Monday, July 21, 2014

My new bulletin board and a tutorial.

One of the things on the top of my summer to-do list was to give my bulletin board outside of my room a facelift.  When I moved into my new room last summer (you can read about that HERE) I was a little rushed for time and had to put up my bulletin board fairly quickly.  I always like to have a space where it is easy to just quickly change out student work, but also look *cute* when it is blank. 
I have always loved tulle poms.  In fact, I not only have them in my classroom, but I have them in my little girls bedroom. 
I also have them hanging from my classroom ceiling.
I knew I wanted to incorporate them somehow on my new bulletin board.  This is what I came up with.  I love it!! Can't wait to hang my back to school activities on it!!
I just love the way they look and are SO simple to make. 
All you need it a roll of tulle (hobby lobby 1/2 off), a pair of scissors and something to wrap your tulle around.  This time I used a baking sheet, but I have also used a large notepad and a clipboard.  Depending on the size you want the diameter your poms you will need get find something around your house with that length.
First you will wrap the entire roll of tulle around the object you choose, I chose a baking dish.  The more tulle you wrap around the thicker your poms will be.  The ones in my daughters nursery, I used to rolls of tulle per pom.  For these I just used one.
Once you have the entire roll of tulle wrapped around, you will slowly and carefully slide it off the end of the object (baking sheet).  As you are sliding it off you want to gather it together and hold it in the center.  Make sure it all stays bunched. 
After you have slid it off, while holding it you will take a rubber band and wrap it around the tulle.  The rubber band is what will keep your pom together.
Now you will use your scissors to cut each end of the bundle of tulle.  If you slid it off nicely, you will have a pretty clean loop at both ends.  Slowly slide you scissor in the loop and cut it all the way across.  You will do that with both ends. 
After you have done that you will have something that looks likes this.
Once you have it bundled and cut it is time to start fluffing.  When you look at your bundle you will notice that is kind of divided into 4 parts from when you cut the loops.  Using those parts you will start pulling the tulle down from the top to the center and into different directions. 
I normally pull one down then one right and left and repeat until that section is complete. 
Once you have it all fluffed you might need to go back and using your hands a clasp (Like those toy machines that grab the toys) and fluff all the way around. 
And then you will have a pom that looks similar to this!
You can even make mini ones for a garland.  Just get a smaller object to wrap your tulle around!
I hope this was helpful.  If you are on instagram,  post some pics of your new poms and tag me so I can see how they turned out! @jaymeelaymance
Can't wait to see what you do with them!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hello Mid-July!?

Well Hello there Mid-July! Where in the world did you come from?!  Last time I checked it was the last day of school.  I was cleaning up my classroom preparing for summer, making my beach shopping list to prepare for vacation and dreaming of what I was going to do for the next couple of months and I woke up this morning and you were here!
Slow down summer. 
I am having the best time sleeping late (or later than normal, not much sleeping late with a 2 year old) and spending my days with Aubree.  We have had a wonderful month and half. 

The summer started with a quick trip to the beach with family.  We had a wonderful time and can't wait for next years trip.


Between attending several summer workshops my little one and I have been spending lots of QT at the local splashpad and park! Talk about a fun time. 


I wish I could just bottle her up at this age (and release it when she's a teenager)! She is so much fun and so full of energy!

Transitioning Aubree back into daycare was very tough after last summer, so this year we decided that we would put her in part time starting in July, two days a week.  The first two days were tough, hopefully they will get better soon.  While Aubree is adjusting back to her normal routine, it gives me time to get my school thoughts together and get a jump start on my classroom and allows me to get organized for the new year.  The week of inservice is always so fast paced for me and it flies by, so I like to get started early.  And it allows me little time to miss my sweet girl while she's having fun at school. 
While she started back last week I began making my 'meet the teacher' gifts.  I scoured pinterest this year for a simple idea that my kids would love.  I came across these 'valentine gifts' and thought they were perfect! So using that idea, I came up with 'panther bands' (since we are the panthers). 

 I hope my kiddos enjoy them. 
My next project is my bulletin board outside my room.  I have big plans for it.  I'm in the process of making a bunting and tulle poms to really make it pop.  Stay tuned for the final product. 
I hope you all are having a wonderful summer and please July, slow down just a bit!  And for all of you that got a chance to attend the teacher-blogger meetup in Vegas, I am so jealy!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Classroom recaps...

