Tuesday, July 23, 2013

File Crate Seats!



Last year, when I accepted my first teaching position, I was in full swing on Pinterest searching for the best new ideas to use in my new classroom. 

File crate seats were ALL THE RAGE. And I understand why! They are so easy to make! [And pretty much the cutest things ever.] 

For some unknown reason [*first year teaching, overwhelmed, so much to do, what do all these acronyms mean?!, etc.*] I wasn't able to make them last year. 

Well, I finally got around to making them, especially since I'll be teaching FIRST GRADE this upcoming school year. I wanted some new seating in my classroom that wouldn't take up too much space that my students will be able to use for Read to Self time during Daily 5. These will work out perfectly! They are relatively small, and the best part is the storage that comes with them!

My journey to create these cute seats started at Walmart. What I got there:
File crates ($3.47 each) - $3.47! What a steal!
Foam- I got this in the fabric section. This foam is 1 inch thick. One roll was enough for 5 seats. If I end up making more seats, I'll need to buy another roll. 

Then, I took one of my crates and headed over to Home Depot, where I explained my project to a very helpful gentleman, who got me a sheet of OSB board and measured the inside lid of my crate! 
Here it is, waiting to be cut into smaller pieces.
He cut 18 total pieces, of which I only used 5. I'm considering making more seats what with all the residual board I have left! 

I found the cutest fabric at Joann's and I knew I had to use it for these seats. I bought 3 yards which was more than enough [I have no spatial awareness whatsoever].


Once I had all the materials [including a staple gun and adhesive spray] I was ready to get started!

This project could not have been easier. Take the wood and place it on the foam, tracing and cutting the foam around the shape of the wood. Spray adhesive on the wood, and adhere the foam. 

I cut enough fabric to have a couple of extra inches around each side of the board. Place the foam face down on the underside of the fabric, pull it tight, and staple away! 


I've seen other bloggers staple an extra bit of ribbon as a handle for easy lid removal, but I find it's pretty easy to reach through the handle and pop the top off. I'll give them a test run in my classroom and add the ribbon later if needed. I am super excited about how cute these turned out, and I can't wait to see them in my classroom!

                           
                 




Have you made crate seats? Did you make them in the same way? How are yours getting used in the classroom?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Made It!




In this new journey of becoming a teacher blogger, I decided that one of the best ways to get into it would be by participating in linky parties!

Today I am linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!

This summer I have been doing my best to lay low and enjoy my very first summer break as a teacher. For me this means I have been trying not to do much thinking about the upcoming school year. [I still have been Pinning like crazy, though!] I thought now that July is almost coming to a close, that it's finally time to get cracking on my classroom for next year.

So for Monday Made It, I made a READ sign that I'll be hanging in my classroom. I was inspired by this post last week, and I absolutely had to make my own version! 

This is what it ended up looking like:

I bought the wood letters at Michael's for $1.49 each. The frame was a mosaic frame for $1.99. I bought the scrapbook paper in the background for 19 cents! Altogether it only cost me about 8 bucks. I painted the letters and the frame with acrylic paint, modpodged the paper onto the background, and then glued the letters on top! This project took me about 30 minutes and I definitely think it was time well spent!

Another craft I'd seen floating around Pinterest that I had to do is this one. Cutesy pens!

Basically, all you need to do is find some clear barreled pens [I used Pentel R.S.V.P], cute scrapbook paper, and a pair of scissors.
Cut the paper to the length of the barrel, and about double the width. Remove the black lid at the top and the ink inside. Roll the paper tightly and slide it into the barrel. Replace the ink and the lid and you're done!

This took me all of 5 minutes to do and I will absolutely be making some more in the near future!

So that wraps up my first blog post where I actually feel like I accomplished something :)

But that's not all! Tomorrow, I'll be posting a step by step on how I made file crate seats for my classroom library!





Saturday, March 9, 2013

2 Trimesters DONE!

I had completely forgotten that I had created this blog back in August when I found out that I was going to be starting my teaching career.

I stalk endless teaching blogs and I SERIOUSLY am wondering how they manage it. Teaching those amazing units AND blogging all about it AND creating those units from scratch. HOW? Could somebody please tell me that it gets easier after a while?

It is now the end of the second grading period, which means that this school year is two-thirds over. Frankly, I don't know how I managed to get to this point. I've been told multiple times by the administration that if I can just make it through this year, with this rough bunch of students, that I can make it through anything. Though it sounds promising, part of me wonders if it's just something they say to every new teacher. :)

I've been bogged down with seemingly endless negativity lately, so I figured I would make a list of things that I look forward to. Life is much better lived looking forward than it is looking back, so I think this will help!

Things Miss V. looks forward to:

  • Getting a new FOSS kit! This upcoming trimester it is going to be my goal to take the time to put together more engaging science lessons. If only there were time for this every day!
  • My latest Scholastic book order is on its way, which honestly contains more for me than it does for the kids. :)
  • Continuing to keep up the CAFE board with my third graders. Pictures to come next time. :)
  • Reading aloud EVERY DAY. There's just something to be said for reading aloud. My days just go so much better when I get to read to my students.
  • Learning to spend less time at school after contracted work time.
  • Going to CrossFit after school Monday-Friday.
  • Using awesome resources from TpT!
I hope to start a routine of making happy lists, instead of focusing only on the bad. It definitely would make me less likely to pull my hair out at the end of a rough day!