Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Monday Made It: I've been busy!

Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like realizing you only have 3 weeks left until the first day of school. Well, at least for us procrastinators. Anyone else try to cram everything into those last few weeks of summer? I did some things earlier on, but was putting off some bigger projects. It's been a busy few days though and I'm finally ready to share what I've been up to!


I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It to show you what's been keeping me so busy lately.

My first made it is a project that I've wanted to do for over a year - a library bench cushion! I've wanted a comfy library bench ever since I saw the Pinterest famous Kindercraze bench. I was hoping to make a cushion last year, but the shelf I had wasn't sturdy enough so that plan went out the window. This year, I made sure to get a shelf that is super sturdy and works as a bench.

Although I was originally going to ask my grandmother to sew a cushion cover, I quickly decided to go the no-sew route instead. So glad I did! It was so quick and easy! My dad had some plywood lying around and my sweet grandfather cut it to size for me.

I sprayed the wood with adhesive before putting the foam on it. (I definitely recommend this step because it helps the foam to stay in place.) Then all I had to do was wrap the batting around the foam and staple it down. My dad and I worked on that part together. 

Then my mom got in on the action! It was truly a family project! I had some fabric leftover from last year so we wrapped it around and stapled it over the batting. The corners were a bit tricky; we kind of folded and tucked them the same way you would your sheets when you make the bed.

Check out the finished product! I'm in love! It looks exactly like how I pictured it. :) Can't wait to see my sweet kiddos sitting on it and getting cozy while reading.

My second made it is a first day sign for my students to hold when I take their pictures. There are so many cute signs on TPT but unfortunately, none of them will work for me. The public school system here is based on the British system so instead of kindergarten, first grade, second grade, etc., we say Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, etc. (I don't use any resources or posters in my classroom that say "first grade" or "first graders" because the kids are not familiar with those terms.) I've never done a first day picture with a sign, so I'm super excited to try that out this year. :)

This one isn't a full made it because I didn't make those adorable quote posters. They are a freebie from Khrys Bosland and you can find them on TPT here. I did spray paint two of the frames though! They were all pink originally but two got scratched in my suitcase on the way home from my vacation. A little spray paint fixed that right up and now I love these frames even more! They match my classroom color scheme perfectly. Did I mention that I had never spray painted anything before this? I feel like a whole new world of possibilities has opened up now. Haha. 

A few weeks ago, I made some posters of our school rules to display in my classroom. We have four core rules which are all centered around being a safe school. We use the acronym SAFE to remember them: S is Show respect to everyone. A is have an Attitude that's positive. F is Follow directions and E is Engage in learning.

Here is one of the posters. I made them in Powerpoint using a plain black background and KG fonts!

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll remember I posted a picture of some Michael's finds, which included these wooden plaques. The moment I saw them, the lightbulb went off! I knew I wanted to try to use them to display my SAFE rules. So my dad and I busted out the black spray paint and got to work!

After they were done, I tried to adhere my rules to them and let's just say the first couple of attempts were not successful at all. I won't even share with you the hot mess that it was, but it was bad. Real bad. 

The third time was the charm! Now I just need to reprint a couple of the other posters so I can try modpodging them again.



My final made it involves spray paint again - yep, definitely a new obsession. 

I got this table to use as a guided reading table this year. I love it, except for the super bright yellow trim. Now don't get me wrong, I like the color yellow, but this one is like school bus yellow. The picture doesn't do it justice. Plus, yellow isn't really one of my classroom colors. So I taped up the metal part of the legs and spray painted the yellow legs black.


I took off the tape and got so excited! I love it so much more with the black trim! As you can see, there is still some yellow trim around the top of the table. I am thinking about just covering that area with black electrical tape or something, but we'll see. Any other recommendations? :)

I sure loved sharing all of my made its with you! Be sure to head back to 4th Grade Frolics to see what everyone else made!




Saturday, 8 August 2015

Five for Friday and a Freebie!

Today I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday! I was on vacation and missed last week's link up, so this one will kind of be a recap of the last two weeks.




Last week, I went to Chicago for the first time! It is such a great city; I had a blast! Here are a few pictures from my trip:

Of course we had to get a picture in front of the Bean!

We also went on the Skydeck of the Willis Tower and stood on one of the ledges with a transparent floor. I'm not really afraid of heights, but looking down definitely made me a bit nervous!

This is at Buckingham Fountain. It's such a gorgeous fountain. There was a bit of a rainbow that day too. Can you see it in the background?

Of course we had to try Chicago deep dish pizza while we were there. It was delicious! I am definitely a fan now!



After my trip to Chicago, I hopped on a plane to North Carolina, where I saw some old friends and got tons of shopping done. I got lots of classroom goodies from Target, Walmart, and Lakeshore. It was my first time going to an actual Lakeshore store and that place is AMAZING. Teacher heaven, I tell you. I order things from the catalog each year for my school orders, but man, being in the actual store is a totally different experience. I didn't take a picture of the things I bought from Lakeshore, but here are some of my Target finds:




I was excited to come home just in time for the TPT back to school sale. I save my credits and use the discount code at checkout so I always get huge savings. Here are some of the amazing products I bought:

I think I would by anything that
Haley O'Connor makes! Her
products are so cute and kid
friendly! I'm super excited to
use this data binder with my
students this year. 
I had to snag Reagan Tunstall's
all about me flip book! This is
going to be an awesome first
week activity. 
I am always looking for great
resources to help my students
improve their fluency. These
interactive word work activities
by Karen Jones will be so much fun!
    

Learning in Wonderland's editable flip
book is just what I've been looking for!
I can't wait to use it for Back to School
Night!
I'm excited to use Amy Swan's sight
word folder system this year. I'm
planning on adding a sight word
section to my students' take home
binders to help parents to be more
involved and up to date on their
sight word progress.
Click on any of these pictures to be taken to the product on TPT. 



 Now that I'm back at home, I've been trying to sort through all of my goodies and get back to work on some classroom projects. I can't get into my new classroom right now because it's being cleaned, but luckily, I measured my bulletin boards beforehand and was able to work on layering my borders this week! I pre-cut them and used hot glue to layer them. It takes some extra time, but I love how it makes my bulletin boards pop. My first year of teaching I layered the borders using tape while I put them up on the bulletin boards, but I learned the trick of pre-cutting and using hot glue from Maria at Kinder Craze. She has a great tutorial that I found really helpful. Click here to check it out! Do you layer borders in your classroom?





I started a Teachers Pay Teachers store a long time ago, but it has been very neglected. Now that I've started a blog, I'm going to get my store going and get some products in it. Here is my first product! Click on either of the pictures above to see it on TPT. It's free so go ahead and download if you are needing some labels for your pencil buckets. Please leave some feedback and consider following my store too! :) 


Thanks for stopping by! Now head on back to Doodle Bugs Teaching to read the other Five for Friday posts!