Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's for lunch?

Students are given two lunch choices - -A or B. Also there is the option of Cold Lunch or Home. The labels for the lunch choices were printed on sticker paper and wrapped around frosting tubs.
Uses for pocket charts in the classroom are almost endless. For simple attendance and lunch count, I created this pocket chart. Student names are in number order on the pockets. The pockets for the chart were created in Microsoft Publisher. These pockets were glued to a poster board and then the board was laminated.

All students check in first thing in the morning. The menu choices are written on a small white marker board near the pocket chart. They make the lunch decision using a craft stick. A quick glance at the chart gives a lunch tally and also signals children who are absent.
A great time-saver for me is delegating the responsibility of lunch count and attendance to our class secretary.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Please Sit Down!

This little ol’ wood school chair was separated from its classmates at some point and then landed in my room. I decided this loner would make a fun chair for our star student. The “star” gets to use the chair for the entire week.
It was a project involving spray paint, Mod-Podge, sponges, painter’s tape, balsam wood stars, and time. Several coats of Mod-Podge should guarantee those letters stay put.
Tearing the painter’s tape into strips to create the zebra stripes was time-consuming, but well worth the effort - our star chair is dressed to celebrate.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"T" is for Trash

Here’s proof that even a trash can will add to a classroom theme. I chose to add pizzazz to these old metal rusting trash cans with colorful patterns.

First, I sanded the trash cans to get off all the loose stuff and smooth down the edges. Next I coated them with Rustoleum to stop the rust and then top coated each trash can the color I wanted. Finally, I used sponges and painter’s tape to create the animal print look.

We have a marked plastic container for paper trash in our classroom. Our school has a recycling program so at the beginning of the year, I use Scholastic’s lessons to teach students the importance of
paper recycling. This site has everything you need including lesson plans, reproducibles, and resources.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wild About Books

Designed to sit with other pieces in our safari room, this bookcase gives easy access to our Accelerated Reading books. The front drawers were sponge painted using an orange base and a black glaze.

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My checkout system is the old-fashioned library checkout system with pockets and cards. I glue a pocket inside the front cover of every book.
A card is created for each book that includes the book title, Accelerated Reader book level, and Accelerated Reader points. When a student borrows a book, she places the book’s card in her pocket on the library pocket chart. When a student is finished with the book, she returns the title card to the book, and places the book back on the shelf. This system works for me - -the students can manage check-out independently, my books stay organized, and very little time is required of me!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ten Posters Go On the Wall

My posters are complete. I have a BIG bulletin board to fill. Beth Newingham was my inspiration for the genre posters. She has created posters and made them available to print at her site (click on her Teacher Resources tab then Genre Posters).
After I completed my posters, I discovered a literature genre gaining popularity - - comic books. The arguments for teaching comics in the classroom are convincing. Check out this lesson plan at read▪write▪think.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Genre Posters

Before I began teaching, scrapbooking was a favorite pastime. In the classroom, I find the tools and gadgets of scrapbooking come in handy. These scrapbook papers were purchased at Hobby Lobby. Several packets of brads and eyelets followed me home too. The metal embellishments are new to me, so today I played. I guess embellishments are the craze right now and a way to add dimension to projects.
I’m making genre posters for my language arts classroom. Safari animals were found using Google Image.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Birthday Bunch

Here’s one chocolate indulgence for students during the school year - - a personalized candy bar. A healthier idea is to wrap a granola bar. I chose the chocolate bar because the expiration date is a year out. This allows me to wrap all the candy bars (40+) at one sitting and display them in my room.

I created my wrapper template in Microsoft Publisher by making a 6 inch square. I ordered the safari animal cutouts at
Creative Press.

Microsoft Publisher offers a candy bar template. You may edit the file as needed by replacing the text, changing the colors, and adding the clipart as desired. These candy bars wrappers are great ideas for class awards, Christmas gifts, Valentines, thank-you gifts. Check it out at here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's a Jungle In Here!

Bulletin boards make a great teaching tool for your students.
They'll make your classroom visually appealing and stimulating.

I generally enlarge my clipart to a size of 3 or 4 feet. The larger sizes tend to pop out and get noticed.

Clipart has saved my life - - enlarge, reduce, be creative! I use clipart on my bulletin boards, portfolio covers, worksheets, instructional units . . . everywhere!
Google Image makes it so easy. Read about copyright restrictions here.

I'm counting on this gang to help with some interactive bulletin boards.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Swing On By

I found him this morning while googling a totally unrelated topic. I now find I must locate a spot for this guy in my classroom. He is just too cute to pass by.
One way to enlarge clip art is by making a copy on a transparency. I then project the image on a piece of butcher taped on the wall. You can make the image as large or small as you like. Once you have the size you want, trace the image onto the butcher paper. When you're done, color the image with markers, colors, or pastels. Laminate your projects for durability.
I generally enlarge my clipart to a size of 3 or 4 feet. The larger sizes tend to pop out and get noticed. My swinging friend will be in good company. He’ll join other safari animals I am creating for bulletin boards.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wild About Learning

Create letters for your bulletin board using 8 1/2 x 11 inch scrapbook paper that is placed on the landscape setting in Microsoft Publisher. You can use Word Art to make fancy letters, or use the fonts available in the program. I print them as “outline with no fill color” and feed the scrapbook paper through my printer. Check out my template here. Laminate projects for durability.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Questions for Mrs. Full

Why did you start writing this blog?

The summer of 2008 I attended a technology institute for educators. I was so impressed with the projects created by colleagues. When blogging was introduced, I received the best advice from a veteran blogger, “The best way to learn is to do.” After viewing several published blogs, I decided I needed a theme. Since I’m preparing my classroom for the new school year, I’ll blog my preparations.

Why the crafts and projects theme?

There are numerous websites for curriculum and lesson plans written by the experts. I thought I’d take this path and share projects. Also, I need photos to work with many of the page elements on the blogger template.
It appears you like to craft, do your students get the opportunity to create projects?
As we progress through the year, I will include descriptions and pictures of their projects. I teach the language arts for fifth grade students and I incorporate many hands-on craft activities in their lessons. We also create projects for the seasons, mother’s day, red ribbon week, the holidays, and the list just goes on . . .

But what is the academic value of Hands-On Craft Projects in Elementary Schools?

Conducted in 2001 by ROCKMAN ET AL, an independent educational research and consulting company, the study revealed the following key findings:· Student learning improves when classroom lessons incorporate hands-on craft activities.· Students develop greater curiosity about the subject matter when craft projects are included.· Student behavior and socialization skills improve when crafts are undertaken.· Teachers regularly use craft projects to teach the core subjects and link the projects to state and national curriculum standards.· Teachers say learning through craft projects accommodates students with different learning styles.

What's fun about blogging? Doesn't it waste hours of time?

Yep - especially when you are learning the “how-to” of blogging.” But if you notice I do not spend a great deal of time journaling. The majority of my blogs are pictures. I like to post ideas that might be helpful to teachers. I try to post simple projects that anyone can do. . .things that are fun. My intent is the projects I have completed will inspire ideas in others. I hope others will share their ideas and comments.