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Monday, July 29, 2013

Revamping an Old Favorite

Last year I jumped on the crate seat train and I just LOVED them- and even more importantly, the kids loved them.  We used them last year to keep our book bags out of the way and students really loved sitting on them to read. You can see a picture of them- unfinished- here.

Well, here are the pros and cons of my crate seats after one year of use:


  • Extra storage
  • Extra seating
  • Students loved them
  • I used vinyl table cloth to cover the top-easy cleaning
  • I forgot to add a pull tab or some way for the students to lift up the seat without just grabbing the fabric.  Since I didn't add that, I had a lot of rips and tears in the cover.
  • I used quilting batting that I had in my house and it wasn't very comfortable
So, I decided to revamp them for a new year!
These were the old tops- and my dog Emmett who wouldn't stop photo-bombing!

Here you can see some the tears in the fabric :(
I added some pre-cut foam from Hobby Lobby to the cushions.  They were $2 per piece and I made 4 seat crates.

Then, I cut my fabric and laid it out-

I realized that my staple gun was out of staples and I didn't know how to load it. After calling all my neighbors (they were at work), attempting to call my husband (he was on a work trip in Poland) and 20 minutes of googling- I figured it out!

Ta-daa! Seat crate (sorry about the bad lighting)! Notice the pull tab sticking up?

Another angle, and another photo bomb from the pup!

For the fabric I used an old shower curtain from Target.  I am a bit nervous because it is light colored but I already had it on hand and I love to reuse instead of buying something new.

That is it for my Monday Made It contribution.  I have been in my new classroom all day getting set up and things are starting to come together.  Head on over to 4th Grade Frolics to check out all the other fabulousness going on! :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Back to School Student Gift

I have just under a month left until I am back with the kiddos! I know some of you start back to school much sooner than me...I am not jealous of you! :)  I have a bit of time before I need to worry about the back to school bbq- but I had this container of broken and peeled crayons just sitting around so I decided to make this...taa-daa!

Each kiddo gets one of those very cool melty-crayon-things (I am pretty sure that's the technical term)! They were super easy to make- just take your crayons, peel the wrapper, break them up and stick them in a greased mini-muffin tin and melt them in the oven for 15 minutes at 275F.  At first, I tried coordinating the colors but then I just went for the tie-dye effect!

I made the cute label to incorporate both owls, my classroom theme, and the colorful crayons.  You can download a copy of it yourself here.

Thank you to The Hazel Owl for the circle badge and My Cute Graphics for the owl clip art.  The font is my own. As always, be sure to link up with 4th Grade Frolics

Monday, July 15, 2013

Laminating Crazy!!

I decided to purchase a laminator from Amazon.  I am so glad that I made this decision! I got the Scotch Thermal Laminator 2 roller system.

I have been a laminating fool since I got this bad boy! It can laminate anything up to standard paper size.  I also went with the Universal Laminating Pouches instead of paying the extra money for the Scotch brand pouches.  I got business card size, 4x6 and letter size.  You can buy a box of 100 for $8.26

I have been enjoying some FREEBIES from TpT to use on the laminator and I can't wait to put them up in my classroom.  

First, I laminated these free alphabet cards from The Inspired Apple. I plan to use the upper/lower case cards on my word wall.

Then I laminated these direction/supply cards from Bainbridge Class.  I will use some to label my supply containers and then some to include picture directions.

Today I laminated alphabet posters from Kindergarten Smiles. I can't find the freebie that I was able to download of just the alphabet posters but you can purchase the alphabet posters and matching word wall cards- super cute!

So- I didn't really make anything today- but I did spend a lot of quality time with my laminator.  I think we are going to be great friends!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It- Where are you going? Board

I am joining up with 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made it linky.  I can't believe I have never linked up before- but I am a slow crafter.  I can't have too many projects going because it drives my husband crazy (I never finish them)!

Have you seen these boards on pinterest? It is from Second Grade Style  I have seen some other boards like this on pinterest but I can only find this example right now.

I wish that I had made this last year with my second graders.  It would have been so helpful to keep track of the many places they went!  I want to try this with my kinders for this year.  I think it may be difficult in the beginning but I have some ideas to make it more "kinder-friendly."

First, I used these wooden circles I bought at hobby lobby as the base of the magnet.  I wanted to spray paint them purple.  I didn't realize how difficult spray painting something could be when you live in an apartment! It was way too windy to spray paint them on the sidewalk (my original plan) so I built a plastic bag cave and spray painted them in my kitchen! Thank goodness I didn't get any spray paint on the sink or counters :) The force of the spray paint blew the wooden circles around but I only needed one coat on each side.

