Saturday, August 28, 2010

Classroom Management Tools

Today I'm sharing some things that I have created to help me manage my classroom. If you are an elementary teacher, you may have seen something called the Yacker Tracker. You may have also seen it's pricey price tag too!! I decided that I did not want to spend $50 on a noise meter! Yes, it comes with a remote and lights up, but to me, I couldn't spend that much money for that!! The solution..........Create you OWN!!! (that's what crafters do anyway right???)

This is my version. I created this using the Going Places cricut cartridge (the traffic light), George and Basic Shapes (the colored lights), poster board, cardstock, and Velcro.

I cut the yellow traffic light first and then sized the colored circles to fit. The black outline is free handed. You can cut poster board with your cricut as long as it is not the premium, thick stuff. I laminated everything for durability and then added Velcro squares to the backs of the colored circles.

Now when students are not allowed to talk, I put up just the red light. When they are allowed to use whisper voices, I put up just the yellow light. When students can use inside voices, I put up just the green light. This is on my white board in the front of the room so it's always visible!!

The next thing that I created I used various cricut cartridges for. I created my own center chart.

I place each students name onto a card and place it behind the center square. I also created matching signs that hang from to ceiling to indicate where each center is located around the room. The images and words match exactly on the hanging signs. I placed these in a pocket chart that I bought at Target for a whole $1 a piece.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Birthday Cupcakes

Last year I used a cheesy birthday chart for displaying student birthdays in my classroom. This year I decided that I wanted to create something better! I was inspired by a fellow crafter at to create monthly cupcakes for student birthdays.

I used the Doodlecharms cricut cartridge to creat the cupcakes. I used some Stampin' Up! retired and not retired papers for the icing. I ran them through the cuttlebug with the swirls embossing folder to add dimension to the icing. I used the Designer's Calendar cartridge for the month labels (these were perfect b/c they were already welded together and I could size them to fit onto the base of my cupcake perfectly!)

I used the candle from the Wild Card cartridge and cut it out on the colored paper and then again on the yellow. I cut off the bottom of the candle on the yellow paper and then layered it onto the colored candle. (I know the Gypsy has the hide/contour feature, but this candle image is one cut, not separate, so that's how I solved that problem).

They look so cute on the wall!! If you have any questions, please let me know!! Thanks for looking!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Classroom Decorations

I have seen many people make paper flower bouquets. I decided to try my own version and use it as a classroom decoration. I made 6 of these and they add a nice touch to the classroom.

I used the cricut cartridge George and Basic Shapes. It has a slotted feature and I cut the flowers using that feature. I cut two flowers for each flower in the bouquet. (I think I cut 8 flowers/bouquet) I sandwiched a skewer between two flowers and tied them with the yellow ribbon. I placed a bit of the green crinkle basket filler into the bottom of the bucket, and then glued the round Styrofoam piece into the bucket. After it cooled, I started to place the skewers into the bucket making an arrangement. I added green crinkle basket filler on top to mimic grass. I then tied the multi-color wide ribbon around the bucket to hide the styrofoam piece. (The buckets were a bit see through). I cut 1 larger slotted flower and tied the ribbon through it. These really were easy to make. I made these before I had the gypsy, so if you have that, it would be even easier to lay all your cuts onto your mat and just change the paper to cut.

1 sand bucket (I purchased mine from the dollar store)
1 piece of round Styrofoam
1 pkg of bamboo skewers
ribbon thin and large
crinkle basket filler
hot glue gun

If you have any questions, please let me know!! Thanks for looking!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Door Decoration

This year I wanted to say that First Grade Rocks somewhere. I decided to make that my door decoration!

I used Everyday Paper Dolls cricut cartridge for the guitar, Plantin Schoolbook for the letters, and A Child's Year for the stars. I wrote each child's name on a star.

This is one of the greatest tools that I have ever seen. If you are a teacher, you know that students will always come to school with a note about their after school transportation. If you don't have a designated spot for those notes, you may forget! I have a place for all those notes!!!

This is a yard stick that has been painted with acrylic paint. I took 5 clothes pins apart and also painted them. I found some acrylic paint that had glitter in it at Wal-Mart. It turned out so pretty. I hot glued the clothes pins to the yardstick and then hot glued the yardstick to the concrete wall. Now when students bring those notes, I can place them right by the door so that we won't forget!! **I didn't come up with this idea on my own! I borrowed it from another teacher whose student's parent made one for her!!! This is a great teacher gift!!!

If you have any questions please let me know!! Thanks for looking!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bulletin Boards

Well, teacher back-to-school week is over and come Monday, it's official "Back to School!" I am so exhausted from getting ready the last few weeks!! I decided to move into the classroom next door because it had windows. I didn't realize how much work it would really be!! It was worth it though and I am ready for the students on Monday!!

