the Week” or “Star of the Week”.  I do as well–but I call it “Unique of the Week”!
Why?  As students move into these intermediate years, you know as well as I do that being cool, having the right clothes, listening to the right music–and on and on–become more and more important to these kids.  I work very hard to help students realize that we are all UNIQUE (we use this word a lot throughout the year) and that makes life interesting and allows us all to bring our special gifts to the table.  I ask what would happen if all teachers were exactly alike–and they all agree the world would be a pretty boring place.
That being said, it isn’t always easy to put into practice. so with our “Unique of the Week” I ask students to fill a bag I  make with enough “stuff” (photos, favorite things, mementos) to share for about ten minutes.  I remind them to try to pick things to really help us get to know what makes them unique!  I also have them fill out a brief survey to share with the class to help us get to know him/her.  At the conclusion of the sharing time, I ask “How many of you had some things in common with _____” and we realize that we DO have things in common with each and every classmate.
Some years we do a mini “interview” of the student where I record new knowledge on a web which we then display. It’s a great resource for later in case someone is looking for something to write about!
So–the Monday Made It?  Because I make a new bag every year, this is the time of year I get out my supplies and get going!
This is super easy–get a small canvas bag from your local craft store and some fabric paints.  I use this kind . . .
I can’t lie.  I like to use at least one with glitter in this process.  Sometimes more than one.  Don’t judge.  All I do then is “get my creative on” and design!  Here is a completed bag–just doodle with your paint!
I decorate the front with the words “Unique of the Week” and some designs along the top and the bottom corners.  I leave the back blank (or sometimes I put the year on . . . ) because after being Unique of the Week, I have each student sign the back with a Sharpie.  They LOVE that part!
So . . . find a way to make YOUR students feel special and valued this year–and if you have some ideas to share, please leave them here so we can all benefit!  Make sure to check out the other great Monday Made It posts!
I almost forgot!  I typed up the papers I put in the bag–a note home and the student survey!  You can link to it here if you want to grab it!  Unique of the Week FREEBIE