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DIY

Classroom DIY,Classroom Management,craftivity,Crafts,DIY,must haves

How to Make Glue Sponges

Glue sponges are my number one classroom necessity. It’s true! I have been using glue sponges for over a year and I will never go back… EVER!!

glue 3

What are glue sponges?

Glue sponges are exactly how they sound, they are sponges with glue on them. There are many different types of containers that you can use as well as sponges, but my favorite are the sandwich containers from Dollar Tree. They come in a set of 3 for $1 and they last you all year.

sandwich

I did experience some slight cracking in the tops throughout the school year, but the glue sponges still survived a full year with kindergarten students using them several times a day for 10 months. As for sponges, I definitely suggest getting ones that are the same on both sides, avoiding the ones with scrubbing pads. I get mine from Wal-Mart.

spongeThen you just add an entire bottle of glue onto the sponge, close the lid, and let it sit for 24 hours. When you first put the glue on, it will sit on the top, but after 24 hours the glue will be absorbed into the sponge and be ready to go.

How do I use a glue sponge?

Glue sponges can be used on almost everything in your classroom. My favorite way to use them is with interactive notebooks, however you can also use them on art projects. It’s an easy way for students to be able to use glue without using too much or getting too messy. Here is one of my kindergarten students demonstrating how to use a glue sponge.

demo

What are some tips for using glue sponges in your classroom?

  • Make sure you have the students close the top from the sides until they hear it *SNAP*. Avoid pushing down on the top from the middle, this will lead to cracking of the top.
  • Remind students to put the top on when they are not using them.
  • If the glue sponge dries out or isn’t as sticky, spray the sponge with water and flip. If this doesn’t work, you can always add more glue. Don’t over do it though!
  • If you sponges are look a little… funky, spray them with a mixture of water and hand sanitizer to keep them fresh all year.
  • Glue sponges work for almost everything, even larger pieces of paper, but keep some glue bottles around for tricky art projects like adhering glitter to paper.

Video Tutorial

I have also made a video all about glue sponges. In this video I will talk about my tips for using glue sponges as well as a tutorial on how to make your own glue sponges.


If you end up trying out glue sponges in your own classroom or already use them, I would love to hear how to you like them. Also, feel free to share any tips you may have.

signature

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Classroom DIY,DIY,Organization

Printing Your Teacher Planner Stickers

If you are reading this blog post, you most likely purchased my teacher planner stickers. If you haven’t purchased my teacher planner stickers yet and you are interested in them, you can check them out HERE.

This post is all about how to customize, print, and cut them in the way that works best for you.

I have gone ahead and created a few videos that will walk you through the process. Even though these video feature my watercolor planner stickers, the information applies for all of my current stickers as well as any future stickers offered in my TpT store.



Links to Products Mentioned

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Classroom DIY,DIY,Organization

Monthly Calendar Headers

If you have been a reader of my blog for a while, you know I love organization, planners, and stickers. I have been making planner stickers for my planners for a while and love the color and personality it adds. I had a vision of stickers that I could add to the top of my monthly calendars to add a little more color, cuteness, and inspiration. I am happy to say that I my vision has come to life and I am here to share them with you!! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and if you would like to pick yourself up a set, you can find it HERE.

IMG_6060These monthly calendar headers are designed to fit in your monthly section of your Erin Condren teacher planner. All you have to do is print them on full sized sticker paper, cut, and stick into place! This is a great way to add some seasonal fun to every month. It also comes with inspirational quotes to get you through even the toughest of days.

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Classroom DIY,DIY,Organization

How to Uncoil Your Erin Condren Teacher Planner

Unless you have been living under a rock, I’m sure you have heard of Erin Condren and if you haven’t heard about her, let me be the first to introduce to you this amazing company. I have been using Erin Condren planners for years. I started off with a Life Planner and then made the venture into the Teacher Planners. I absolutely love both of them. Of course, there are always a few downsides to any product no matter how much you love it. My only wish for Erin Condren planners is that they release their inserts without a coil. As much as a I love the coil, I end up… UNCOILING mine!! Don’t freak out, I promise you it’s not as bad as it sounds. I have done this with my old teacher planner as well as my life planners and I always love the end result.

If you are interested in seeing how I did this and even considering uncoiling your own planner, this post is for you!!

The first thing you need is an Erin Condren Teacher Planner. If you don’t have one you can get one HERE. This is my referral link where you can get $10 off your first order. It is definitely worth it and it pays for your shipping!!

Next you are going to need a cover. If you are really brave, you can use the cover that came with your planner and use the following steps, but even I’m not that brave. I went ahead and bought a Martha Stewart disc bound cover from Staples.

The rest gets a little bit more detailed, so instead of writing every detail out, I decided to make a video on this whole process.

Now on to some pictures of the final product!!

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IMG_6014

IMG_6018

IMG_6020I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful. Let me know in the comments below if you plan on uncoiling your Erin Codren planner too!!

