Monday, April 2, 2012

Math with Peeps

After seeing how cheap Peeps were at Walmart, I could't pass up the opportunity to reward my kiddos for a week of good behavior.  I just had to think up a way to make eating Peeps delicious and educational at the same time.

I just wanted to share what I created because I am proud of it :)

I decided we would take predict the class' favorite Peep color and then tally up the totals.  After that I handed out two peeps per student (no eating yet!).  They counted up their table groups totals, wrote them on the worksheet.  Then I assigned each table group a reporter, tallied the totals up front, we summed up the totals together and then graphed them.  So much fun!   Oh and after that - they got to gobble them up!

Click here to download the document
Graphing Peeps Worksheet

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easter Crafts for the First Graders

I love tying together crafts and learning. I was subbing in a first grade classroom for almost 2 weeks and decided I would throw in some crafts as classroom rewards for good behavior.

The first craft was a bunny topper for a writing piece. I read the story "It's Not Easy Being a Bunny" aloud, charted some commentary from our whole class discussion, and had the kids partner talk. They chose from two prompts: 'It's not easy being a bunny,...' and 'If I were a bunny...'. The kiddos then wrote a rough draft and conferred with a partner. When they were ready they received the materials for the craft.

I originally created these bunny toppers after being inspired by the Leaping Leprechaun toppers made by A Cupcake For the Teacher. Then after painstakingly hand drawing my bunny patterns, I saw that she uploaded her own bunny craftivity. It is called Bunny Hop and you can buy it in her TpT store if you like the idea.  She is one creative teacher, I love following her blog.

The other craft we did was a stained glass Easter egg using contact paper, construction paper, tissue paper and glue. They turned out so awesome! To sprinkle in some learning, we reviewed patterns, charted the different kinds, then demonstrated how each row of our Easter Eggs could be a different pattern using the tissue squares. Some kids latched onto this idea more than others. I loved them all anyway!

You can find the instructions for this stained glass Easter egg project here.

Happy Easter, friends!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

DIY Simple & Cute Diaper Cake

I am at that time in my life where everyone around me is either getting married or having babies.  I love giving practical gifts.  One of my favorite gifts to give for baby showers is a diaper cake.  They are so versatile, depending on your budget you can make a really simple diaper cake, or you can make an elaborate one with a ton of stuff on it.  I personally like the more simplistic and clean look similar to the picture above.  The mother to be will have diapers (a hot commodity) and possibly a cute stuffed animal with gift card to Babies R Us or Target.

General Guidelines for DIY Diaper Cake:

Materials: 96 diapers, 4 yards of scrap string/ribbon, decorative ribbon, round tray or plate, adhesive tape, hot glue and decorative elements, toys or gifts to attach

1. Follow tutorial How to Make A Professional Diaper Cake to get your base cake ready
2. Measure ribbon for each layer and add 2 inches for overlap.
3. Lay out decorative elements like stickers, beads, buttons, extra bows that you will add to each layer.
4. Using roll-on adhesive tape attach ribbon to itself snugly onto each layer.
5. Hot glue any decorative elements to the ribbon.

Here is the diaper cake almost completed.  The family was having a baby boy with the last name Lamb, no first name chosen yet.  They also have a passion for basketball so the theme of the baby shower was going to be basketball. The only thing left to add is a topper and gift card.  For this cake, the plan was to add a little baby pair of Air Jordans and a gift card to Babies R Us.

There are two ways that I know of to make diaper cakes.  This was my first time attempting the swirly looking cake.  The other way would be to roll each diaper like the one I made in picture below.  As you can see, it's a little wonky looking, but still cute with only a few decorative elements. If you are interested, here is a great tutorial on how to make it in this style. Both ways are fairly easy, just a bit time consuming.  I think I like the swirly way better and especially now that I know how easy it is to make.

Diaper cake made by rolling each individual diaper.
Diaper cakes are a great gift to attempt if you have a creative side.  You can make them as simple or gaudy as you like.  Try not to agonize over the millions of options and just have fun!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Attention Getters for Teachers to Use

I love the call and response strategy to pull kids in, get them organized or simply to get their attention.  I've seen a few different attention getter lists floating around the internet and it inspired me.  Here's one I created, I tried to make it cute in case anybody else wanted to save it.  I'm kind of curious to see who will download this, leave me a comment if you do!

Click the picture to grab my very first freebie.

I noticed that it looks a little weird in Google docs, but it will download as what you see above.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jungle Party Class Reward

I am finally updating with a few pictures from my Kinders' fabulous Jungle Party.  It was a blast.

Here's some pics of the decorations I hung...
Pin the tail on the elephant game, vines, sun and clouds on the ceiling.

Trees and bushes.

More trees and bushes

Here are some pics of the party.

Snacks: Goldfish, Peanuts, & Bananas
Getting ready for the puppet shows.

"The End"
Watching The Jungle Book (cleverly using masks as snack plates).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DIY Message Board

Introducing the inaugural craft of the monthly(hopefully) Ladies Craft & Wine Night.  I found the inspiration original message board here.  With Valentine's day around the corner, I thought this would be a very cute gift to make and give.  Not all my friends are in a relationship so it was nice that this craft was versatile enough to make in a non-lovey dovey way. :)  The girls did such a great job letting their creative juices flow!

Supplies and Materials for this craft:
8x10 frame
scrapbook paper
hot glue

Each lady was to bring their own 8x10 frame and then I provided the rest.  First they each choose one or more scrapbook pieces of paper and cut them to size.  I laid out a couple different versions of sayings to print on the scrapbook paper and the girls got creative with it.  You'll see in the pictures below that not all say, "I love you because...".  Yay for crafty friends!

After the message was printed on the chosen paper and put in the frame, the girls got a quick tutorial from yours truly on how to make felt rosettes.  I learned how from this tutorial. Some of the girls experimented with making ribbon rosettes, I still have not mastered that skill...but I will!

Here are some of the finished products:



Sorry some of them are sideways/upside-down - the uploader is giving me grief, but you get the point with a little head tilt ;)

Monday, February 6, 2012

DIY Wine Glass Charms

My "Ladies Craft & Wine Night" necessitated this DIY project.  I kinda wanted to do something cute to help the ladies differentiate between each others' wine glasses.  I had previously seen wine glass charms in stores and figured they'd be easy enough to attempt on my own.  I went on an internet search and surprisingly didn't find much.  I was hoping for some tutorials or cute ideas for inspiration - nada mucho.  So I attempted it and here they are...

I was able to raid my craft supplies and find a bunch of semi-coordinating beads.  I went to Michael's and purchased the earring wires you see in the picture above.  The pack came with 60 earring wires and was only about $1.50 after using a weekly Michael's coupon 40%.  I made various patterns with the beads so that each wine charm would be different and laid them out.  I strung the beads on the earring wire, then all I had to do was bend the earring wire end 90 degrees (*used a jewelry tool) so that the beads wouldn't fall off and voila!!! So easy!

Finished set, aren't they purdy?

Put them in a jewelry box...
and put a little sign next to them.