Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Decorating with Tape

Hey everyone! I know that I've been AWOL for quite a while. There's a good reason for that and if you follow my personal blog, Hodge Podge Moments, then you'll know the reasons why I've been away! If not, you can hop on over there and see what I've been up to or you can check back here in about a week for a life update! I will say that moving boxes and a wedding veil were involved in my absence. There was also a job hunt and a new classroom. I'm now in a fifth grade classroom, which is a big change for me. I just started last week and let me tell you that starting mid-year has it's own special set of challenges - including making the classroom mine! As I embark on the adventure of making this classroom into my own, I'll be sharing my DIY projects with you. Up first, we have a simple update that can be done with just one dollar!
I have several white board spaces in my room that I use throughout the day for different subjects. They were plain and I would draw lines to divide them into subjects on a daily basis to make the most out of them. They started out looking something like this:

The boards were less than appealing and my daily lines were messy. I happened to take a shot of the board after I erased it, but imagine crooked, squiggly lines with scattered work and you'll know how it looked. I am not very good at drawing straight lines, let's just say that. I also didn't like having to redraw my lines everyday so I set out to find a solution. Enter Dollar Tree and their great line of washi-like tape!

The first step for this organizing project (after buying the tape of course) was to draw out a plan. I knew that if I didn't draw out my plan in advance, I would miss a section that needed to be included. You can see my rough plan drawn on an index card below.

The next step was to put the plan in action. I used the tape to divide the board into sections. Getting the lines straight was the hardest part. (They still aren't perfect, but I'll keep fixing them until they are.) I love that this tape can be removed easily. After you pull the tape off the board, it isn't damaged and you can use it on the board again.

The last step was to add my headings. I wrote them up in marker today but I have other plans for the near future once I find the supplies needed!

After doing the front board, I simply had to repeat the process for the back board. I am extremely happy that all of my boards are now divided with colorful tape and every subject has its own section! This will really help my classroom stay more organized!  The best part? This project only cost me ONE DOLLAR!  I bought two rolls of tape at Dollar Tree and one roll was able to do three large white boards with tape left over! Now the question is - what can I do with all that leftover tape?

Washi tape is a quick and easy way to spruce up the different spaces in your house. It's a temporary upgrade as well, which makes it nice. When you're tired of the design you chose, you can easily remove it and change the look of your stuff!

How do you use tape in your home or office? Any suggestions for my leftover tape?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Adding Two Digit Numbers: Food Fun

Today, we used pretzel sticks and marshmallows to add two digit numbers without regrouping. My kids were beyond excited!  The pretzel sticks were tens and the marshmallows were our ones.

Here's the photo evidence for your viewing pleasure:

(I'm not sure why this isn't turning. It is turned before upload! Sorry guys!)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Our Wee Little Visitor

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I thought I'd celebrate by sharing a little classroom cuteness from our room today. Lucky the leprechaun came to visit and the kids really enjoyed it. They even wrote him their own notes during Art class!

Lucky made a giant mess of our room, leaving paint and glitter everywhere.

"I think Leprechauns can fly." (One little girl decided this because the footprints were only on our tables...)

Lucky needed our help to find his hat. More clues came throughout the day but I forgot to take pictures of those!

Of course we had to have a craft...

And a snack. (This was actually a thank you from Lucky for helping him find his hats. The hats were from Dollar Tree and the kids loved that they got to wear them home!)

How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in your classroom?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cow Craft Freebie

I have so many fun things to share...I've gotten a bit behind on sharing lately.

Today, I'm sharing a freebie craft with you. You'll find a link to the cow pattern and the writing paper at the end of this blog post. It's nothing fancy, but my kids definitely enjoyed it today.

We have been studying the "ow" team this past week. I thought I would add to our word study lesson today with a craft. I created the craft yesterday after school and was quite happy with it:

I wasn't quite sure what we were going to do with the cow but I knew it would have something to do with the "ow" team. I debated between listing words, writing a poem (we're working on poetry in writing right now), and writing sentences. I was leaning towards writing sentences when it came to me! We should write a story using the "ow" words!  We've been doing a lot with beginning, middle, and end lately so this seemed perfect.

