Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stuff I Made, Plus the Olympics

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I LOVE it because I have gotten a BAJILLION new ideas for my classroom. I HATE it because it really annoys me when pins pop up under the "education" category that AREN'T education. Like chicken recipes, quotes with bad words, pictures of bathing suits, etc. I also hate it because sometimes, it's just the same dang stuff and I'm looking for something new. There was a while last fall when I felt like I wasn't getting anything new from Pinterest, so I took a break for several months. I actually just started checking it out again a couple of months ago. So, I've definitely found some new ideas!

Here are some things I've made this week.

First up - Open House
We have Open House before school starts as a way to meet the students and parents. We start school on a Friday this year, and our open house is the Thursday right before. I LOVE it because I love setting up the classroom: cleaning, organizing, decorating, labeling! I also love laying out their folders and picking out the snacks! I'm such a dork nerd.

Here are the snacks I'm serving.

(this is the original photo I pinned)
Every child will get one of these on his/her desk. It's just a bag of microwave popcorn with a sticker. I have seen all the pretty stickers, but we don't have any color ink right now, so boom - the kiddos are gettin' this lovely B+W sticker. I have an air popper for popcorn, so I bought some kernals, and I'll be fresh popping popcorn at Open House! It's going to smell and sound WONDERFUL! I have 60 small cups from the Dollar Tree in colors that match my class color scheme (turquoise, red, orange, green). I always provide enough snack for the students x2 so that siblings can have some if they like. Not everyone brings siblings, so I just do the amount x2. If someone comes in with a large set of siblings, I keep bags of candy nearby and offer them each one small piece of candy instead :)

I made these a couple of days ago and I L-O-V-E them!

(original pinned from here)
Yes, they are juice box robots! The original pin has really cute ones with Nerds for the head, Starburst for feet, and looks like Laffy Taffy for arms, but I wanted to cut down on the candy, so I used boxes of mini-raisins on top. If you go to Publix and buy their mini-raisins, the boxes have smiley faces on them! My plan was to hot-glue googly eyes on them, but these didn't need them! Juice boxes are BOGO right now at Publix, too, so I got these for cheap! I opened up all the juice boxes as my hot glue gun heated up, then laid out the raisin boxes and the smarties. I just hot glued all the raisin box heads first, then the smarties arms. It took me 30 minutes to make 48 of them. It wasn't bad at all! I'm not going to add feet, though (again, just trying to limit the candy).

Check out the original pin and look at her website. She has a LOT of great stuff for a robot themed classroom. My class theme isn't robots, but I couldn't pass these up. They are too cute!

Next - Organization
There are lots of these on Pinterest and on teacher blogs, so I'm just one in a million making one of these. I believe that the one I linked to in the caption below is the original poster. I made this to organize all those odds-and-ends we have in our classrooms!

(original pined from here)
I bought the 22-drawer organizer from Lowe's for about $17. I used bulletin board border and colored paper to make these. If you click on the link in the caption, you can download her labels to make your own!

 I was able to finally get in my classroom on Saturday, so I went in for several hours and sweated to death worked really hard to start getting my room in order! Upon going through some boxes in my classroom, I realized I had a lot more "stuff" that I hadn't thought about when I made my 22-drawer organizer. So I went back to Lowe's last night, bought this 18-drawer organizer (all big drawers) for about $20.

I didn't have any more of the bulletin board border and the school supply store was out, but I have leftover scrapbook paper from the pages I'm using to make pennants that are going to hang in my classroom. I figured that would still all tie in together, so I just used that. I cut the scrapbook paper into the right size - 4 1/2 " x 2 1/8" - and I added labels that were 1" high that I just created in a Word document.

(If you do it that way, be sure that you set your paper layout to have 0" borders on all 4 sides. Then create a table, 9 rows and 2 columns, center your text, set the height of each row to 1", and you're good to go!)

Last, but not least, the Olympics
Here's how I feel about the Olympics overall = eh. They're okay. I like gymnastics and diving. I've never really spent time in my life getting excited long before the Olympics start, or blocking out time to watch all the different sports, or learning about Olympians and their records. I just never did that growing up. I'm definitely a "Go USA!" person, but I haven't ever been super-stoked about them coming on TV.

Until I got married.

My hubby and his mom are HUGE Olympic nerds fans. My husband has the app on his iPhone that tells him what to watch when. (Don't ask me about it - I don't have the app.)

During our first year of marriage, I made the mistake of trying to watch something on TV that wasn't the Olympics. Whoopsie. I won't do that again! ;)

After 6 years of marriage, I've decided - if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So I decided to throw an Olympics Opening Ceremony party this year.

I found these from several places and modified to suit our needs.

Above, we have our Olympic torches! The original website I saw had popcorn, but I thought Doritos made more realistic looking flames. Plus, my hubby and son love them some Doritos. (Who am I kidding? I do too.)

Above, we have the Olympic Ring appetizers. Note that each item in each ring correlates with the color of the actual ring. (Sort of.) Top - blueberries, chocolate chips, and raspberries. The original one had olives (not a fan). I like to put chocolate chips in the center of the raspberries, so that's why I went with chocolate chips. If you are a realist, you could have dark chocolate chips. Bottom - Doritos and green grapes. Another purpose for that bag of Doritos (yeah, I know they're more orange). The original post had guacamole for the green. Also not a fan. You just have to suit this to the tastes of your family and party guests.

Above, these are just sugar cookies with vanilla icing and M&Ms. These were FABULOUS!

My son decided that we needed decorations about 15 minutes before our guests started arriving. Let me say that I made the decision to do this on Wednesday evening, and the Opening Ceremonies were on Friday evening. We had a busy Thursday and Friday, so this was going to be low-key. We had out our American flags, but Ashton thought we needed something else. Of course, he did. ;)

I grabbed my scrapbook paper, scissors, ruler, markers, and my new circle cutter, and had these made in about 10 minutes They aren't perfect, but they sure will do! I used double-sided tape to stick them to the door frames. (I LOVE double-sided tape.) We want to leave them up for the duration of the Olympics, but when I take them down, I will laminate them and attach them to a ribbon so we can use them for future Olympics, Fourth of July, Veteran's Day, whatever.

We start school on the 10th, and the Closing Ceremonies are on the 12th, so I'm thinking about doing something with my students on the Monday, the 13th. Maybe something easy like the torches or the cookies? Might be fun!

Leave us a comment! What are you preparing for Open House? What is your favorite part of the Olympics?

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