Sunday, August 11, 2013

Every new beginning come from some other beginning's end...

So here it is, the end of summer...or the beginning of a new year, depending on which way you look at it.  Where I will sorely miss sleeping in and staying up late, and having a house that is mostly clean, most of the time, I am also excited to get started on what I know will be a great year!

In preparation for the beginning of summer, I have been doing two things: 1. finishing up the summer "spring" cleaning  2. completing any and all craft projects that I began earlier in the summer.

In June, my daughter Callista and I went to an awesome craft supply warehouse to look around.  It is this AWESOME place in Gainesville called Repurpose Project, where people donate unwanted craft supplies  and other various things that could be used to create ...well, anything you can imagine. For the June Art Walk, they had a contest for creating something out of bottle caps. We ended up getting crafty and I won the adult category.
Here's my bottle cap tree.
 All of my friends keep telling me I should use it in my classroom, but I kind of like it in my room at home where I can enjoy it every day.

The whole reason Callista and I went to Repurpose Project in the first place was we needed canvases for our crayon art.  So the following week, using some leftover crayons from my classroom, we tried one of the many projects I found on Pintrest.

This is going in my living room! I am super pleased with how it turned out.

While I was doing the heavy duty cleaning this weekend, I discovered that our 4th of July wreath that my daughter and my mom made was getting icky and moldy thanks to our super humid Florida weather, so when I went back to Repurpose to drop off some unwanted craft supplies, I decided to brainstorm ideas for a new wreath. While I was there I found some cocktail umbrellas, so when I got home, I made this:
I LOVE how it turned out!  I'm trying to figure out what I can spray it with to protect the paper umbrellas from the outdoor humidity.

What do you like to do over the summer? Do you, like me, feel that summer is never long enough, no matter how much you are looking forward to the new year? 

Tomorrow I'm back in the classroom, and a new year will begin.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Crunch Time is Right Around the Corner

I woke up super early this morning to let my dog out, and I tried to go back to sleep, but my brain wouldn't shut off. I just kept thinking about all of the things that I need to do to get my classroom ready.  

Since I'm in a new room this fall, I've been spending the summer organizing. I've mostly been working on my library, because it's HUGE. I takes up about half of one of my walls and the shelves are taller than I am.  (I promise pictures of the finished product's almost done!)

I've also spent a lot of time this summer checking out pins on Pintrest. (I seriously wish we got credits towards recertification for this!) We have an AWESOME teacher lab in my county where teachers can use tons of materials to make things for our classrooms for very little money. It's open all summer, and it's even cheaper (sometimes even free!) if you bring your own materials. Here are some things I've been working on.

Today I made a voice-o-meter. I got the idea from where an art teacher posts her management ideas.  I used the font Downlink to create letters similar to the original.  The main change that I made was to LOUD CROWD. I never want my students shouting across the room, so I put "talking with the whole class" instead.

Yacker Tracker
Usually I use a 3 strike rule to manage classroom noise. Sometimes I also use a Yacker Tracker to enforce this. (You can set the Yacker Tracker to a certain number of decibels. If the Yacker Tracker goes off 3 times, there is 5 minutes of silence.) The only down side to the Yacker Tracker is it picks up ANY noise, including chairs scraping, and sometimes even books being put on shelves! What tips and tricks do you find useful to manage noise in the classroom?

Earlier this month I made surfboards for my super cute job chart (I'll post pics of this when I start setting up my classroom). 

One of my favorite finds on Teacher Pay Teacher is a book that you can make about yourself to share with your students. I bought this, printed it on card stock, and laminated it. It turned out so cute! I can't wait to share mine with my students! 

I also used the huge variety of die cuts to cut out pieces for my diver craft. I got the idea from I plan to have my students make these during the first week of school. I want to use them for window decorations, but I'm not sure quite how to do this. I'm still brainstorming, but I may have the students glue these to leftover lamination film. What do you think? Any better ideas? Hmm...maybe I could just have them assemble them on a piece of wax paper, and after they're dried, remove the wax paper and put them up in the windows? Let me know what you think!