Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yes, you can!

I'm stuck on recycling and the "budget" approves. Extra pencil and pens will be stored in empty paint tins (donated by a local hardware store). I may not be finished with paint cans as Martha Stewart has a clever suggestion for Paint-Can Cubbies over at her crafting site.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

"It's that time of the year when our brains are turned to high gear." Our thoughts go wild with ideas to set up a classroom. Ms. Jasztal explored several clever classroom ideas on her blog - A Day in the Life. It was a fun surprise to see Classroom Scissors included. Thanks, Ms Jasztal!

Brown Bag Book Cover

Covering a textbook is as easy as wrapping a present. It's a fun project for students. It only takes a few minutes and will help books last longer. I suggest using the brown grocery bag. It allows students to personalize the cover of the book. In a way, that gives students ownership and pride in our school books.
There's a great tutorial at Howcast that my class will watch before we put covers on the textbooks.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Newspaper Flowers

I'm still recycling. I made these flowers with instructions from Redtedsart Blog. They are super cute and easy to make. My students could craft these for special events at school: Grandparents' Day, Mother's Day, Staff Appreciation, PTA recognition, etc.
I wanted to continue the newspaper theme for my classroom recycling display, so I used old newspaper. The flowers could be made using magazines for added color.

A circle cutter is a useful tool for a teacher's toolbox.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Extra! Extra!

This year I will continue to help students understand the importance of recycling. I use lessons found at Scholastic.
Last night I made this basket from old newspaper. I'm going to create a display of recycled art projects and place them next to our paper recycling bin. The idea is to encourage students to incorporate salvaged, reused, or recycled materials in projects.
The directions for the basket can be found at craftstylish. Once my paper strips were folded, I ironed them. The strips laid extremely flat which made them so easy to work with. Instead of topping the basket with ribbon, I fed newspaper strips through my computer printer to create the reduce, reuse, recycle band for the basket top. I must do this project with my students.      Be-weave me, it's fun!

Both my sons had a paper route.
I'd forgot how messy newspaper can be.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"one nation under guard, with liver, tea, and just this for all"

By the time I get students in the fifth grade, it is almost comical the words they substitute in the Pledge that make sense in their world. I review with children the Pledge of Allegiance and we'll do word studies on the vocabulary written in the Pledge.
I just finished some patriotic clipart to hang with our classroom flag.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Community Totes

I team teach with two other teachers and our students move around throughout the day. I thought I would try these colorful totes for supplies. At the beginning of the year I ask that supplies not be labeled. This way I can distribute supplies to the totes as community property. Each tote is home to glue, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, and glue sticks. I place supplies for three students in each tote. My students desk are arranged in pods of three and when the need arises for supplies, one student from each group pulls a tote from the supply cabinet and carries it to their pod.

How do you arrange your student desks? According to Succeeding with Seating, there are several factors to consider. Read about seating arrangements here.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Write Teacher

We have a new teacher on staff. She's right out of college and brings enthusiasm to our meetings. I'm excited to work with her on the fifth grade writing curriculum team.

I often find I am I need of a gift for staff members. One idea I use is miniature wrapped candy bars. I often tuck them in a coffee cup because two items high on my teacher supply list are coffee and chocolate.
It's an easy gift to create. You can download editable templates for the minis here or give a "shout-out" for the template I've created.