If you found this post, you must be getting ready to plan some appreciation goodness at your school. YOU ARE AMAZING! Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to make the teachers and staff feel loved.
If you are a Room Parent, coordinating coloring sheets for one classroom, this is going to be a breeze. For those of you coordinating coloring sheets for an entire school, take a deep breath. You've got this.
In addition to this post, I created a free downloadable "Appreciation Week Coloring Sheets: Planning Worksheet and Checklists" that walks you through the entire planning process. I'll share with you my tips and tricks, and make this project as streamlined as possible. I have fine-tuned coloring sheet coordination over the years.
First Things First
Coloring sheets for students to color and present to their favorite teachers and staff members are my favorite part of Appreciation Week. I love seeing the school covered with colorful pictures and notes in sweet little handwriting.
If the school secretary and office manager are not your BFF's yet, you need to get on that. They are the keepers of the information at any school. The very first thing you need to do is ask them for two set of numbers:
- How many students are in each classroom?
(Ask the month of Appreciation Week. Students come and go all year long.)
- Do any teachers have student teachers? If so, you will need two coloring sheets per student for those classes.
Print your coloring sheets at least one week before Appreciation Week. This will give you time to get them sorted by class.
TIP: Ask your school office manager or secretary if you have access to the school district print shop. It depends on your district, but as long as you are printing something related to a school activity, it should be fine. Our school district print shop is fast, the prints look fantastic, and they are unbelievably affordable.
- You will want to buy large manilla envelopes. Normal letter-sized manilla envelopes won't cut it. If you have a class larger than 20 they simply won't fit.
- Sort the coloring sheets into piles for each classroom. These Rubber Finger Tips are the best things ever for sorting giant stacks of paper. They will save you hours of sorting. I'm not kidding.
- TIP: For classes with student teachers, use two envelopes.
EXTRA COLORING SHEETS
Students will definitely want to make coloring sheets for other favorite teachers and staff members. I used to put a basket in the school office with extra coloring sheets and refill it during Appreciation Week. Now I fill it once, because I came up with a better solution!
GO DIGITAL! Ask your PTSA to put a download link on the school website. Be sure to include the link on the coloring sheet itself so students can print more at home. You can also include the link on promotional posters, and share it on social media.
Coordinating with Room Parents
Appreciation Week has many components working together and independently. Room Parents are one of them. At my daughters' elementary school, the Hospitality Committee coordinated the school-wide appreciation events, and the Room Parents handled the classroom appreciation.
Sometimes the head Room Parent is not the one organizing Teacher Appreciation for the class. Depending on the class, it could be a group of Co-Room Parents dividing the duties, or a parent who volunteered specifically to coordinate Teacher Appreciation for the class at the beginning of the year.
You needto create a Coloring Sheet sign up. Trust me on this. The first year I coordinated coloring sheets it was a big hot mess. The items you should include on your sign up are:
- Teacher's Name + Distributing Coloring Sheets
- Teacher's Name + Collecting and Hanging Coloring Sheets
- When and where to pick up the coloring sheets
- When you want coloring sheets distributed to students
This will give you an easy and accurate way to reach the right people. SignUp Genius (my favorite) even gives you the option to email volunteers right from the sign up.
The Tuesday before Appreciation Week- Email the volunteers who signed up to distribute coloring sheets for each class. (Remember, you can do that through SignUp Genius.) Confirm the pick up time and location for the next day.
The Wednesday before Appreciation Week - Distribute the coloring sheets to the parent volunteers. This give them time to organize and distribute the coloring sheets to students by Thursday. I have tried keeping the coloring sheets secret from the staff in years past, with minimal success. Honestly, I leave the student distribution method up to the classroom volunteer. Some put the coloring sheets in top secret manilla envelopes for each student. Others put it in homework folders. I leave it up to them.
The Thursday before Appreciation Week - Coloring sheets get sent home with students. Don't wait until Friday. Ask me how I know. LOL! Students forget to bring them home. Sometimes there is a sub and they don't know they are supposed to hand out something top secret and special. Give yourself a buffer day.
The Sunday before Appreciation Week - Ask the volunteer in charge of collecting and hanging coloring sheet to send an email to the entire class on Sunday afternoon. The email should include a reminder to return the coloring sheets on Monday, along with the link to download more coloring sheets. It should also encourage the students to make coloring sheets for all their favorite staff members, not just their current teacher. School secretaries, the principal, janitors, nurses, crossing guards.... (you get the idea) all need love.
More Appreciation Planning Goodness!
Below, are additional posts with instructions walking you through coordinating the daily events, as well as free downloadable worksheets and checklists:
Planning an Appreciation Week for your School
How to Plan an Appreciation Breakfast
How to Plan an Appreciation Lunch
How to Plan an Appreciation Popcorn or Snack Bar
How to Plan an Appreciation Dessert Bar
How to Plan an Appreciation Coffee Cart
A Room Parent's Guide to Teacher Appreciation
It's Your Turn!
Coloring sheets for everyone! Are you feeling prepared and ready to create a memorable week for the amazing teachers and staff at your school?! I created Planning Worksheets and Checklists to walk you through the coloring sheet process. It has additional helpful information and lists not included in this post. You can do it!