We started by listing "ow" words on the board. My students gave me so many words! Ones that I hadn't even thought of. After we listed the words, I told them that we were going to write a story about a brown cow using these words. We talked about some story ideas using the words. Then, I sent them back to their seats to write a rough copy in their word study journal.
When they finished, they brought their journal to me and we made corrections to capitals, spelling, and punctuation together. Then, they returned to their seat to write the final copy. I introduced the craft AFTER almost everyone was done writing their final copies. (I still had a few students working on final copies because their stories were really long or because they were out of the room for part of the time.) They were given about 20 minutes to get the craft made. I gave them the template for the head and body and showed them my cow. From there, they created their own cows. Some followed my pattern closer than others.
I was beyond amazed with some of the stories they came up with. We had cows going into town, cows getting super powers, and even a couple of secret agent cows saving the day. This was definitely an enjoyable activity today. I was amazed at how long some of their stories were! Take a look at one star story below!

If you'd like the template for the cow and the writing paper, you can get it by clicking here. Enjoy! I'll be back with more activities in the near future. I've got a couple other writing activities that we've done recently to share as well!




Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Currently

I'm linking up with Farley for her March currently.  You should check out her new blog design - it's so cute!

I just woke up. Actually, I was woken up by the dog, so there's not really any sound going yet besides the computer. And it's actually stopped making noise now that it's awake.

I'm loving the new layout I made for my personal blog. It's simple with anchors and glitter and fits my personality so well! Click the picture below to see it. :)


I have so much to do today. I want to get my apartment back in some sort of decent appearance. I'm in the middle of a massive organization spree - that means I've torn apart different areas and will put it all back together neatly. I'm also getting rid of my massive desk so I'm having to figure out how to better organize my office supplies without a desk. Any thoughts or ideas?

This connects with my thinking. I really want a more organized apartment. I should be moving later this year and I think it'll be easier and less stressful with things organized. I figure that if I start now, I'll have it under control by the time a move comes into the picture.

In order to accomplish all the crazy things I come up with, I would love more time. It seems like there's never enough time in the weekend (or the day) to get everything accomplished that I'd like to.

I didn't know what to put here, so I felt !!!!!!!!!! was fitting.

Happy March everyone!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dr. Seuss Week: Day 1

Today was the first day of Dr. Seuss week. I've got lots of fun activities planned that I'll be sharing with you.

Today's activities are mostly themed around The Cat in the Hat. I did have to throw a tie in though since it was "Wear a tie or scarf" to school day in honor of Hop on Pop.


We created word family ties to go with Hop on Pop.  I found a tie clipart and they decorated them however they liked using our words of the week (ay & ai). Some students had striped ties, while others had crazy colorful ties. All students had words on their ties. :)

We created a fraction hat to go with our study of shapes and fractions. They used 1 inch (you could even do 2 inch) strips to create a patterned hat. Then, they filled in the fraction for each color and how many total parts were on their hat.
I managed to fit two crafts into today and still taught everything else I planned to teach! How exciting!

A self-portrait of me in my scarf for our first themed dress up day.
Tomorrow is pajama day! As one little boy said: "We get to wear pajamas to SCHOOL!"

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Peek at My Week

I'm so excited for this upcoming week! It's Dr. Seuss week at my school. We've got themed dress up days and a door decorating contest.


Taking photos to use on our door. Thanks to one of my firsties for taking a picture of me!

In reading, we'll be focusing on different Dr. Seuss activities. The kids will even be doing a persuasive project on a Dr. Seuss book. I'm really excited to see what they come up with. We did this project last year and it was a lot of fun!

In writing, we'll be finishing up on narrative unit. To incorporate the Seuss fun, students will be doing a "I want to be a thing..." writing piece in the writing center during our center rotation.

We're wrapping up shapes and fractions this week in math. I have a hat fraction project and other fun Dr. Seuss things to include.

A peek at a piece for our door. Can you guess what book I chose?
Linking up: