Friday, June 27, 2014

Five for Friday - June 27th

Happy Friday everyone! I don't know about you, but I've been so busy this week that I feel like I've barely had a chance to take a breath! To give you all a little peek into my week, I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my very first Five for Friday linky party!

1. I work in an Extended Care program with preschool-aged children four days a week throughout the summer. This week's theme was camping and we did some pretty cute art projects, such as a handprint campfire, a jar of fireflies made from their thumbprints, and these awesome binoculars. I decided to channel my inner Russell (from the movie Up) and make a pair of my own! 

2. I spend my Fridays working in a school-aged "Summer Camp" program. This afternoon we walked to the Dairy Queen a few blocks away to get a treat. You really can't beat a cherry-dipped cone! 

3. So, how many of you have seen the pictures of "Pinterest Fails" online? Well, my co-workers and I just crack up over these and have decided that this summer we are going to try several Pinterest ideas and see if we can fare better. We were sure that this one was going to bomb completely, however we were pleasantly surprised that these Rainbow Jello cups actually turned out really well! 

4. I have been working on the daunting task of organizing the hundreds of books that my aunt (a former teacher) gave me to use in my classroom library. This week, (with some help) I made huge progress on this endeavor. I am feeling like I will actually have it finished by the time school starts! (These pictures barely show a fraction of the amount of books we went through!) 

5. Many people have recommended that I read The First Days of School by Harry Wong as I prepare for my first year. I finally started it this week! If you've read it, I'd love to hear how it has helped you in your classroom! 

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday Tutorial - Crate Seats

Hello friends! I'm excited to share with you the first big craft project that I've finished for my classroom!

Introducing . . . . {drumroll please}


These beauties are functional, pretty easy to make, and oh so cute! Not to mention, they go perfectly with my Disney classroom theme! Here's the gist of how I made them (with the help of my lovely boyfriend, parents, and the nice gentleman who works in the wood cutting department of my local Home Depot) :

Step 1: Buy your crates.

I got mine from Office Max, and it cost me $32 for 6. I like them because they are slightly taller than the ones you can get from Walmart, and I thought the extra height would be more comfortable for my longer-legged kiddos.

Step 2: Find some plywood and have it cut to fit your crates. 

If you have some plywood lying around that you don't mind cutting yourself, then that's the cheapest way to do this. If you have to go buy some (like I did), just be aware that you will have to buy the whole sheet, even if you only need less than half of it! If you do end up buying it, the people in the wood cutting department at Home Depot will cut it for you for free (one of my favorite words!). I literally took one of the crates in with me when I went to buy my plywood, which may have gotten me some funny looks, but it also got me 6 pieces of plywood that fit perfectly! (I had the rest of the sheet cut for some other projects that I have in mind - stay tuned for that!) I used 19/32" plywood for my seats, and it is just about level with the top of the crate. All I (eh, I mean my dad and boyfriend) had to do was round off the corners using a sander and VIOLA!

Step 3: Buy a mattress pad, a sharpie, and a sharp pair of scissors.

Ok, so you may have the sharpie and scissors on hand, but you will need to buy a mattress pad to make the cushions. I bought a cheap full size mattress pad from Walmart, and it was enough to do all 6 seats as well as some left over. I laid my mattress pad out and traced one of my plywood pieces 12 times (two pieces for each seat), then I cut them all out. The mattress pad I used was on the thinner side, so I decided it would be more comfortable to double up.

Step 4: Get yourself some fabric and ribbon.

Two yards (total) of fabric was more than enough to make 6 seats. I got these red and yellow polka dot fabrics from JoAnn's. If you would like to create a handle so that you can easily take off the lids of these seats, buy some coordinating ribbon as well. I was nearly giddy when I stumbled upon this Mickey Mouse ribbon at Michael's, which works PERFECTLY with my fabric and my classroom theme!

Step 5: Grab a staple gun and get to work.

Warning: This is the part where I slacked on the picture-taking, so hopefully this all makes sense!

Unless you are much more skilled in upholstery than I am (which you very well might be), I'd say this is definitely a two-person job. First, we laid down the fabric right side down. Next, we centered the two mattress pad pieces on the fabric, then laid the plywood on top. Starting with the corners, then the sides, my mom and I stretched the fabric up and stapled it to the wood. Once it was all stapled down good, we grabbed the ribbon and stapled it down as well. Once you're done with that, flip it over and . . . TA DA! You now have an adorable crate seat cushion!

I'm thrilled with how these turned out! I plan on having them around my small group table and storing supplies in the crates. One project down, several more to go!

What projects are you working on this summer?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Let the shenanigans begin!

Hello friends! As an avid blog reader, I've been inspired to write a blog to share my experiences as a new teacher, and have finally decided to take the plunge! I'm excited to kick off this new blogging venture!

Here's a little about me:

  • I recently graduated from Washburn University with a Bachelors in Education. Go Bods
  • I will be teaching second grade this year and am beyond excited to be in my very own classroom with my very own students! 
  • Prior to my sophomore year of college, I was dead set on the idea of becoming a professional photographer. A photography and a business class later, I decided that maybe teaching would be the way to go instead, and I've never looked back! 
  • Even though the whole "professional photographer" thing didn't work out for me, I still love photography and have a slight tendency to take pictures of . . . everything. Be prepared to see lots of photos on the blog! 
  • I love: Jesus, my family, my boyfriend, crafting, all things Disney, traveling, and Sonic drinks.
Thanks for stopping by my blog! I can't wait to share my adventures as a new teacher with you!