Thursday, May 31, 2012

DIY seat cushion lids for hanging file holders

Hi Everyone!
I hope you all had a great last day of school. I did! We always end the last day with a teacher talent show and it is so fun to dress up and be goofy for the kids. I wish I had pictures to share but I don't. :(

Gosh, it was so busy the last few weeks, I didn't even get to post about a project my mom and I completed about 2 weeks ago. I had seen this idea on a few blogs and wanted these so bad as seats for my guided reading table because they are multifunctional! Who doesn't love multifunctional!

I wanted to give the materials and directions that we came up with in case anyone was wanting to try to make their own.

Materials to make 6 seat cushion lids:
Wood glue
Staple gun
Hot glue gun
Measuring tape
18 x 5/8 wire brads
 28in of 54 inch wide fabric in 3 different colors ( I picked bright blue, pink and purple canvas)
1 yrd of 6 oz batting 
2 bags of fiberfill stuffing ( you could also use foam squares but they were never on sale)
(12) 3/8 Square Dowels cut into (8) pieces @ 17 1/2 length and (8) pieces @13 7/8 in length.
(3) 4 x 2 panel of wood 1/2 thick - I had Home Depot cut mine into (6) 14 3/4 in x 17 in  rectangles
If you don't have Home Depot cut all your wood, you will need a circular or table saw. I highly recommend using their free service!

Once all your pieces are cut to the correct measurements, you are ready to start!
Step 1: Use wood glue to attach dowels around the panel of wood. Then hammer a few wire brads into each side to ensure it is secure.

 Once the dowels are attached around the bottom, the lid should fit nicely over the hanging file holder without slipping.

Step 2: Now that the lid is built, you need to cut the fabric  and staple it to the dowels around the bottom. The easiest way for us was to place the batting and fabric in place, staple 3 sides securely, stuff and then staple the last side. As you can see here if you stuff it first, it becomes too much to manage.

Step 3: After the sides had all been stapled, I trimmed the fabric especially in the corners. You cannot have excess fabric in the corners or the lid will not fit. Once the fabric around the edges was trimmed, I hot glued all the fabric down in between the staples.

This is the finished product!

 I have 6 seat cushion lids altogether. 3 blue, 3 pink and 3 purple. I can't wait to use them next year!
Now I am looking to make over the seat folder/notebook holders. If anyone knows of a good way to DIY for those, I'd love to know how it was done.
Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekly Focus Board- Check it out!

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day! My hubby had to work yesterday but he and my two boys were very sweet on Saturday and we had a great time with breakfast in bed, movies, and dinner. I love them!

I wanted to write about something I've been thinking about for awhile. It's been a project I've needed to finish but have had so many other things to do. I finally got started and finished a few weeks ago. See the idea came from my go-arounds with my principal about posting all of my objectives/ standards on the board every day! I mean come on, primary has so many! It changes every 15-20 minutes sometimes. So we have battled discussed my idea for a weekly focus board that lists the main focus in each subject for a week. She finally felt that this was appropriate for 1st grade. I love it because it now serves as an anchor to prior learning as well! The kids really like it too!
I made three different styles and am thinking about making more. These are just the first three so far.

I included even more than what's shown here. I have all sizes and colors included as well as borders so anyone can customize their board the way they want.
Here's what mine looks like. I used magnetic tape and it made it so easy to manipulate!
The pocket charts (from Lakeshore) are holding my spelling and vocabulary words for the week.

My teammates are already wanting their own set. You can grab yours (here) on TPT if you wish!
Let me know what you think. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fluency scoreboarding

Do you scoreboard? Does your principal insist suggest that you keep a score board up in your classroom for fluency?
Mine does so I have been trying to find a way that takes up as little space as possible but looks good and is still functional for the students. I wanted my students to be able to move their name when they made growth so they take more ownership over the process. Here's what I came up with!

It starts at 5 and goes up to 100 and fits perfectly along the bottom of the board! I put magnets on the back of the stars that have their names for easy mobility by the students! I put this up on TPT for free if you can use it! Leave me some comments if you do download!
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!