July 31, 2016

Back to School TpT Sale - Win a $10 Giftcard

Sweet friends, It is that time of year that many of you have been anxiously waiting for! The TpT site wide sale is here!! 

Happening Monday, August 1st and Tuesday, August 2nd. Are you excited? Is your shopping cart busting at the seems? Well, I can help with that!

Enter below for your chance to win a $10 TpT gift card! 

The contest ends tomorrow so you can use the money towards your purchases on THIS SALE! Hurry and enter for our chance to win! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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July 13, 2016

Chit Chat Sticks

So about 10-12 years ago, I took a class during the summer to earn credits above my masters. The class was held in the basement of an old church. I don’t remember much from the class other than this idea that I got from it ---->CHIT CHAT STICKS!!!

So you may be asking yourself, what are Chit Chat Sticks? Well, it is quite simple. They are sticks to help you partner students up in a fast, fair, and effective way. In first grade, I cannot simple say, “pick a partner”. It just does not work at this age. Someone is always left out. The same kids go with the same kids. The anxiety for some of the kiddos being chosen last, is just too much. Hence, the Chit Chat Sticks, a fun an effective way to partner up your students!

For literally $2, yes $2 you can make Chit Chat Sticks and they will last for many years. You can get the supplies at the Dollar Tree, or you might already have  popsicle sticks and small round reward stickers in your classroom!!! You need one stick per student and enough pairs of DIFFERENT stickers for groups of 2. 

Just match up pairs of stickers. This year I used alphabet stickers. When I need my students to work with a partner for a game or buddy reading, I mix up the sticks and pass them out. The children find the person who has the same stick as they do and wahla, they are a group! So A goes with A or green frog with green frog...simple. You can use any stickers you want. You can match it to a theme in your classroom. You can even write sight words right on the stick and students have to match up the sight words (oooohhhh, that’s a good one!).

I can’t tell you how much this method is appreciated in my classroom. Students ask to use Chit Chat Sticks when they know they will be working with a partner. By the luck of the draw, kiddos will work with almost all of the students in the class. 

I hope you like this idea and can use it in your classroom too :)

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July 5, 2016

Let’s Get Organized!

I saw a fabulous pin on Pinterest from We Heart 1st on using a shoe organizer as a supply organizer! I ran with this idea and made my own and decided to show you how I went about making it. I did not think of this idea on my own. I give complete credit to We Heart 1st who inspired me to make one like theirs!

Here it is!

In just a few simple steps, you can make one too! I was surprised with how many supplies I actually had at home. Pardon the pockets that are empty. Once September comes, they will be stuffed! 

I ordered this shoe organizer from Amazon. It has 24 pockets which seems like a lot at first until you start thinking about all your stuff! I had to scale back! The organizer measures 64 inches x 19 inches and fits perfectly on a door!

Here is a link to it on Amazon.

I first thought of all the things I wanted to get off of my desk and out of little buckets. That consisted mostly of markers! I have a ton of them! I also wanted to keep a better eye on my Expo markers. My students bring them in an I hand them out as needed. Same with glue sticks which I always seem to run out of!

Each rectangle on my sheet measures 1.5” x 4.5” and the font I used was KG Drops of Jupiter. 

Once the labels were made, I printed them on card stock and laminated them.

Then I used my handy dandy how did I ever survive with out paper cutter to cut them down.

Next, I spread the shoe organizer out on the floor and arranged where I wanted everything to go by placing the labels down. I figured that the heaviest items should go on the bottom.

Last, I used my handy dandy, I have about 5, glue gun, to hot glue the labels right to the fabric on top of each pocket. I used a generous amount around the edges. 

And there you have! Pretty easy! I can’t wait to hang this up on the back of my closet door at school. I hope that each time my kiddos see it they gasp in awe. I know I will!

In case you are interested, here is a pic of the one posted on Pinterest by We Love First. Click on the pic to head on over to TpT to download the labels for FREE! Thank you We Heart First!

This post contains an affiliate link.

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July 3, 2016

July Pinterest Pick 3

Look at how cute these firecracker cupcakes are! I don’t know if I am talented enough to make them! I don’t even know how they got the frosting to swirl like that haha! The red part is a marshmallow covered in red chocolate! Yummy!

Do you have a lot of washi tape lying around? I do. I saw this and fell in love! What a great a way to decorate the average yellow pencil?? And guess what? You put the tape on the pencil horizontally. You don’t wrap it around like I thought. This saves so much tape! And from the picture, it looks like you can still sharpen them without a problem (oh please let this be true)! Super cute, fast, and creative! 

This is my favorite pin! I already ordered the organizer from Amazon for $7. I have SO MANY markers! SO MANY SO MANY SO MANY and I love each and every one! It is a sad day if I have to throw one out because it has dried out! I don’t want to keep them on my desk anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I have cute containers to house them. Chevron, polka dot, striped, but there are just too many. I am going to hang this on my closet door behind my desk. Each time I open the door, to get something, the oohs and aahs will fill the air! I can’t wait! 

Click below to see other great Pinterest picks for the month of July! 

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June 3, 2016

June - Pinterest Pick 3

Welcome to the best monthly link up around! Here are three pins that have inspired me for the month of June.

Click here for original pin

Check out this adorable little guys! How cute are they? Perfect for an end of year party, a unit on the ocean, or for just plain F-U-N! Healthy too? Can’t beat that! The eye is just too much! It is just a sharpie dot!

 Click here for original pin

I have become OBSESSED with these little boxes! My girls' birthday is in June and I know they would LOVE these so much! The directions are not that hard, just time consuming. Too pretty to eat though! Haha, they would gobble them up. Maybe not. They might want to put other things inside! 

Click for original pin
This last pin is actual from my own blog post. It is a gift for children to make for their Dads for the big day. I actually have discovered a much easier way to make these so check out the post for the crazy hot time saving tip!