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Classroom Decor,DIY,Lesson Plans

Chalkboard Name Plate

Today is the first day of school and I am surprisingly pretty calm. Normally I can’t sleep the night before and I get super nervous. I feel prepared this year and even though I am already at 28 students, and probably will hit 30 by the end of the day, I feel like it’s going to be a good year. I wanted to get more done this weekend for Monday Made It, but my new motto is, “It can get done tomorrow”. Normally I would have just stayed up all night making things and then go in super early to set it all up. Then I realized, it can all be done tomorrow. So I will show you what I made today and show you the rest… tomorrow. 😉

1. Chalkboard Name Plate
I bought these supplies earlier on in the summer because I wanted to get a head start on these name plates. Unfortunately for me, I waited until the last second. I filmed a quick tutorial, but I will be editing it late. Make sure to check back later to see how I made this name plate.

2. Teacher Binder

I also put together my teacher binder. You can find the file that I used HERE. I plan on making this my binder for lesson plans as well as a data binder. Normally I would always keep them both separate, but this way is easier. Next year I will definitely be buying the Erin Condren Lesson Planner. So much easier to have something that is already done for you.

3. New Shoes


I didn’t make shoes this weekend, but wouldn’t that be cool if I did!? I went searching for a good pair of shoes and I found some at my first store and in my size! That never happens to me!!! They are Clarks and I’ve hear really great things about them. Even the cashier commented on how comfortable the shoes are. I guess I will let you know after today.

4. Classroom Tour

I consider this my biggest Monday Made it of the whole summer and that is redoing my room. If you want to see more detail pictures. Please visit the blog post HERE.

5. Custom Borders

I also created my own borders to help in the decorating process. I have a whole post on this process as well as a video. You can view that post HERE.
Thank you for checking out my Monday Made Its and I hope everyone that is going back to school today or ones that have been there for a few weeks are having a great new year. And to all of you who are still on summer vacation… I hate you. Haha, JUST KIDDING!!! Enjoy your summers because they go by fast (like I’m sure you already know). 😉

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Classroom Decor,DIY,Monday Made It

DIY Border

Tomorrow is the first day back for teachers. Student come next week so I guess I still have a little bit of “vacation” left. Today I want to share with you something that I came up with a couple weeks ago and that is DIY Borders!!

I was at home one day I just decided to run a strip of cardstock through my crimper and the rest is history. You can make any color imaginable (as long as you can find the paper. You could also print out a pattern and use the same technique).

I also wanted to share one more thing with you. I created these amazing stamps over at Vista Print. I caved and made a 2nd Grade Quality one. Maria from Kinder Craze had such a great tutorial on it that I decided to make one of my own.

I have a few more things coming in the mail from Vista Print today including a signature stamp and some magnets. I’m very excited!!!

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Classroom Decor,Classroom Management,DIY,Freebie,Monday Made It

Monday Made-It {07.21.13}

Today’s Monday Made it is just a small share of the few things I made this week. I go back in a little over a week. My summer is sadly coming to an end. I enjoyed relaxing and making things for my classroom. I know the school year will bring so many great things. Summer is not over and I will be back next week to share what I make for my classroom. But onto this week…

Item #1- Bathroom Sign
I am lucky to have a bathroom in my classroom that I share with the classroom next door. My lovely teaching partner came up with the idea of using magnets on the back of sticks for monitoring bathroom usage. At the beginning of the year students love going to the bathroom whenever they feel like it. You would think that having a bathroom in your room would provide very little disruptions. Well it seems to be the opposite. I think since the kids see the bathroom in the room, they want to visit it more. I also use the bathroom sticks, but they would always fall off the door frame if someone walked into them and bathroom sticks went flying. I decided I needed something a little more practical. I created this hanging sign. It’s just a magnetic whiteboard that I decorated. Very simple and hopefully it will cut down on the sticks being bumped into and flying everywhere!!

Item #2- Cheers
It seems like everyone is all about cheers in their classroom. I love celebrating moments with my children and sometimes it’s hard to come up with something on the spot. I’m sure that these cheers will come in handy this year. You can get your own copy of these cheers HERE. You can print them full page or smaller. I choose to print the smaller ones so they are a little more portable. I can take them onto the carpet, in line, or even outside!!

Item #3- Rules
Last year I used the Whole Brain Teaching rules in my classroom. We went over them every morning and my students knew them, but we didn’t always use them. I was pretty fortunate to have a pretty good class last year. Even though most of the time they followed the rules, I still didn’t feel like those rules reflected what I expected of my students. This year I am using a new set of rules. You can find a copy of them HERE. It’s great because you can use the rules that are already created or edit them to fit the needs of your classroom.

Item #4- Clock Labels
I have seen so many different clock labels out there and for the last few years I have been using post-it notes as my labels. I decided to step it up a notch and create my own this year. They are using my new forest theme. Now all I have to do is buy a new clock that has a silent tick. 🙂

You can get a copy of your own labels HERE for free.

