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Monday, June 25, 2012

Target, Tissues, and Teachers

So I ran into Target tonight for a few items. It was bliss because I was all by myself! If you're a momma of young children you know why that's a dream come true. Anyway, as I was meandering through the store, with me, myself, and I; I spotted boutique tissue boxes designed like wooden letter blocks. I couldn't resist examining them further and got a flutter of the back to school excitement as I imagined tissue boxes flooding into my classroom. Well, being a teacher, i could not resist imagining all the fun that could be had with these tissue boxes. I played with the tissue boxes, building words of course, for a good ten minutes. It was jubilant and I was probably a bit too into my tissue spelling game. You should've seen the looks I got. I'm sure I was labeled eccentric in a few minds! Have you spotted any back to school stuff yet?

Writer's Eye Bulletin Board Set

I'm so stoked to announce that my Writer's Eye Bulletin Board set is up and rocking on Teachers Pay Teachers.  So, if you want to check it out it'll be on SALE for the next few days.  This is my first "big" product I've designed so I'm pretty excited.  Check the product out here!  

This is a photo of the older Writer's Eye board.  Once I am able to get back in my room I'll "remodel" it with my new, updated version and post a new and improved photo.  I can't wait!  Thanks for all the support and have a great last week of June.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rookie Mistake and FREEBIES

So, I know I posted about putting the Writer's Eye Board file on Teachers Pay Teachers today.  Well, I just tried and I made a rookie mistake.  My file is way.  too.  BIG!  It only lets you have a 50 MB file and somehow my zip file was 347 MB.  Yowza!  I have to go back and tweek it so it'll work.  Sorry!  Here are a few teasers though...

If you'd like any of the above images as FREEBIES just click on any images you want then save it to your computer.  (If you have a PC right click on the image and save as).  Please remember that all the above images are my own work and they're copyrighted.  You may use them for classroom use only, unless you get permission from me.  Thanks for being respectful.  Have a happy night!

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Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Writer's Eye Glasses

Hello everyone.  I'm pleased to post a tutorial for making the Writer's Eye Glasses.  I enlisted the help of my hubby, since he is the genius behind the Writer's Eye Glasses.  So, without further delay, here goes the tutorial...

You'll need to gather supplies... 2 embroidery hoops (I used 14 inch hoops here), spray paint, 2 small black paper plates, a cut of vinyl (I had a 16 inch piece cut to ensure it covered my hoops), a piece of wood (I cut a 12 inch long piece of 11/16"x1" pine), and screws (I used #6x3/4" brass wood screws).  I bought all of the supplies new and it cost under $14.  I also had left over supplies so if you already have some of this stuff use it and save some money honey!

1.  Lay out the hoops and wood piece.  Decide where you want the wood piece to be on the glasses.

2.  After you find the right spot trace the curve of the hoops onto the wood piece.

3.  Here is what the lines look like after being traced.

4.  Using a saw cut the wood along your trace marks.  

5.  Here is what the cut piece of wood looks like.

6.  Place the wood piece where it belongs between the outer hoops.  Mark where you want to place screws being careful to note the screw size.  Oh, and if you want to skip the screws you can use gorilla glue or wood glue to attach the wood piece.  You'll just have to let it sit overnight after gluing before you can finish the project.

7.  Here are some close ups of the marks.

8.  Make pilot holes in the hoop to guide you.

9.  Line up the pilot holes with the wood piece and draw marks to guide you.

10.  Here is a shot of the marks.

11.  Screw holes in the wood piece using the pencil guide marks.

12.  Screw the screws through the pilot holes attaching the outer hoops to the wood piece.

13.  The glasses frames are now assembled!

14.  Spray paint all the glasses pieces and let dry.

15.  Lay out the vinyl piece.  Cut the vinyl in two.

16.  Place the vinyl over the outer hoop.  Make sure to pull the vinyl back as tight and smooth as you can to avoid big wrinkles in the "lenses".

17.  Once you've got the vinyl just right screw the inner hoop down and trim off the excess vinyl from the sides.

18.  You're all done!  Now you have a fun pair of giant Writer's Eye Glasses for your classroom.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blog Crushin' and Bossy e

Summer is cruising, isn't it?  I have loads of stuff to get organized and created for next year but I've barely made a dent in the pile of stuff I brought home from my classroom.  Yes, I know I should've known better.  The pile is sitting in my FRONT ROOM of all places.  I think it's staring at me right now calling out, " Please, please organize me or I'll start haunting you in your teacher dreams" (insert maniacal laugh).  The one thing I have almost completed is a digital version of my Writer's Eye board.  All I have to do is package all the files together and then put it up on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Hooray!  My goal is to have it all finished by Saturday.  Anyway, instead of tackling the teacher pile,with all my "extra" time, I've developed a bit of an obsession... blog crushing err stalking.  Yeah, I've got a major crush on a few teacher blogs.  One of the blogs I love, love, love is First Grader at Last by the talented Mrs. Sarah Cooley.  She has so many amazing ideas and I love to peek into her classroom via the blog.  Her enthusiasm inspires me to be a better teacher.  Well, I took one of her activities and did it with my first graders this past May.  It was her Bossy E idea.  Well, my first grade team and I decided we'd have the whole first grade make wanted posters and display them all over the school so we could catch the rascally bossy e and bring him to "first grade justice". The kids were so into this activity.  They took the bossy e concept to lengths that we couldn't have crafted.  We'd be walking in the school and one of the kids would point out that they just spotted bossy e on one of the student council posters, the second grade bulletin board, etc.  I even asked the other grade level teachers to pop in to our classrooms and say things like,"I wanted to let you know I just saw bossy e.  That rascal took my plan and turned it into a plane".  Our awesome ELL teacher, who turns out to be quite the actress, told the kids that she had a cute ring on her finger and then bossy e left the word cute and turned the cute ring into a cut!  She really did have a big cut and a giant band-aid on her finger so the kids were enthralled.  My fellow teacher and myself then cut out a giant lowercase Styrofoam e, painted it read, and dubbed it the infamous bossy e.  The grand finale of the whole bossy e showdown was that a police officer, an awesome parent, found bossy e and brought him to our classroom and told us he was taking bossy e down to the station for kicking other vowels in the pants and being too bossy.  It was pure learning awesome-ness!  Thank you Mrs. Cooley for the idea and inspiration.

P.S  If you're wondering what the underline and v-e marking means it's part of the Wilson Fundations program my district implements.  It stands for vowel-consonant-e. ;)

Here is the Styrofoam bossy e we made.  I brought him home for the summer to do some embellishing.  I'm imagining some Sesame Street style eyes, black eyebrows, and more.
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Do iNeed an iPhone?

So I have a decision to make.  It's not really that important of a decision but somehow it IS.  My smart phone is dying and becoming a dumb phone so I must buy a new phone.  I know, I told you it wasn't that big of a deal but I have turned it into a monumental decision.  I have spent, wait for it, six months trying to decide if I should get another Android phone or an iPhone.  I have been eyeing an iPhone for awhile now but I cannot commit quite yet.  I guess I'm wondering if any of you teachers out there in blog land have an iPhone and what you think.  Do you love, love, love the iPhone?  Do you use it for cool classroom tricks?  I really need some help because my dumb phone is barely hanging on now and I simply cannot make up my mind.  Help me help my technology loving self.
This cute iPhone case can be purchased here.

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