Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Made It - Rag Banner + Bell

I'm linking up with Tara {4th Grade Frolics} for Monday-Made It!  I haven't made nearly as much cutesy classroom stuff this summer, but did finally make a rag banner to hang above my classroom windows.

It really was quite easy to do and probably only took 2-3 hours total (and that was with a baby crawling all over me pulling the fabric strips down).  HERE is a great tutorial if you'd like to try one out!  My fabric strips are 2x20 inches.  I was excited that I was able to use up a bunch of fabric from my old bulletin boards!  I had to make mine pretty long to reach across the windows, so depending on your space, it may not even take that long.

My other Monday Made It is embarrassingly simple...I spray painted my new classroom bell to match my color scheme.  I kept trying to find colored or cute call bells online, but could only find plain ones.  Once my bell arrived from Amazon, I realized how simple it was to take it apart.  I spray-painted the base and reassembled...took several minutes!  I keep the bell at my small group table and use it to transition between Daily 5 rotations.  I ring it twice to signal "pick up" and ring it once after a minute or so to signal that the students should be at their own seats, heads down, quiet, and picked up.  This really has cut down on transition time.  :)

{Wire basket + tins are from Target}

I'm also pretty excited about the new stools I scored at Family Dollar for $5!  My IKEA stools didn't even survive two years of wiggly second graders.  Gladys from Teaching In High Heels uses the metal Family Dollar stools in her room and said they've been sturdy and are going strong into their fourth year.  Thanks for the tip, Gladys.  Hope these last! 

It's our last week before school starts.  Which means, it is time to set aside the fun projects and start lesson planning.  :(  Hope everyone has a great start to the school year!  

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Monday, July 4, 2016

Word Collector Display

I love the idea of using personal and class "Word Collectors" in the classroom.  I was inspired to do this after reading The Daily Cafe.  After teaching the mini-lesson over "tuning into interesting words", I pass out personal word collectors for my students to keep in their writing folders.  This really has helped my students expand their vocabularies and encourages  them to give more attention to new words in the books they read.  Students may add words to their collectors at any point during the day.  We also have a whole-class collector posted in the room where we write words we want to remember from shared read alouds.  The kids are obsessed with this!  In the past, I made a new class word collector every year by using a large piece of butcher paper and drawing [crooked] lines with a yardstick.  It was one of those summer tasks I dreaded doing because it always turned out so ugly.  So, I made one that I could print, laminate, and write on with dry erase so it can be used every year!  (You could also write the words with permanent marker and use the Expo marker or hand sanitizer method to remove the words at the end of the year.)  Out with the ew, in with the new!

Definitely don't try to cut corners and not use card stock.  I did this the first time around and it looked bumpy after putting hot glue on the back of each square to hang it.  Needless to say, I pulled it all down and started over.  (I'm going to pretend that I don't see the smudge marks our school's laminator made at the top of each square the second time making it.)

I have this Word Collector in my TpT Shop if you are interested!

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