Ta-daa! The materials are laid out and ready to go- cookie sheet, spray painted circles, and adhesive magnets.
These magnets were so easy to stick on! I hope they last the year.
I painted a number on each of the magnets using a paint pen.  I wish I would have used white paint- it would have stood out more on the dark purple.  I am also not sure that kinders will grasp on to the whole numbering concept.  It will take a lot of teaching because most of my supplies are numbered.  I am thinking of putting their picture over the numbers initially to help them use the board and then as they get more comfortable with the numbers removing their pictures.

I used small duct tape to divide the board- it is a little crooked, I may have to fix that!

And here is where the project sits for now- not done! The where are you going label will go above the magnetic board.  I am going to glue the number chart to the board so that students know where their magnet's "home" is located.  The labels will also be glued to the board.  In the examples I saw on pinterest most of the sections were only labeled and I know that kinders would struggle with putting their magnet in the right spot and then what would be the point of this whole thing! LOL. I made the labels with clip art so that they can hopefully put their number in the right spot when they leave the room.  Once my new laminator comes in the mail I am going to laminate all of this and finish it up! I can't wait!

The labels are forms that I used for this are uploaded to my TpT store and available for FREE. If you would like to download them click here

You might want to make a magnetic board like me or you could just print off the labels and put them in name tag protectors for hall passes.  Use them as you wish! Enjoy!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nice to Meet You: Hobby Lobby

Can you believe I have never been to Hobby Lobby?! I almost can't believe it myself- but it is true.  Until today I had never set foot into that wonderful place.  The closest Hobby Lobby is about 30 minutes away from me, so I do have an excuse, but after my first visit I think I will be making excuses to go again!

Moving in to a new classroom can be a blessing.  I had the opportunity to go through all of my materials as I was packing my old classroom and decide, do I really need this?  I am the queen of getting rid of things (my husband can agree to this statement) but moving out of my classroom gave me the chance to decide; donate, trash, keep or refurbish.  Sometimes in my quest to live simply I give away things that could be useful to me.  I am trying to find a balance and so I decided to take on a couple of projects this summer that will allow me to use the materials I already have in my new space.

I want my kindergarten classroom to be organized and purposeful.  I know that kinders can be messy- so I want to make sure that I model organization.  I have a few projects in mind (I will blog about them-don't worry :) ) that will help me with that- but first I had to go to Hobby Lobby!  I have heard people talk about Hobby Lobby but I just thought it was a Hobby Shop- you know, the kind with model cars and plane kits?! I spent over 2 hours just roaming the aisles! A ton of things were on sale and I filled my cart! Eventually I went through and picked out just the things I knew that I would be using and figured if I need to go back to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few more things- oh well!

Here is what I bought:

Isn't this Duck tape cute? It came in the two different sizes.  I am not exactly sure how I am going to use them and they don't technically match the colors in my room but I couldn't resist.
These are craft circles, adhesive magnets, purple spray paint and a black paint pen.  I am planning on making magnets with the students numbers on them.  I want to make one of those cute cookie sheets where students move their number when the leave the room- I am not sure if kinders can handle that or not but I'll give it a try!
I also picked up some cute woodland animal stickers- not sure what I will use them for yet but I will find a place for them! Some foam pads to spruce up my crate seats from last year and a "warm and fuzzies" bucket/pom poms that I will use for class meetings.

Well, there is my loot! Look for more posts once I get crafting! :)

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I hope that everyone is enjoying their fourth of July.  No picnics, barbecues or fireworks for me- the husband is away for work this month and I am left to my own devices (muahahahaha)! My poor dog just can't handle the fireworks and I didn't want to leave him home alone on the worst day of the year for him!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am leaving my school and making the leap to a new school and a new grade level.  It was not an easy decision for me and I must say that even after I had signed on the dotted line a part of me wanted to take it back!  I was lucky to spend a day observing at my new school and met my kindergarten team and that really quieted any fears that I had.  Now, I am in full excitement mode.  Change is good.  I read this quote recently:

“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”--Maya Angelou

That truly sums up my decision to change.  I needed a new experience. I need a new challenge.  I hope I can remember that when my little kinders arrive on the first day of school.  I hope I can remember that change was my decision when things are done differently or I am not sure how to do the basic things that came as second nature at my old school.  I want to be able to remember that I asked for this change, I wanted this change and in order to grow as an educator- I needed this change.

So- to help me remember, I created this 4 x 6 subway art that I can frame and keep on my desk.  I uploaded it to a google doc so you can grab it too (for free) if you are interested! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Goin' on a Blog Hunt!

I know that google reader is gone, but fear not! Bloglovin is a great way to keep up with all of your favorite blogs. I was able to quickly import all of my blogs into bloglovin and then start reading! I particularly enjoy how you can open the newest blog entry and then just scroll through to read all the blogs in your feed.

 I am linking up with Laura at Corkboard Connections so that you wont forget to add Light a Fire to your new blog reader! I haven't posted much recently but I have some things in the works...including a library organization freebie for all of you who have hopped over here from Pinterest! Keep checking back- I will be up and running at full speed soon! :)