Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Made-it: Word Wall part 2, hall pass display, and picture display

Well, this week I have three pretty big made-its to share! I have been working really hard on getting as much work done at home as I can since I don't know for sure when I will be able to get into my classroom.

New classroom colors + 100% bare classroom + unknown start date = one stressed me!

My first made-it this week is a continuation of last week's word wall cards. I had planned on waiting to put together the word wall board until I got back into my classroom, but I am getting too anxious about how much I will have to do!
I didn't have the measurements for where I want to put it, so I have fingers crossed that it will fit. I'm about 90% sure that it will...
I started by cutting some foam board and taping a couple of pieces together so I could get the length I needed.
I found these corkboard circles at Michael's for 70% off a couple of weeks ago. My first thought upon seeing them- polka dots!
I began the long task of painting them green.
I used fleece to cover the foam board and hot glue to stick the corkboard circles on. My last step was to add some ribbon, the letters and pushpins for the sight word rings.
I am so in love with this! I think it may be one of my favorite made-its ever!
 My next project is one that I have wanted to do since last year. I made hall pass/media center pass displays last year, but then I had to change my passes from ones that went around the wrist, to ones that were necklaces (I had some particularly destructive little friends!)

Last year's hall pass storage
Anyway, the necklace passes were too long to hang nicely inside the frame and I didn't like how messy they always looked.

For this project, I found these wooden tags on clearance at Michael's and painted them with craft paint, and mod podge as a topcoat.

Next, I used some more of my corkboard circles, some ribbon, and buttons to finish them off.

I love how bright they are!
My last made-it this week is a display that I will use for pictures that we take around the classroom. I have done this for the last few years and the kids LOVE it!
I started with this plain wood frame and painted it green.
Once it had dried, I stuck those little circle labels on and painted over the top with turquoise.
I removed the circles when the turquoise paint was dry to make the green polka dots. I had to touch-up a couple of the polka dots, but it was still way faster than doing them all by hand!
For the backing, I used part of a cardboard box that I had broken down for recycling and covered it with two layers of green felt (I seem to have gotten a bad batch of felt, it was very thin and you could see the brown box through one layer).
The last step was to add the ribbon (glued at both ends, and in three spots) and, mini clothespins for hanging the pictures, and wide ribbon for hanging.
That's it for this week's made-its. Next week will feature some made-its that I had some help with!
Best classroom helper ever (aka Mom) hard at work on next week's made-it!

Make sure you stop over at 4th grade frolics and check out all of the great made-its!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Made-It: Tidy tubs, my new word wall, and a preview of my new library!

I am so excited about setting up my classroom this year! My new color scheme (lime green/turquoise) has got me ready to get started!
My new library bins arrived this week! I am phasing out the pink ones I have used in years past and replacing them with these:
I am just waiting on a couple more orders to arrive, then I will be ready! I think we will be allowed back in during the first week of August since teachers start work the next week.
My first made-it this week was a pretty quick project. I found these cute mini trash cans at the dollar tree this week. They even match my table colors!
I made a quick label, stuck it on, and done!
We use our tidy tubs whenever we do an activity that involves cutting. It has really reduced the amount of trash we have to pick up from the floor. (It is also very cute how excited they get when we need them. "Hey guys, we need the tidy tubs!" is something that is often heard while we are setting up!)
To reduce the arguing over who gets to dump them out (yes, it happens...), only the table captain for the week gets to do the honor. If, for some reason, the table captain is unable to fulfill his/her duty, the table assistant takes over. :)

I am very excited about this made-it! I have loved flamingos for years. I can't remember when this love started, or why, but I adore them!
I came across this quote the other day: "Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons," and I thought it would be a great addition to my classroom!
Graphics by Creative Clips, Tracey Gurley Designs, and Grepic
I put this together and put it in a frame from the dollar tree. I think it will look great in my flamingo corner behind my desk!
(I am having the hardest time getting it centered in the frame, I thought it was, but now that I look at the picture again I can see it will need another adjustment!)

My last made-it was a long-term project that I have been working on for weeks!
I made these word wall cards in June and had them printed at Staples. After they had been laminated at the classroom store, I began the long and tiresome job of cutting them out (26 letter cards and 220 sight word cards, 246 total!)
Maggie was kind enough to keep me company while I worked.
After they had been cut out, I used a mini hole punch to punch a hole in each of the word cards, them put them onto binder rings by letter.
I am going to have them hanging up something like this, with the letter cards on the wall and the words on a hook below. I like that the kids will be able to take a ring to look at the words if they need to.
I am really glad to have that project out of the way!
Make sure you check out the other made-its over at 4th Grade Frolics!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Made It- Calendar, Notebooks, and More Labels!

