|School Supplies are Taking a Bath!|
Today was my first day back in my classroom. There are a few rituals that I do each year to get my classroom ready that make my life easier and I'd like to share them with you on the "What Works Well" Link up. I've been waiting patiently to get in and start working as school will be starting next week. My room gets used for summer school and our custodian workers do not get in to work on my classroom until the very end of summer. They moved all the furniture out into the hallways and put several coats of wax down. The floors looks so sparkly and beautiful and there are fresh coats of paint in our hallways. Our custodians worked so hard throughout the summer heat. The majority of our school does not have air conditioning and it has been very hot these past few weeks. I commend them for all their hard work. Our school looks fabulous! Be sure to thank your custodial staff for all their hard work to prepare us for another school year!
As you can see I've got a lot of unpacking to do. Each year I move everything off the tops of the shelves on the opposite end of my classroom and store supplies in the kids cubbies. This way the classroom can be used for summer school and can be cleaned easily for the new school year. It took me several hours to empty out these cubbies but I am have the majority of it done. My to do list is enormous and I have sooo much more that needs to be done, however I am feeling accomplished because at least I was able to get in and get started. After a very busy morning, I went out to the 99 restaurant with my grade level partners and enjoyed chatting with them about our summer. It was so nice spending time with them and talking about things that are not school related. I feel that teachers need to get together and do this more often.
Before I left school today, I brought a couple of large bags of school supplies home with me to run through my dishwasher. My crayon boxes and pencil bins get yucky looking and it takes so long to scrub them out all by hand. I also brought home all my student scissors. These are especially hard to clean as they are coated with paint and glue. Running these supplies through the dishwasher saves me an enormous amount of time. I know they are clean and sanitized once they go through the dishwasher. What does not come out through the dishwasher can be wiped down with a magic eraser to get some of those stubborn crayon and pencil marks out.
|Name Plates That Last|
Since I was not able to work in my classroom during the summer, I've been busy creating materials at home. There is just so much to label and I do need to get a jump start on this before the students arrive. Each year I make wooden name plates for my tables. These labels last the entire year and I am able to reuse the wooden plates over and over again. To make these name plates I used paint sticks that you can get ant any hardware store. You can probably get these for free just by asking. I got two dozen of them at the Home Depot. I cut off the top thin portion of the paint stick with an exacto knife. They measure about 9 inches long and fit perfectly on my tables. Next, I spray painted the sticks a bright yellow and set them out to dry on my deck. To make the labels I used KG Primary Print. I love the way the this font is lined and it is a great reference to show the students how to form letters within lines. I laminated the names before I put them on the plates using packing tape. This way I can reuse the sticks the following year and not have to worry about scraping the old name off with a magic eraser. On the back of these plates I add velcro. This way I can easily move students and have them work at different tables. I added colorful owl stickers to decorate the plates. I just love owls! Owls are the theme for our classroom. I always make extras for new students arriving. At this time I only have a partial class list, since some students did not get screened last spring. This is a picture to show what the wooden paint sticks look like on the back.
This year I've decided to purchase name badges that will last for years to come. The first week it is so hard learning the names of the new students. Instead of having the kids wear sticker name badges that just fall off within a few hours, I've decided to purchase a set from Oriental Trading Company. I love this set because the vinyl badge holders are the perfect size for kids and seem pretty durable. They have colorful thick velcro lanyards that are safe to wear for young students. Now I can have my students wear these badges for the first whole week of school so that way everyone in the building can learn their names. I think the specialist and cafeteria workers will appreciate this. As you can see I made my own badges with an owl theme to match the name plates. You can find these adorable badges at my store. You will love the fact that they are editable so you can use your favorite font to create your own badges.
One of my favorite projects that I completed this summer was the Birthday Tub. I purchased the template to make this for only $1.50 from Hanging with Mrs. Hulsey. I used an ice bin that can be found at Walmart for less than $2.00. You could probably use any book bin tub or container to make this. I filled it with Goodie Bags found at the Dollar Tree. Inside the bags I put a birthday pencil, a small container of play dough and a small box of birthday stickers. The total cost for all the supplies to make this was $10.00.
*White Ice bin from Walmart $1.89
* Goodie Bags 20 count $1.00
*2 packs of pencils 12 count $1.00 X 2
* 3 packs of play dough 8 count $1.00 X 2
* 2 packs of boxed birthday stickers 12 count $1.00 X 2
I've done other birthday ideas in the past but I like this a lot!! It is bright and colorful and it takes up very little space in your classroom. Best of all the kids will be excited as they celebrate their special day!
Did you do any projects this summer that may save you time in the future? Please share in the comment section. If you blogged about it, please leave a link. I'd be glad to visit your page.