Monday, July 27, 2015

Making a Sensory Table!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

I'm back today to link up with Tara

for another

In my previous posts here and here,

I've been getting a head start and making some materials

for my sensory table.

Without further ado, here we go....

So, sensory tables can be a bit expensive, and they can be pretty big.

My current kindergarten classroom is a bit smaller than my previous one,

because I have a restroom in my classroom. 

Trust me, I'd rather downsize the class than have to 

be without a restroom in kindergarten!!!

So, I was looking on Pinterest, doing a little bit of research on sensory tables and materials,

and I saw that a lot of people had built some...... I'm definitely not a carpenter, but my dad is a pretty good handyman!

So....before I asked him, I decided that I wanted a pretty sturdy one, 

not out of PVC pipe, because I had a feeling that at the

end of it I would be like Amelia Bedelia,

all tied up and tangled up in PVC pipe, lol!!

So, wood it would be (no pun intended...maybe)!!

My dad took one look at the picture, and he was like, 

"oh yeah, that'll be no problem!"

I went to Wal-Mart, and decided on the size of the Sterilite tub that I wanted.

Off to Lowe's we went, and he decided that I should get some 

1 X 4's instead of 1 X 6's.

My dad measured and started cutting! He even got in on the picture taking,

pausing and asking did I want to take a picture at each stage, lol!

What did you say? Where was I? Umhmmm....I was sitting right here, watching!!

It's coming together!

My brother decided to get in on the action.

Ain't it so stinkin' cute?!?!  

Here they go, all completed!! He added some thingie's at the bottom to stabilize it.

Now, it's paint time!!!!!! I used the one with the gloss finish.

It's not as easy as it looks, my dad took over so I could take some pictures.

Now, it's time for the polka dots!!!!

And voila! Here they are!

I absolutely LOVE them, and I can't wait to use them!!!!

If sensory tables go well this year, who knows,

I may ask him to build one large one, lol!!

Shhh.....don't tell him I said so!

Come on over and see what everyone else is doing!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Stress of Dismissal on the 1st Day

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

Well, here we are, T-minus 1 week until it's time to return to school!!

Y'all know.....the first day of school is cuh-razy!!!!!!!

It's so hectic, we have an unofficial motto:

Get 'em here, Get 'em fed, Get 'em home!!

Today I want to talk to you about the Get 'em home part......

......and that includes.....

During the first week at my school, dismissal is one of THE most hectic times!

We are a K-2 school, with over 700 students, and a lot of times we 

have tons of changes in how a kid goes home.

It seems to happen yearly, there will be some form of miscommunication,

and a child is sent home the wrong way on the first day of school.

I've had this experience a few times, and let me tell you, it's not

pleasant at all!!!

A few years ago, I had a child whose mode of transportation was changed

several times over the first week......

.......and then it happened......

I sent him home the WRONG WAY!!!!!!

I was so worried, especially when you're trying to find out

where they are.....and then you have to apologize to the parents....

and reassure them that you really are a great teacher, and that

you will take care of their child!

Luckily, this hasn't happened to me in the past couple of years,

because I take meticulous notes, and I check, double-check and 

triple-check how they're going home!!

I've wanted to update my system for keeping track of it,

so I created a few freebie sheets to make it even easier!

The first is the How We Go Home sheet.

It keeps up with how they go home the first day,

and then AFTER the first day. 

(Y'all know, they like to pick their pumpkins up the 1st day!)

The next form is a transportation change form. 

Now, we do have agendas that parents can write in,

but I want to give them as many options as possible to 

get the information to me.

I plan to send a few sheets of this page home to every parent!

Last but not least, is the to-do list.

Everyday, especially that first week, you will get all

kinds of reminders, and last minute ones at that!

It's extremely helpful when you get last minute transportation changes,

things to do for the office, and just info that you need to

make sure that you don't forget!

and here for the To-Do List, or click on any of the pictures above!

Talk to you later!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Made It

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

I've just been enjoying my summer, still thinking about my classroom of course!

And swimming (more like hanging out in the pool

because I can't swim, lol)!!!!

I'm back again for another edition of

So let's get started!

