Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Student Treats for the End of the Year


I like to do something fun for my students at the end of the year as a little going away treat, but with 30 students it has to be cheap too. This year I pulled together a little Pinterest inspired goodie.

I found the straws at the Dollar Store, four to a pack. I bought the Kool-Aid Singles at Walmart in boxes of twelve.

I made the tag using Photoshop Elements and the Creative Memories Cheerful Summer Additions kit. I am in love with the fun colors in that kit.

I'm going to give my students a small water bottle with this treat, so they can kick off their summer with a cool drink when they get home.

Just thinking about Kool-Aid brings back memories from when I was a kid, and I would come home from school to mix up a pitcher of the chemical infested beverage with an insane amount of sugar. It was so good though.

These M&M treats are a little thank you for my Yearbook Committee this year, a group of sweet students that were always happy to help out. Well, maybe not happy, but they were good sports when I bossed them around.

I used the Creative Memories Cheerful kit for this tag too, but with a couple of monsters from Kate Hatfield's Lil' Monsters kit. I have a thing for monsters, so I couldn't resist.

Speaking of monsters, I need a little advice. I recently scored a job in my district teaching JUST MATH I'M SO EXCITED at one of our middle schools, and I'm wondering if I can still get away with the whole monster theme I have going on.

What do you think? Too elementary or can I pull it off?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Classroom Helper/Teacher Gifts

We have just two weeks of school left, so I'm starting to panic thinking about all the things I have to get done before it's time to send the kiddos off for the summer. Over the weekend I tackled two things on my list with my classroom helper and teacher gifts. Both were actually relatively easy to put together too.

I found the small popcorn containers in the Target Dollar Spot, two for a dollar. I filled them with some candy and a little tag that I made last year, a tag that for some reason never made it onto the blog. I'm a little annoyed with myself, because I went looking for pictures of what I did last year, and I could not find them. Some blogger I am.

Anyway, last year I think I glued this tag onto the front of a card, but who knows? Maybe I just dreamt that.  I used the Kate Hadfield Movie Night digital kit for the tag.

I put two eyelets in my tag and then tied it to a chop stick so it would stand up in the popcorn container.

I also folded the tag over and stapled it to make a little pocket for a movie gift card. I love this so much, I want to give it to myself.

That would be greedy though.

These are my classroom helper gifts. One of them is actually for a Methods Student that is in my class several days a week. I found the insulated cups at Wal Mart.

I put the tags together in Photoshop Elements using the Creative Memories Cheerful Power Palette. I love the bright colors.

I also folded this tag over and tucked a gift card inside.

Then I filled the cups with M&Ms because they're bright, and who doesn't love M&Ms?

Freaks, that's who.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chickens in the House

The girls have been wanting to join 4H for awhile, so we've been mulling the idea over and contemplating what sort of livestock we could legally raise in our .3 acre back yard. Notice the decimal point there. It's important.


Too reproductive.


A goat is like a dog, right?


Too clingy.



How hard can chickens be, really? They're cute. Sort of. They're dumb, but not as dumb as our dog. Surely they wouldn't eat cat poop!

Chickens lay eggs. Hey! We eat eggs! 

It was settled. So we bought a chicken book, because that's what teachers do when they need to learn stuff. They buy a book.

We told the girls that they had to read the chicken book and then we could get a chicken.

They read the chicken book. We were bound to honor our promise. There were only eight baby chicks left at Cal Ranch. We bought four.

The only problem is that we don't know if the chickens are hens or roosters or a combination of the two. I wasn't too worried because I figured the Renaissance Woman could sex the chickens for us.

Apparently the Renaissance Woman doesn't know everything, and she cannot sex our chickens. It's outside the boundaries of her skill set. It took eight years for me to find something that the Renaissance Woman doesn't know how to do, so I think I'm going to let her keep her title. However, she is on probation.

I probably don't need to say this, but if it turns out we have any roosters, they all must die. We cannot have them waking up our neighbors. That's the dog's job. From the teeny tiny little bit that I do know about chickens, from reading the young adult book Smiles to Go, chickens require a rooster to remain motivated to continue to lay eggs.

Enter Peanut Head and the Rooster Suit. I think this can work. Gunny's head will probably explode when he sees His Man in it, but that could hold some entertainment value. Video footage to come.

Currently the chicks are living in a cargo box which Peanut Head has most excellently fit with a cat/dog proof lid that still allows the chicks to breathe the precious oxygen of life. In the few days that we've had chickens, I've learned a thing or two about them.

They poop and eat constantly. That is all.

