Smilemakers gave me the opportunity to review a product of my choice near the end of the summer.

If I taught in English rather than in French, OR if I taught a lower grade level, I would have been jumping up and down with excitement, since they have some really cute French motivational products (stickers, pencils, a great-looking French monthly calendar set). However, I'm certainly not complaining... those of you who teach in my wheelhouse know just how hard it is to find materials that will work for our age group. I chose a multicultural bulletin board set, since I'm notoriously bad at figuring out what to put up in my room, and I thought it would be a fantastic "welcome" for my students.  I'm very lucky to have found this a wonderful selection for my situation. My middle school students responded really well to it, guessing which languages were represented and trying out their pronunciation of each.

The bulletin board components were easily separated at the perforations, and they came apart very cleanly, due to the teacher-tested trick of folding along the perforations in both directions before trying to rip away! This set also came with enough desk name tags for even above-average sized classes (or for those teachers who tend to make errors when copying names, like me!) There were 32, to be precise. I also was really happy to see that the teaching notes/reproducible sheets that were included contained an "answer key" to which language was which. I was a tiny bit afraid I was going to have to research a few of them, but SmileMakers really has done what they can to make this welcome kit user-friendly for the teacher.  There are a few activities included, which are great for the beginning of the year and can easily result in presentations worthy of being displayed in the room prior to the first parent meet-and-greet opportunity.

I had to add my own little French touch as well. Here's what I came up with:

Check out SmileMakers' web site for some fantastic ideas... I swear they've even added some French posters which weren't an option just a few weeks ago.  Maybe they took seriously my plaintive plea that French teachers need more great resources readily available. 

Here's a tip - Consider combining your order with other teachers in your school to take advantage of the free shipping, especially since we know what those classroom budgets look like and realize that spending $75 in one location may not be realistic. Happy shopping!