Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Painting

I was real proud of myself that I refuse to spend the weekend at school (kids are coming tomorrow night for transition night).  Then at some point today I realized that I spent my entire day (between church services) painting school decorations.  But at least I did it at the comfort of my own kitchen table!

You won't be able to see the bottom of the foam board that's a little beat up.

I needed a few new decorations that go with my safari theme. 

I was happy with how these turned out. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Simple Doorway Decor

   I have been busy busy busy preparing my classroom for the next group of friends that will spend ten months there.  I had forgotten how hard this working thing is!  I'm exhausted!  Since my room is not to a point that I want to show pictures,  I thought I'd post a simple project that a team mate and myself worked on today.  We used my cricut and created a little "pop" factor for right outside our doors.  I actually like it better in person than in these pictures.

Simple and easy to make.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Welcome Letter

     Since I'm getting in the "school" mindset I started updating my welcome letter.   I found this letter years ago online and have just adapted it.  There are a few details (when open house is, etc.) that I'll update later.  This is my most favorite back to school welcome letter ever!  I've used it for several years now and splurge to print it in color.  If you are interested in using it, leave me a comment and I can email it to you in word doc so that you can make changes. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Do you smilebox?

A few years back I discovered smile box.  I first saw it on a fellow teacher's website at my school.  It's a great way to add pictures or videos to a blog or website.  It's so easy to create a cute, attractive slideshow.  At the beginning of the year I have parents fill out a permission slip to allow me to use their child's photos & first names on our class website.    I let them know upfront if they choose to opt out, their child may be asked to sit out of some photos.  After permission is granted it's time to get a-snapping!   

Smile boxes I create for the class site:
  • First day of school
  • Meet your teacher
  • Daily 5 Reading
  • Camp-Read-A-Lot Activities
  • Biography Speeches
  • Group Photos
  • Halloween Pictures
  • Recess
  • Field Trip
The list could go on and on.

Here's the smilebox I created this year to introduce my family and myself.  

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make your own free slideshow design

Smile box has always had free accounts but they have advertisements on them when viewed.  Paid accounts are ad-free. 

However....Smile box is good to teachers......

Teachers can get the premium account for

......FREE!  Click here to learn more.   You can't beat free!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bucket Fillers

I had some questions about how I did my bucket fillers board, So I thought I would do a post explaining in more detail.  First of all a little background on the bucket filler program....

     The idea comes from a book...actually three books now...
     It's a great program that is based on the fact that everyone has an invisible bucket.  You can either fill others buckets (kind words, polite, etc.) or you can dip from them. We, of course, all want to be bucket fillers not dippers.  

     Reading the books is not enough for my dear little ones to grasp the concept.  We are bucket fillers by using slips of paper to write kind things to fellow class mates and "fill" their bucket on the bulletin board in our room.  It may be a may be an acknowledgement of something nice that friend did.  

I started my board out by painting an example of the bucket from the books.  

I totally snatched my idea of painting Mr. Bucket from Mrs. Babbling Abby.  She rocked one last year for her classroom.

   My buckets are from oriental trading.  They are plastic so I can push a thumb tack into the back of the buckets to hold them on the bulletin board.  

       This is my board from last year.  It may look slightly different this year.

The buckets are labeled with student numbers. 

     I use bucket filler slips that I've found online.  I'm not comfortable sharing them or my signs because I didn't create either and can't remember where I got them. 

     I really like being "bucket fillers" however I have to admit that it can get a little stale throughout the year.  It's important to review the books and reasons and situations to fill buckets!