Magic Confetti

It's time for Monday Made It so I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics to share my creations from this past week.  I can't wait to see what others were up to!

This week I made some Back to School Magic Confetti.  I found this cute idea last summer when I first discovered the magical world of teaching blogs.  I place the poem and a bag of confetti on each desk at our Meet and Greet event the Friday before school starts.  The best part is, the poem is a freebie on TpT-click the link above!

I printed out a set of poems and trimmed them down to size.  I don't know what my exact class size will be, but I made 26 to be on the safe side.  Then, I got started on the confetti. 

Apparently, I am one smart cookie because I saved my leftover confetti from last year (I never save that kind of thing...E.V.E.R.) and was able to make 19 confetti bags with it!  In case you're wondering, I used the small lollipop bags from the baking section at Michael's for packaging; they are the perfect size for this.  You get a lot of those small baggies in one package, so I had leftovers of these too!

Since I didn't quite get enough bags with the leftover confetti, I cut up some more and packaged up the 7 other bags I still needed.  To make the confetti, I simply took some scrapbook paper scraps and cut them into narrow strips.  I bundled the strips together and snipped them into small squares.  I realize I could have bought some sequins or something, but truth be told, I had leftovers, I live a modest distance from the nearest craft store, and I would rather spend the $4 on some Starbucks.  Ha! 

Once I had my bags of confetti, I stapled them closed and hot glued a bow over the staple. 

So simple and cute.  Our Librarian told me last year that a parent stopped outside her door to read the poem and when she was done she was gushing over how cute the little gift was.  Yippee!

What have you created lately?  Don't forget to link up with Tara!

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Classroom Theme Linky

I'm linking up with Corinna at Surfin' Through Second to share my classroom theme for next year. Classroom themes can be as easy, or as complicated as you like.  I think I usually land somewhere in the middle.  I usually pick a theme with a specific color scheme.  This year, I am doing a forest animal theme using chocolate brown, green, light blue and pops of yellow. And, I'm pretty excited about it!

Here is a look at the character accent pieces I plan to hang around my room.  I will set up a "scene" on my hallway bulletin board and the rest will go in my room in various places like between the windows, in the corners of mock bulletin boards, or wherever else there is an awkward, empty space.  This picture only shows a portion of what I made because I couldn't fit them all in the frame.  I made multiples of each animal in different sizes.

I shared how I made these little cuties in this post.  And, in this one too.  Be sure to visit those posts if you're interested in crafting some for your own classroom. 

I am going to use these tissue pom flowers in the corners of my bulletin boards (which will be covered with brown fabric and framed with a double border of green and white polka dots and solid green wavy borders I purchased at Lakeshore).

 Here are the borders I plan to use:

Since I was going with a forest theme, I thought it would be fun to have a door sign that was kinda-sorta nature-y looking. So, I made this wreath as my door sign.  It was super simple.  First, I glued some flowers and a bow to a grapevine wreath. Then, I added my name to it.  The little plaque with my name on it is just a small wooden rectangle (from the wood section of the craft store).  I painted it blue and used stickers to spell out my name.  Easy peasy!

I made another sign to hang next to my desk.

I also made a reminder sign for students.  Now I won't have to tell them what they can do when they're finished.  They can just look at the sign.  In theory, anyway.  Hehe.

And, since I have this weird "thing" about making sure my theme is carried throughout my classroom, I even created some privilege cards to match.

Instead of having a prize box, my students earn privileges. They don't cost me anything and they love picking out their special privilege.  You can grab these privilege cards here for free.  :)

And, finally, a recycle box and name sticks (which I call "fair sticks") will also be incorporated into my theme.  They color coordinate with the theme, which makes me happy.  Small details and accents like this are a great way to bring your theme full circle. 

Classroom themes can be a lot of fun to work with, and the kids always end up enjoying their learning space.  You can check out this complete theme in my classroom reveal post.


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Organizing Centers...Target to the Rescue!

If you ask me, organization is a personal thing.  There are so many ways to be organized and to store things, yet there is no single way that is superior to another.  We have to find what fits each of us the best.  That being said, I'm going to share with you how I plan to store my center materials next year and explain why it will work for me.  Maybe, some parts will work for you too!

Students love center work but the parts and pieces that need to be stored are annoying!  To me, anyway.  Last year I tried storing things in binders.  Didn't work.  I've tried manila envelopes-yuck. And, even gallon sized ziploc bags-ewww.  None of those ways were presentable looking enough, and accessible at the same time.  So, this next year I plan to use something that, I think, will suit my needs.

In my unexpected obsession with centers last week, I hightailed it to Target thinking I might want to invest in some expanding files.  No way! They are too expensive and I would have needed too many. As I walked in circles around the office department insisting that there must be something I could use, I found these:

Bankers Boxes!  The best part, you get two boxes for $7!  Yippee! 

I will store each center in a file folder inside the box.  The contents of each folder will look a bit like this:

Note: I'm OK with using baggies as long as I don't have to see them.  Tee hee!  By the way, the quart sized bags are perfect for those slightly larger pieces you might have.

Having everything contained in this box is presentable, contained, and yet accessible.  There are no bent envelopes or crinkly bags to have to look at.  Yay!  I will keep the box in the closet where the rest of my center materials are stored.  Here's a look inside one of the boxes (so far).

Some centers obviously won't fit in these boxes.  I'm talking about those activities with parts and pieces (magnetic letters, etc).  I store those kinds of materials in pencil boxes in large plastic crates (in my closet).  Again, things look presentable and contained, yet they are easy to get to.  Sorry, no pics because we are banned from school until the week before school starts.

Speaking of parts and pieces, take a look at these manips I plan on using in my word work center next year.  The blingy letters are from Target (.99 cents in the scrapbooking aisle) and the punch out letters are from the Dollar Tree.  As I mentioned above, they will be stored in pencil boxes.  I placed each set of punch out letters into baggies and then put the baggies in one pencil box.

There you have it, yet one more way of keeping things organized!

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