Click below to check out other great pins for the month of June! See you July!

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May 28, 2016

Father’s Day Craft Update!

Father’s Day is coming up! Do you have your class make a gift for their dads? I do! I have been making these trophies for many many year! I have exciting news to share with you! I have finally figured out how to make these so much easier! Check it out!

See those WHITE cups? The ones that come 10 in a pack at Walmart for just 97 cents? Buy them instead of the styrofoam cups! The extra few dollars spent will save you so much time wrapping the styrofoam cups in masking tape. I like the way the color of the gold on the white cups better too. It is the same paint on both! This is the easier way friends!

I hot glued the cups together and then painted with a foam brush. This is 2 coats. I might have my kiddos do 3. The prep time has been cut down so much! My hubby was so happy because I always recruit him to help with the masking tape. He was thrilled at my find! You can probably find the cups at any party supply store. Guess what? You could even buy a pack of GOLD cups if you wanted! There wouldn’t be anything for the children to do in order to make this for their Dad. I want them to paint so I kept with the white.

Below is the original post that I wrote back in 2014 on how to assemble this great gift! I still have gold paint in the picture from two years ago! 

Hello friends! Do you have a Father's Day gift in mind for your kiddies to make for their dad? Father's Day this year is June 15th! Why not have the children in your class present their dad with a trophy for being a #1 DAD or WORLD'S GREATEST DAD? 

Below are the steps to make this awesome gift! I got the idea from my nephew's daycare and have been using it ever since (he is now 8). I think I have mastered the steps in this project to be the most efficient. You do however, need time! You cannot expect to get this done in one day! So gather up your supplies and start early!

I prefer the styrofoam cups that are smooth, and do not have ridges from top to bottom. The masking tape lays flatter on this kind of cup.

It is important to use short strips of tape to cover the cups. You would think you could just wrap the cups like you would wrap an ace bandage around a sprain. It does not work! You will get tons of bumps and lumps! The goal is to get the tape to lay smooth. Use short strips! Depending on the age, students may be able to do this part themselves or with guidance.
I have been making these for quite a number of years. Just last year I decided that I needed to find a better way to make the base for the trophy. Foam? Too expensive. A box? Good, but where to get 17? Make them of course! So I taught myself how to fold them via good old origami! Faster and easier for me anyway. I know some reading this may think I am crazy but really it is easy! You may also want to have your children (depending on age) do this part themselves. I tried to show some pics of the steps but I think it is safer to watch this youtube video on how to do it!
I use card stock. I have not tried construction paper yet. It may work. You need to make sure you use a 12x12 square to start. If you do decide on the card stock you will need something hard to smooth down the edges to make them tight (if not, the box will pop open at the seems). I used a plastic knife. 

Steps for an alternative way to make a base. I like the boxes better. You may prefer this technique.

Just one more step!

I am going to wrap them in a sheet of tissue paper gathered at the top and tied with a ribbon! I hope you found this useful and maybe inspired you to try something new this year :)

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May 3, 2016

MAY - Pinterest Pick 3

Welcome to my favorite way to start each month - Pinterest Pick 3! 

The minute I saw this on Pinterest, I sent it to my sister in Washington state because I knew she would try it with her class. Of course she fell in love immediately and caught the itch. You know that itch? The one that has you grabbing your keys to get to Michaels ASAP so you can try a Pinterest pin? Yup, that’s the itch!! And my sister caught it...just like me! I am happy to report that she cooked hers in the oven and reported NO terrible smell at all. We were really worried about the fumes. The original post says you could also cook them in a toaster oven! A reader reported that he cooked them down on the barbecue! I am all over that! I will be making these with my crafty daughters very soon!

Need a cute treat for the end of the year party? How about that summer barbecue that is coming soon? Then pin this adorable treat! How cute! I have actually seen those mini ice cream cones at Walmart last year but I think it was closer to summer time. I  will have to keep my eye out for them. The small ones use a regular marshmallow. The regular sized ice cream cones need the jumbo marshmallows. Perfect for the marshmallow lover!

I had to throw in a Mother’s Day craft idea! I feel like I switch things up every year. I wish I had a standard gift to give but I constantly find new and cute things to make on pinterest! Here is an adorable thumb print necklace from Lory at Lory’s Second Grade Skills. She includes the super cute poem on her site as a free download. The clay that she used needs to be baked. I am wondering if I can use the Crayola air dry modeling clay because I don’t want to carry these delicate beauties back and forth to school to bake them. I have made necklaces with the air dry clay before and they came out great so I am going to try it this year. I love the metallic paint that she used. I found out that it comes in....metallic pink...squeal. I’m off to Michael’s to gather up these simple supplies! 

Check out more fabulous Pinterest finds below!

An InLinkz Link-up

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April 7, 2016

Earth Day Bulletin Board and FREEBIE

Happy soon to be Earth Day everyone! My first graders have already completed their Earth Day bulletin board! I know, I know, it is not perfect because I had an odd number of students the day we made these and not enough bulletin board! The kiddos still love to find their work EVERY TIME they walk past it!

So, we wrote a letter to Earth and made a promise to do something that would help it. How did I get my littles brains thinking about this? We used the books below to trigger ideas. They did remember a lot of pieces of recycling from kindergarten. They did point out the orange recycle bin we have in our classroom for plastic and glass. They were on it! They had lots of ideas to share! I like the Scholastic books below. If you have to pick just one, use the one in the bottom left hand corner - Why Should I Recycle? 

Would you like to have your class make a promise to the Earth? Then go and grab this freebie! Please be kind and leave feedback :) I love to read it!

Happy Earth Day everyone! Thank you to the wonderfully talented Krista Wallden for the adorable clipart!

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