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DIY,giveaway,Monday Made It

Monday Made-It

Good morning all and I’m finally back for another Monday Made-It. This week I am formatting my post a little differently. Usually I create stuff throughout the week and then I just cram it all into one post. Unfortunately, I am not able to go into great detail on every project. So I have decided to create separate posts on each project and then give a brief description on my Monday Made-It post.

Project #1

I created these notebooks for my students this year. Perfect for using more than one subject in each notebook. you can find the link to the post HERE.
Project #2
I finally jumped on the bandwagon and made myself a teacher toolbox. You can find the link to the post HEREIf you would like a copy of your own, please visit my TPT store HERE.
**I have two different files available for purchase. One is premade labels and the other is customizable**
Giveaway Time
I am giving away two of my Forest Themed Teacher Toolbox Labels. If you win, you get a chance to pick form the premade labels or the customizable labels. Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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DIY,Notebooks,Organization

Custom Notebooks

 Last year I bought these composition books with the intentions of using them. I knew that I wanted to use them for reading, science, and social studies, but I never knew how to put all three subjects in one notebook. Last year my teaching buddy and BFF added tabs to her notebooks and I thought it was a great idea. She was able to use the notebooks all year. I meant to do it last year, but the time got away from me. I was determined to make time for it this summer.

I love the composition books because they are more sturdy than to spiral notebooks. Spiral notebooks get destroyed and eventually pages are torn and lost. Not to mention the wire starts to get messed up and pokes a student!! To create the tabs I just used a SU! label punch. You can get a newer addition HERE. I am extremely excited to start using these notebooks in my class this year and I already have so many ideas!!!

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DIY,pinterest,Summer Projects

Summer Plans

Hello fellow teachers, it’s been a while since my last post. I have been on summer vacation for a month now and I have a month left. What have I been doing this last month? Relaxing!! It’s been nice to relax and get some me time in, since it’s so hard to come by during the school year. With only a month until school starts back up, I finally feel ready to getting things ready. I have been looking through my Pinterest boards and looking for projects that I never got around to last summer. Even though I love Pinterest, it is hard to manage all those boards. So, in order to keep myself a little more organized and to also share with you some of my summer plans, I figured I could share what I plan on making for the upcoming school year.

Classroom Theme

I have always wanted a theme in my classroom, but I have never really known what I wanted. For the longest time, I wanted a garden theme with little white fences outlining the library. This past year I received a beautiful carpet from DonorsChoose.org that has a lot of blue, green, and brown in it. I automatically thought of this classroom and knew that it would be the perfect theme. My classroom will never look as beautiful as this room, but I would really like to incorporate a few things to tie everything together.



                                                        Displaying Student Work

I have an area high up in my classroom where I display picture frames. I like to display special things in the picture frames, but taking the frames off of the wall, removing the plastic front, and putting the work in has become a hassle. I end up keeping the same things in the frames for months. I think this would be a cute way to display their work.

Classroom Decor

I love this banner and I have been wanting one forever. This banner uses the actual book jackets, but I would probably just scan in the book covers and print them out.

Organization

I am all about getting organized this year. I feel like I am a pretty organized person, but when it comes to looking for little odds-and-ends, I am scrambling all around the classroom. Everything in my classroom has a place, but the places are all over the place. My stapler is stored across the room from my staples and that’s just one example. I think it’s finally time to make a teacher toolbox.

I just found out about this desk apprentice from Staples and I’m really thinking of getting it. It’s $45, pretty steep for an organizer. I like the fact that I can hold the rest of the supplies that my teacher tool box can’t. It’s also a great place for my lesson plans and any other important information I may need. Not a summer project, but definitely a summer purchase.

Last school year I dove into using anchor charts. I’ve always used charts in some way, but never  consistently. This year I plan on using anchor charts a lot more. I never know what to do with an anchor chart after I take it down. Creating some sort of binder or folder that I can refer back to with the students or something they can refer back to on their own would be helpful. I’m also thinking of a way for students to store important anchor charts that I may want to copy for them to leave at their seats.

Last year I bought composition notebooks for my students and I had all these great ideas on how I would use them. Did I use them… no. Well, this year my goal is to put them into action. This helpful tip will save me a lot of stress.

Finally, the last thing I want to get completed, or at least start on is my sub tub. I’m hardly ever absent, but if I am, I don’t want to be worrying about making lesson plans last minute. Or worse, I wake up sick and I’m having to lesson plan from home and make my team members copy for me. No fun. This sub tub will leave me prepared for anything.

Those are a few projects I want to work on. Of course I have many more that I want to accomplish, so hopefully once these get completed I can start on a few more. Look forward to blog posts as I go through these projects. If you have any projects this summer that you are going to be working on, I would love to hear what they are.

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