Have you seen the pins on Pinterest with colored craft sticks,

and they've got those wiggly eyes?

I think that they're so cute, and I just haven't made the time to make them!

They're great for small group use, and I'm even thinking about including 

them in some centers (maybe).

To see the pin that inspired me, click here

Ok, since I'm working with jumbo craft sticks and mini wiggly eyes,

I decided to use a mini glue gun. It made things a lot easier. 

I just got these from the craft section at Wal-Mart!

Now, here's where I made my first mistake!

I couldn't decide if I wanted to put glue on the back of the eye

(I was being a little skittish), or to put it directly on the craft stick.

So I decided to put the glue directly on the craft stick.

And this is what happened.......

......this is NOOOOOOT hot at all, it looks like a mess!!

So after that little lesson learned, I put the glue on the back of the wiggly eyes,

which is where having that mini glue gun came in handy!

They look much better like this!!

So, y'all know that I've been on my sensory table kick, 

I still have some more things that I want to prepare, 

so this week I focused on dyeing rice!!

I just bought a 10 lb. bag of rice ( it was like super duper cheap, $4!),

and I divided it between four bags, 

and I used regular food coloring and alcohol!

I left them in their bags overnight (yup, I fell asleep),

and the next morning, I laid them out to dry.

Make sure that you put a lot of newspapers and paper towels

so that it doesn't leak through to your floors!

I mixed it up and we're ready to go!

I always have roll & record centers in my classroom, because they're easy to make,

I can always make it align to what we're learning in class, and they can match whatever 

theme we're using in our classroom.

We had a lot of new teachers this school year at my school, 3 of them were on my 

grade level, and I send out everything that I make.

Someone suggested that I make these into a pack,

and I was like, are you serious? I'd never thought about it.

They were in love with these centers!!

They told me that it allowed them to have fresh centers with current 

academic content, especially while they were waiting on 

their classroom money.

This year, our classroom money was released extremely late, I'm talking December!!

For a new teacher, that's an eternity, especially when you're expected to have

centers up and rolling. They were really struggling!

So, the Roll & Record set was born!

You can find the Roll & Records in my shop by clicking here!

I hope to add some more to the series soon!!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my Monday Made It,

talk to you later!

Come on over and link up!

Fourth Grade Frolics

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Made It: Sensory Materials!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

I'm linking up with Tara from 
Fourth Grade Frolics

for my first round this summer of

So, here we go!

So, for the past few years I've wanted a sensory table in my room,

but it's really only been a dream and an idea that I've had.

I decided that this year would be the year that 

I would take the plunge and just do it already!

I went looking in some teacher mags, and let me tell you,

the sensory table and the stuff that goes in it 

are super duper high!!!

Too rich for my blood!

So I started to do some research into what I could use instead,

and this past week I began to purchase simple household materials 

that I could use in the sensory table.

The easiest thing to do is noodles, which I dyed.

I just used some dye that I already had in my baking cabinet.

I started with some old noodles that were hiding in the back of my pantry.

(I'm sort of embarrassed, I mean, I don't think they even sell them in this box anymore!)

I divided the noodles into 4 groups, and starting with the neon colors,

I just add several drops (it makes it more vibrant) and some plain ole' rubbing alcohol.

You really only need about a 1/4 of a cup of alcohol.

Then just swish it around until the color gets on everything!

If you feel that the color isn't like you want it, just add some more drops of dye!

I then laid the bags flat, and I kept flipping them over about every 10 minutes.

After about an hour (or more if you wish), I laid them out to dry.

Now, I learned the hard way that it's best if you pour off the

excess liquid BEFORE you pour the noodles onto the mat.

I put several paper towels, and newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes,

anything that I could find under the noodles, because that dye is something

serious and it will stain your floor, table, etc.

If you wipe it up right away, you should be fine if you spill something. 

Alcohol dries very quickly, so if you spread them out enough, 

they'll be ready to mix in a few hours. 

Since this was successful, I hope to continue dying other things,

such as rice, popcorn kernels, oats, etc.

I can't wait to let you guys know how it turns out!

Talk to you later!

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