WOW! To say I am a bad blogger would be quite the understatement.  I have been TERRIBLE.  And yes, I'm going to use the same ol' excuse I always do... I've been SO busy.  You all understand. Between teaching, my husbands coaching schedule and a toddler, my poor blog has been put on the back burner.  I really love blogging and reading other teaching blogs.  I especially like *scrapbooking* the activities I do in my room.  I will continue to blog, hopefully more frequently. 

So, over the past few weeks we have learned and done a LOT!!! Sadly, I haven't snapped pictures of everything, but here are a few recaps.  

Recap 1: Verbs
A verb is a word, is an action word...If you can do it, then do it, you know it is a verb!  Such a catchy song.  I introduced verbs using BrainPop Jr. with a little bit of Annie and Moby.  Who doesn't love them?!?  Then with my students giving me verbs, I made this anchor chart.  

After singing, dancing and recording verbs for several days my students recorded and illustrated their own verbs.  We started with simple I am... statements.  

*exercising* just adorable!!! 

Recap #2 Heart Maps (An idea from a dear friend of mine) 
After talking about nouns (before verbs) we talked about people, places and things we love. Together during writers workshop we created 3 heart maps.  Things we love.  People we love. Places we love.  

After making 3 class heart maps it was time for my kiddos to make their own.  I wanted them to choose their favorite people, places and things and record them on their own heart maps.

They keep them in their writers toolkits along with their journals, blends chart and spell checks with common sight words on them.  I always tell my students to write  from the heart because they tend to write more creative stories if it is about something they have experienced.  

Recap #3  Adjectives
After verbs and nouns came adjectives.  I introduced adjectives using this anchor chart.  Using these clue words really seemed to my kiddos when thinking about describing words. 

Throughout the week were also happened to be learning about bats.  Since our theme was bats, I decided to have my kiddos describe bats using one word.  An adjective.  

We also completed a can.have.are chart to review nouns, verbs and adjectives while sticking with the bat theme.  

Then we made our little cuties using the template from Cara Carroll over at The First Grade Parade.

Recap #4 Punctuation anchor charts.

Recap #5  Seasons
Introduced seasons using this anchor charts as well as a few seasonal books.  

Then we made these fun little craftivities.  They traced their hand up to their elbow on brown paper.  Then depending on what season they chose they used either fall or spring leaves, snow, or apples.  (Sadly I didn't get pictures of the other 2 seasons)

Recap #6  Pumpkins
Pumpkin madness started October 1st! I absolutely love fall!! Everything about it.  Our first field trip of the year was this past week... the pumpkin patch.  Leading up to our trip we were knee deep in pumpkins.
This little craftivity was inspired by Cara Carroll over at The First Grade Parade. We read the story The Fantastic Pumpkin and then retold the story using this little graphic organizer.

Throughout the week we also learned the life cycle of a pumpkin so that we could be pumpkin experts when we got to the pumpkin patch.  

We wrote and illustrated each stage of the life cycle on this fun little graphic organizer. (It came from a teammate of mine... not sure where she found it.) Then we painted paper plates to look like pumpkins and attached the life cycle pictures in order on the vine (yarn). They loved it!

Recap #7 Fact Families

We started off the unit with addition and subtraction and part, part whole.  We used paper plates with the food separates, dice, counters and dominoes all week making addition and subtraction problems with corresponding number sentences.  
After learning addition and subtraction, then I introduced fact families. 

We got the dominoes out again started making fact families.  We got our 2 numbers from the domino, added them up to get our whole and then created our fact families.  My trick for teaching fact families is the story of the "family".  Daddy, Mommy and baby.  And no one can live in the house that is not part of the family.
To go along with our October activities we made these Frankenstein fact families.

(I found this Frankenstein recording sheet on Pinterest... For the life of me I can't find the original site. I did NOT create this.  I can not take credit for it.  If I come across it...I will post it)

Recap #8 Skip Counting
All of this that I caught on camera is the anchor charts... minus 5. :(  

Recap #9 Parts of a Plant
We just touched on this very briefly.  We will hit this topic again in the spring time.  We simply talked about each of the parts of a plant and what job they did to help the plant survive.  They drew, labeled and described each part. 

Recap #10 Spiders
Our theme last week was SPIDERS!!! Boy do first graders love spiders!! 

We started with a KWL chart with what they know and want to know.  Some of mine already knew spiders were arachnids?!? Awww man! I love it when they find that out. Spoiler!
We read, recorded and journaled about spiders all week.  Then at the end of the week we record our 4 favorite spider fun facts and created our spiders.   

WHEW!!! That was a lot! I am going to *try* and blog more often so that I don't have to just do classroom recaps!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!