Updated from a post I wrote in 2018
Building meaningful relationships from the beginning is really important to me. It was always a priority as a teacher, and it is a priority in my role as a Student Engagement & Professional Development Specialist as well. I serve 20 schools in my position, so I have a lot of area to cover since my Spark Starters are from 20 different schools covering a wide area. A dear friend and colleague of mine was chatting with me the first year in my district role about how we needed to collect our "greatest success" moments this year with all the new adventures we are beginning. That's when my friend Jenni had an idea to create a jar to collect them that we can reflect back on. I loved this idea so much that another lightbulb moment happened! What if I create jars for each of the "Spark Starters" to collect "Daily Spark" moments?! I could deliver them when I visit each of them at their schools in the first month of the school year!
With a plan developing in my head, my colleague and I hurried off to Walmart on the hunt for a few items for our jars. The items were easy to find and even more fun to assemble. Here are the directions:
DAILY SPARK JAR ASSEMBLY
Colorful Cardstock or Post-It Notes
Twine or Ribbon
1. Cut the cardstock using a paper cutter into small rectangles and tied 30 pieces together with twine. You could also use a pad of Post-It Notes instead. (I purchased Sticky Notes to save time after the first year)
2. Create a message and print it out on cardstock to place inside the Jar. You can use this Spark Moments template I created in Canva to customize and print your own.
3. Create tags to tie on front of the jar that say, "Daily Sparks" or "Spark Moments" on one side and an inspirational quote on the other. You could also design these in Canva or another digital creation tool and print to save time. As an alternative, buy Chalkboard labels and instead of tying a tag around the lid, write on the label and adhere it to outside of the jar.
4. To assemble, place the cardstock bundle, pen, and instructions in each (I threw in a Make Learning Magical sticker too). Screw on the lid and tie a tag around the top with twine or ribbon or adhere a chalkboard label to the front of the jar as shown above.
5. VOILA'! The Daily Spark jar is ready for delivery!
The best part of this process was delivering them! I absolutely love the adventure of driving to schools and finding each Spark Starter's classroom. It was a wonderful way to see them in their element and in many cases meet them for the first time. It brings so much joy to my heart to be able to give this gift of love and appreciation for accepting my invitation to be on our Innovation Team!
Each month when we meet for our Spark Sessions, I begin with Spark Moments and everyone shares their favorite moments since the last time we met. Each month we share in a different format. We have shared in Jamboard, Canva, in the Zoom chat, Word Clouds, and Padlet, and Pear Deck. The possibilities are really endless, and all equally powerful!
Beginning our time together sharing special moments sets the tone in a positive and encouraging way.
Regardless of your educational role, Spark Jars are a wonderful gift to create for others and yourself! I encourage you to create a Spark Jar to bring into the new year to help focus on the sparks that surround us every day!
Student Engagement & PD Specialist in Southern Oregon, Canva Learning Consultant, Canva Education Creator, and author of Make Learning Magical. I'm passionate about finding innovative ways to transform teaching and create unforgettable experiences in the classroom.