Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Pumpkin with Mums

This is a another easy Halloween decor project I actually did last year but never posted.  One of my teacher made one last year for a party and it inspired me to create one too.  Here are the steps to the project. I purchased a small pumpkin and a 2 bouquets of yellow mums and cut off the flowers.  Used  my husband's drill with the smallest of drill bits.  Just drill and place flower in the hole to your liking and there you have instant decor!
Mums I bought at a local store

Use the smallest bit you can on the drill.

Such a happy color.  Makes me smile when it greets me on the kitchen table  as I grab my morning coffee!
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Halloween tomorrow!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Polka Dots

This was a pretty easy project.  You just need a pumpkin, round stickers ( I used some garage sale stickers I had laying around), and of course my favorite tool-SPRAY PAINT!  I carved my pumpkin first.  Then randomly placed stickers around the pumpkin.  Next, I spray painted in a glossy black.  After it dried, I peeled the stickers off.  Love polka dots, they make me happy!  I've been busy conferencing all week with my first grade parents.  Whew, it's over and I'm back on my blog!  My happy place.  Thanks for stopping by, come back and visit me again for some more Halloween ideas

Monday, October 22, 2012

Vote Yes on Proposal 2

If there is ANYTHING you need to vote on for the sake of US  government employees and especially us teachers is Proposal 2.  We are buried in mandates.   The ads to vote NO on Proposal 2 are deceiving!!!  We need a YES vote for Proposal 2!! No question about it!

Halloween Series

This is the beginning of the my week long series on Halloween activities for home and classroom.  Today I'm posting one of my all time favorite Big Books Five Little Bats Flying In The Night.  The books is a spin off of Five Little Monkeys  so we discussed the connection of text to text.  The book also is a good springboard into our subtraction unit we just started.  I highly recommend this book for any young learner!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Toilet Paper Roll

I'm getting ready for conferences this week so I've been a little swamped .  I  did want to post this Halloween pumpkin my daughter in law made.   She simply took a roll of toilet paper and some Halloween fabric she had leftover from another project.  She stuffed the material into the tube of the toilet paper and stuck a stick into the top.  That's it!  She said it probably took 3 minutes!!! That anybody can do if unless you're getting ready for conference week!!!  Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Listening Center

I upgraded my listening centers from an inspiration on Pinterest. It's my version of a Comfy Milk Crate Listening Center I had a couple of milk crates I used for book shelving in my room in a pale blue and I found a couple of orange ones in a pile at school that I knew would be perfect for this project.  

I spray painted these tired blue and previously orange crates to navy and red to go along with our school wide patriotic theme.

Did you know that Rust-oleum has spray paint for plastic now?  They have an array of colors to choose from.  Just my luck they had navy and an apple red I liked.

The hubster cut out plywood that would fit just inside the crate and on the lip of the inside.  I had some patriotic material in my material tub and some leftover foam from another project and staple gunned it over the plywood.

Finished product!  I made 4 of these and the kids really like them.

Each crate contains one cd player, a book, cd and a response sheet.
Except for the drying time of the paint this project took very little time to put together.  I love the portability of the centers and organization of the listening center components all in one place.   This is sooooo easy for my first graders to take care of when they are done.  Thanks for stopping by and maybe you'll want to try this project out and see for yourself!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Crochet Sheet Seat Cusion

Guest Post today.  This is Lisa Watson and she is my guest today.  She works as our librarian and computer lab guru in my school.  She came back from a camping trip in September and shared this crocheted seat cushion made of an old sheet with me.  It's amazing!   I asked her to be my guest today and share her project.  So, Lisa, take it away!!

Lisa Watson.  This started as a new craft....taught to a bunch of friends while on a recent camping outing.  We all brought an old sheet and a big crochet hook.  (available at any craft store or even Meijer.)   Take a full size sheet that is ripped into one long strip.  Starting at one end of a sheet and ripping across the sheet cut a little slit about 1 1/2 inches wide.  Rip the sheet  across until you get about an inch from the edge...then cut a slit 1 1/2 inches from that point and rip back across the sheet.  It is easiest if you have one person rolling the sheet into a great big yarn ball while you are ripping the sheet all the way to the end.  Once your ball is done, start chaining 6 chain stitches...then join the next stitch into the "first" chain to make a circle.  Continue to single crochet around the circle until you get to the desired size.  You could add other colors to the sheets if desired.  These could be used for rugs or seat cushions.
Thanks Lisa for stopping by today!  These are pretty cool!  Can't wait to try one myself!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween Showcase

Here is the Halloween Showcase that my grade level was in charge to decorate for the month of October.  There are so many great Halloween books and props to use in this season.  This was a fun creation marrying literature and pure Halloween fun.  The kids LOVE to be greeted by this cherry and holiday display!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tech Tuesday

This year at my school each teacher was issued an Ipad to use in the classroom.  We have all been scurrying to squeeze every chance we can to find apps that embellish our curriculum.   The BEST thing for most of us is You Tube!  There are many times we need to use a book for a lesson and our library doesn't have the title we need.  Not to fear-You Tube is here!  They have nearly any book we need at our fingertips.  LOVE it!  Below are a few apps that I will continually post on Tuesdays.  Please share any apps you have found to be helpful in your classroom!

Timed Reading k12- This is great for timed reading for every grade.  I really like this one for practicing fluency.

ABC Print- Kids use their fingers to trace letters.  Great visual and tactile sensory integration to writing!!