July is just flying by! I go back to school on August 10th, so I am down to four weeks of Summer left! I don't think I will be able to get into my classroom until the first week of August, so I am getting a bit antsy!
As much as I love my summers, I always feel a little bit uncomfortable knowing how much work it is going to take to get my classroom ready again!
I have three made-its this week, so here we go!
My first made-it this week is my new calendar. I found this magnetic chalkboard calendar at Walmart for $8 last week and couldn't resist!
I have been wanting a new calendar for my classroom for a few years, but all of the classroom ones are so big. This one is pretty small and will fit nicely on the board by my desk.
I added the turquoise ribbon and made an extra set of the number magnets from last week's made-it to be the calendar numbers. I like how they are like polka dots!
I used hot glue, but the frame is very smooth, so the ribbon has popped off a couple of times. I am going to go back and add a bit of my favorite adhesive, E6000. I actually used it for the first time when I was working at Michael's. We used to use it to attach styrofoam to glass pots/vases where hot glue wouldn't hold. We would have to prep the containers the day before, but once the E6000 had dried, the styrofoam held up really well for floral arrangements.
Next up I have my guided reading notebooks. I haven't made any of my notebook/folder labels yet, so they aren't much to look at yet, but they work wonders!
I started making my own notebooks for guided reading a few years ago when I realized that we just weren't using enough of a notebook to make it worth buying a class set. Our extension activities aren't always something written, so I wanted a notebook that had fewer pages for less waste.
To make these, I counted out about 45 pieces of notebook paper, put them in a file folder, stuck a couple of brads in, and voila! Notebook!
One of the things I like best about these is that I can take extra pages out at the end of the year, so no paper gets wasted.
My last made-it this week is a continuation of my labels from a couple of weeks ago.
I have been working on materials for my word work center, which I would like to focus more on this year.
I made these letter cubes with foam counting cubes from the dollar store. They came in packs of 4 colors, so I split them up into four boxes. It took a while to write all the letters and my fingers were stained black for a few days, but it was well worth it!
Well, that's it for my made-its this week!
Make sure you check out the great projects on the Monday Made-it linky at 4th grade frolics!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Made-it: Whisper phones, magnets, and my new lanai!

Welcome to another Monday Made-it!
I can't believe it is July already! Last week was pretty busy here. I babysat my parent's yorkie, Gidget. She is a very sweet and loving dog, but she is also quite neurotic (some neighbors have been known to call her the Yorkshire terror!)
 She was with me for about 7 hours... it certainly reminded me why I am a cat person! Poor Maggie had to stay in my office all day, she is twice Gidget's size and not the friendliest cat when it comes to other animals. Needless to say, none of us were thrilled with the arrangement!
I did get to spend my fourth of July in a very relaxed setting though, so that helped me to de-stress after a day of barking yorkie!

Now on to the made-its!
My first made-it this week was something I have been wanting to do for a long time... whisper phones!

I actually ended up getting the wrong pieces (oops!) and they didn't fit together, so I used a combination of hot glue, e-6000, packing tape, and duck tape. Maybe a bit overboard, but I didn't want to take any chances of them falling apart!

Naturally, the duck tape had to be the flamingo kind... :)
I plan on keeping these in the library so my students can take one when they get books.
So my next made-it is something that I already had in my classroom. I made myself some number magnets a few years ago, but some have gotten misplaced or broken and I figured I could use a few new sets.
I use them on my behavior chart and a few boards around my room (center groups, guided reading groups, data chats, etc.) The boards are all made out of cookie sheets from the dollar store, so the magnets work really well and the boards don't take up too much space.

I started by tracing the glass stones onto the scrapbook paper and cutting them out (very time-consuming, but they fit better than when I tried just winging it!)

I wrote the numbers with a sharpie and used the mod podge to attach the scrapbook to the back of the marbles.

Once the mod podge had dried, I used E-6000 to attach magnets to the back of the stones. I used to use hot glue, but I find that the magnets usually pop off if they get dropped, so I am hoping that E-6000 will hold up a little better.

Here they are! I ended up making one set this way, them I found these solid white glass stones and decided it would be much faster to just write on the front with a sharpie!

Not as colorful, but a lot of my classroom has white polka dots, so I figure they will fit right in!
And now for the project that I am most excited about, my new lanai!
I am very into turquoise and green lately, so my lanai ended up matching my new classroom colors!
I got most of the new furniture from Pier 1 and Target, but there are a few things from Wayfair and Amazon as well.
It actually all started with this papasan chair. I have always wanted one and it was impossible to resist when I saw that they had the outdoor cushion in turquoise!
I got that little planter and planted some flowers, ornamental grass, and catnip. Unfortunately, I do not have a green thumb and only the catnip has survived! I think I might have to replace the real plants with silk ones.
The door to the storage closet looked a little bare, so I made this wreath. The flowers are supposed to be for indoor use, but they get very little sun and don't get wet when it rains, so I am hoping they will last.
Maggie and I are loving the new lanai, and she even lets me sit in the papasan chair sometimes!
As always, make sure you head on over to Fourth Grade Frolics and check out all of the other great made-its!