And okay, they are pretty cute too. I wonder though, at what point do they stop being cute and start looking creepy? You know what I'm talking about, right?

Is it me, or does this little guy look like he has a bobble head?

The girls spend a lot of time "playing with the chicks." The chicks spend a lot of time pooping on my babies.

Stinkerbell has gotten wise to the habits of chickens and now comes armed with a pooping pad.

Peanut Head has also put them to work building the chicken coop.

I begged for a chicken mansion that I could decorate like a sweet little playhouse in the backyard. Peanut Head pooh-poohed my idea and said "We will have something on wheels that we can roll around the yard and evenly distribute the fertilizer of perpetually pooping chickens."

It's a wonder I can maintain my positive attitude when my visions are discarded like used candy wrappers.

I am left to accept my fate of the mobile chicken coop. Perhaps I can still work with this vision. I'm thinking low rider with a hydraulic suspension. Where shall I mount the speakers with which to crank out War's Low Rider?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Flower Pot

Although I started this project a couple months ago, I just finished it. And just in time because next week is Teacher Appreciation week.

I have this idea on my Pinterest Teacher Appreciation board, and it was one of my first pins. The original idea came from here if you want to see it.

I did mine a teensy bit different than the model I followed. I started with a terra cotta pot, and I taped off the rim and spray painted the base black with chalkboard paint. When it dried, I painted the rim yellow with plain old crafter's acrylic paint.

Next, I took a black Sharpie and marked off lines so it would look like a ruler. My ruler is not to scale, and I didn't pre-mark my lines with a pencil. I felt like living dangerously so I threw caution to the wind and marked my lines willy nilly with reckless abandon. Actually, I was too lazy to get up and get all the supplies required to do it the proper way. 

I even thought about writing in a little disclaimer that said "Lines on the ruler are not as accurate as they appear." My own little nod to Jurassic Park, if you know the scene I'm talking about.

The hardest part  of this project for me was handing the chalkboard markers to my girls and letting them write their own messages to their teachers. You know, to give it that personal touch that says "My mom fosters my creativity and lets me mess stuff up."

What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger, right?

The pots come with these annoying little holes that really shouldn't even be there since the ding dang pot doesn't come with a spill tray. Before I could put anything in these pots, I had to deal with these pesky little holes.

Thankfully it was an easy fix with a little tape.

Once that problem was solved, I filled my pots with pinto beans to keep the resident flower pens upright.

Just a little tangent about the beans. They rather drive me crazy. I have a big pot of them on my desk to hold my own flower pens, and my students like to come up and plunge their fists into the pot and open and close their fists, spilling the beans hither and tither. I know it's a sensory thing and it's relaxing, so I don't discourage it, but I loathe the fact that some of them cannot resist taking a few of the beans back to their desks and beaning their classmates in the head with them.

Yes, I know that's fun too, but I do need to enforce my own classroom rule of "No airborne objects without proper clearance from Air Traffic Control."

Plus it's not nice to throw beans at people. You could put someone's eye out.

Back to the flower pots. Instead of putting an actual plant or flowers in my pots, I made some flower pens to go in them. Teachers like pens. Especially pretty pens. Some of us have a little love affair with office supplies.

I'm not even allowed to go in office supply stores unattended.

Book stores too. I like to smell the books and rub the pages on my face. 

Anyway, I have lots of these pens in my classroom, and the flowers remind people NOT TO WALK OFF WITH THE PEN. 

Flower pens that shout.

Recently my students have been giving their flower pens a shot of perfume too, so they even smell nice.

Speaking of teacher appreciation, do you want to know what some of my favorite gifts are? That's okay, I'm going to tell you anyway. 

Our PTO usually does a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon for Teacher Appreciation week, and I cannot tell you how much us teachers LOVE it. There's nothing better than getting up in the morning and remembering that I don't have to pack a lunch that I will not be excited to eat, and that I have a yummy lunch to look forward to. It's the best gift ever.  E. VER.

Oh yeah, gift cards to office supply stores and book stores are super cool too.

The other very much appreciated gift is the most simple-- a thank you note.

I got an extra special note this week from two of my students. They left a note on my desk that said "Mrs. Scott we love you! (but not in a creepy way)."

I laughed because I am always telling my class that I love them, but not in a creepy way. That's because they're sixth graders and you need to qualify those types of things lest you gross them out.

This year I've had to tack on a little disclaimer wherein I say that I love them even though they can't shut up to save their lives. For real. They are a super chatty bunch.

If you're looking for teacher appreciation ideas, here are some that I have done in the past.

What about you? Do you have any nifty ideas that I can add to my Teacher Appreciation pin board?