Math Drills-  This has all levels in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division for all grade levels.  Kids love this!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Glittery Spider Web

My grade level has been assigned to decorate our school showcase for the month of October.  Really, what a perfect month to blend some educational books with Halloween decor!  I spotted this glittery spider web idea on Censational Girl's blog this month. She made these webs to showcase her bookshelves.  They were super easy to make.  You need 3 things -wax paper, craft glue and black glitter.   I got the Martha Stewart glue and black glitter from Michael's.  I drew the pattern on wax paper with glue.  Sprinkle with black glitter.  Shake off excess.  I didn't have an exacto knife to cut out excess wax paper so I used a pair of super sharp and narrow nosed scissors I had.  Censational Girl used the exacto knife.  They turned out pretty cool and can't wait to put them in the showcase tomorrow for the kiddos to see!

Three project supplies, black glitter, craft glue and wax paper

Sprinkle black glitter onto the glue and let dry.

Cut our excess wax paper and ta-da!! Glittery spider!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Halloween Fairy

At two random times I have been surprised by Halloween decorations appearing in my yard while I'm at school during the day.  It's a lovely way to arrive home and have decorations appear in your front yard that you've never seen before and know YOU didn't plant there!  The last week in September I came home to two glittery Halloween spiders in my front yard under and in my maple tree.  Yesterday I came home to a black cauldron filled with large white mums and an orange Halloween ghost popping out of the top on my front porch.  I peered into the planter hoping to find a card but nope.  Nothing!  This is so sweet of someone who obviously knows my penchant for Halloween and cares enough to show their kindness.  I want to thank this do gooder!  Believe me, my curiousity to identify this person is definitely piqued.    So, the lesson here for me,  as I plow through this tough school year is to take time to smell the flowers.  Life's too short.  Pause and enjoy the beauty of this season.

Here are the three glittery spiders.  Cuter when the sun is shining on them because  they sparkle!
Halloween Fairy, come out, come out, whoever you are!!! I want to thank you for giving me a slice of happy pie!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sweet Goodbye

Today we celebrated bittersweetly, the last day of my two favorite kindergarten teacher friends.  Celebrating with the current staff and retirees of years gone by made me realize how far the three of us  together have gone  in our careers in education.We have gone through many cycles and changes in curriculum, state regulations, and administration changes. We have learned to rise above together and become more than we thought we could be.  In life we are handed challenges.  We either succumb and become a tumbleweed that lands wherever they are blown or ingest a dose of drive and carve a new pathway that is more authentic.  That is exactly what my two friends did.  They started consulting area programs in kindergarten readiness and started putting their combined 50 years teaching materials and are selling them on Teachers Pay Teachers.  They have found a niche in education and are going to pursue their new adventure full time.  They found a need and are filling it with full out authenticity!!! They are the spark plug of our school and we are feeling a little "unplugged".  On the other hand we are happy for their new adventure and wish them the best of luck in their next chapter.  Here are a few celebration pictures.
Two Best Friends Jodie and Marsha
Jodie and her Dad and Mom
Marsha and her teaching partner when she first started teaching, Sharon Vinstra
                         Good luck and much happiness creating your new brand -KBound!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Closet Door Remake

I inherited a classroom that I have been in for 20 years.  The closet doors are close to my entry and are so old the varnish has peeled in strips.   I am also lacking in bulletin board space. What to do?  I had just seen a post on Sew Many Ways blog about covering cork board squares for cupboards.  Went to Michael's and bought some cork board squares and covered them with material and glue gunned onto the doors.  Now I have extra bulletin board space and a decorative  door that seems homey for not just me but my kiddos.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stars & Stripes

Our school wide theme was "United We Learn".   The colors red, white and blue permeate our hallways and classrooms.  I did a lot of window shopping to research some inspiration pieces.  Found quite a few fun items at Hobby Lobby but whew, prices were over $40.! I came up with a couple of lamp projects.  The lamps were already  in my classroom but I change the covers every year. Check them out.
Less than a yard of leftover jean fabric and stick on stars purchased at Hobby Lobby made this  twinkle lam
Took off an old lamp cover and used fabric glue to wind red, white and blue yarn around the shade.  Easy peasy.  My advice would be to place the yarn closer together and give it a tighter look.  But I really like the light that reflect from the shade.  Fun project!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Patriotic Bulletin Board

Our school wide theme this year is United We Learn.  Red, white and blue colors permeate our hallways and classroom.  Here is a bulletin board that I use monthly to change out each of my students work I got colored red and blue scrapbooking paper and glued iridescent  stars at the bottom.  I cut 6 inch squares out of balsa wood and spray painted with chalkboard paint.  I used a white liquid pend to write each student's name on.  Then I glue gunned a clothespin to the back of their name and then glued a push pin to the clothespin.  Then voila -Star Spangled Work!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pinterest Inspiration

Check out my new reading box for my first graders to keep their AR folders and books in!  I checked out Pinterest and of course, I found something I could improvise and remix a little. The project listed products purchased at Michael's.  Teachers get a 15% off with their ID so picked up my ID and headed to the store.  Basket was $16.99.  I have a affinity for glitter so I found some cool letters at Michael's for $1.29 each.  Scrapbooking paper was a mere .$59.  My ribbon was actually some Christmas ribbon with red glitter found also at Michael's.   With a trusty glue gun I was able to put this project together speedy quick!  Kids love it!!