Our school has a meet the teacher night the Thursday before school starts. It's great because the students and their families can come to the school, meet their teacher, drop off there supplies, and release some of the first day anxiety that they may have! As a teacher, I enjoy it because sometimes it's the only time I may meet some of my students parents face to face! Our first grade team decided that we were going to do a Luau theme for Round-Up (that's what we call meet the teacher night). Here is the bulletin board that I completed using the Life is a Beach cricut cartridge. It was the last thing for me to do, so it's not as nice as I would have liked!

I used core'dinations paper for the letters. I then used my Tim Holtz wood embossing folder and then sanded the letters with my Stampin' Up! sanding block (item #103301) to show the core color. I loved how the letters looked! I also used other core'dinations papers for the crabs, fish, and sea shells.

Our school mascot is the Wildcat and our school colors are red, black, and white. I was so excited when Cricut came out with the Varsity cartridge! It is a bit confusing at first to use, but I eventually figured it out.

I cut the base with regular white cardstock and then inked the edges with Riding Hood Red classic stampin' ink (item # 111836) to give it a bit more contrast against the black fabric.

Bulletin Board Tip: fabric is the best background for your bulletin boards. It does not fade and can be used all year. I put black fabric up on my bulletin board just like this one last year and I left it up all year! It gives great contrast and provides a fade resistant back. The fabric also has a true black paper where the bulletin board paper is more muted and less dramatic.

If you have any questions, let me know!! Check back next week for more creative ideas! Thanks for looking

Saturday, August 14, 2010


If you love Stampin' Up!'s chocolate chip ribbon, you only have a few weeks left to order some. As you may already know, in the new 2010-2011 catalog, there is NO chocolate chip ribbon. (I know, I was very disappointed too!). Until August 31, you can order the chocolate chip 5/8" satin ribbon item number 117287.
The satin ribbon is gorgeous and will make an nice addition to anyone's project. If you want to grab a few rolls before your time is up, click HERE!! Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Medallion Card

Well, I needed to get some swaps together before my stamp night tomorrow. This is what I came up with. I pulled out my SU! chalks (that I haven't used in forever!!) and got after it.

After I inked up the image with Versamark, I stamped it onto the whisper white cs and then chalked it using sponge daubers. Then I stamped my greeting and sprayed the entire white piece with champagne shimmer spray. It's made from rubbing alcohol and the shimmer paint that SU! sells (see below for item numbers). Here is a picture of the shimmer. (it's not the best picture, but if you click on it it will enlarge and you will be able to see the detail better)

If you have any questions, please let me know! Thanks for looking!

Supplies: (all products are Stampin' Up!)
Paper: Bermuda Bay (retired), Basic Gray (121044), Pretty in Pink (100459), Whisper White (100730)
Stamps: Medallion background stamp (115223), Warm Words (retired)
Ink: Versamark (102283), Regal Rose (105211)
Accessories: Stampin' Pastels (120962), mini glue dots (103683), Snail adhesive (104332), Champagne Shimmer Spray (made from Champagne shimmer paint) (116806), Sponge Daubers (102892), Basic Gray Taffeta ribbon (retired)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Teacher Back-To-School Kits

I love to make little gifts and I usually try to do something for the teachers I work with. We will be heading back to our classrooms this week to do some work, so I thought I would put together something for them to get the year started. If you are looking for gift ideas for your child's teachers, here are a few things they might enjoy.

I find myself sometimes needing a quick card to send to a parent or teacher who has helped me do something or for a birthday I forgot about. Something that any teacher would love is a set of note cards. I made these from Stampin' Up! whisper white cardstock, various SU! designer papers, stamp sets, and SU! cardstock. Each card set is the same, just the colors are changed. I included envelopes and the cards are blank inside. I also put some coordinating paper inside the pen tube to match!

I made this cute drink power holder using the TBBM cricut cartridge. I got the idea HERE from Tammy. I also used SU! supplies to complete the project.

A teacher can NEVER have too much hand sanitizer (in my opinion)! I bought each teacher their own bottle and holder from Bath & Body (I think these are the best invention yet)!

I made a fabric tag with each teacher's initials on it. I used the Stampin' Up! top note die to create the tag. I used heat-n-bond on the back of each top note and on the letters. I cut the fabric first, applied the heat-n-bond, then die cut. I did the same with the letters, but used the cricut and gypsy to cut them. I sandwiched a piece of batting between the two pieces of fabric, sealed them up, and ta-da....a tag. I puched a hole with the crop-a-dile (punched like butter through all the layers) set an eyelet and put some ribbon through it.

And last but not least.....candy!! Many teachers need a little pick-me-up in the afternoon and chocolate always hits the spot for me. I used the pillow box die from Stampin' Up!, ran it through various embossing folders, sealed one end with sticky tape, added embellishments, m&ms, and tied with a ribbon!

If you have any questions about specific products or items, please let me know! If you would like to order the Stampin' Up! products to complete these projects, click HERE! Thanks for looking!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Well I know it's been a while since I posted anything to my blog, but getting ready to go back to school has kept me very busy these last few weeks. I teach first grade and I have been getting many things ready for my classroom and I will be showing some great projects/ideas the next few weeks. Don't forget to come back and check them out!