Sunday, April 22, 2012

DIY Dry Erase Boards

At the beginning of the year I was in need for a classroom set of dry erase boards. Being a broke first year teacher, I knew that wasn't going to happen. My sister is genius when it comes to creating things out of things you already have. I shared with her one day that I was in need of dry erase boards for each of my students and that is when she gave me this genius, easy idea! Use DVD cases and turn the jackets inside out. DUH! Why didn't I think of that! I had my students each bring in a DVD case. Because my room is super colorful, I had the students take out the jackets, trace around them on a piece of construction paper, cut them out and slide them into the DVD case cover.
The dry erase marker wipes right off of the plastic on the DVD case! It wasn't until we were going through Kleenex box after Kleenex box that I thought, we need something else to wipe our work off with. That's where the glove comes in! I was browsing the aisle at my local Joann Fabrics Store when I saw a huge bin of stretchy gloves on clearance! (My FAVORITE word! CLEARANCE!) Each pair was .50! Instantly, I knew these would be GREAT cheap erasers for our DVD cases! Because the gloves are so thin, they fit PERFECTLY inside of the DVD case!

It is a beautiful thing in my classroom when I can say get out your dry erase marker and go get a dry erase board and everything is right there! I also love that it doesn't take up a bunch of space in my classroom. They all fit perfectly into this basket that the teacher before me left behind! This summer I will be on the look out for a smaller dry erase marker that I can fit into the DVD case along with the glove! Thanks Nikki for being such a genius! I guess we could say that today's idea would be Nikterested!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

We're Not Just Talking About Teaching Here!

It's a lazy know what that means...Pinterest surfing! I decided I was going to be productive and surf Pinterest for dinner ideas while I was making my grocery list for the week. So as I was looking at all of the yummy food ideas, I came across a recipe that I pinned a few weeks ago. Since I was going to the store anyway, I added the ingredients to my list. It called for a square-like cupcake pan that I did not have so I added that to the list also. With my list in hand, I was off to Meijer to tackle the job of filling our fridge and pantry for the next two weeks. I came to the aisle where they sell their baking pans...not square-like cupcake pans  to be found! After finishing filling my cart and emptying my bank account, I headed to Target to find this pan. Guess What? No square-like cupcake pan their I decided I would "Manterest" the idea! Here's what I did:

Gathered my ingredients: a brownie mix, a cupcake pan (since there are no square-like ones to be found!), a package of break-n-bakes, and 12 Reese's Cups.
After making the brownie mix according to the directions on the box, I smashed two break-n-bakes into each cup.
Then placed one Reese's cup upside down in each cup. Then covered the Reese's cup with brownie batter.

Next, I tossed them in the oven to bake for about 18:00 min at 350 degrees. Here is how they came out!

Not as pretty as I thought they were going to turn out BUT come on! It's chocolate chip cookies, Reese's cups and brownies! How bad could they be! They are too hot to taste right now but I am sure they will be yummy! My kitchen smells good anyway! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why did I wait till now????

As I begin to think about the end of my first year of teaching, I ask myself..."Why didn't I start a blog at the beginning of the year and chart my first year of teaching!" It wasn't until recently that I started to take pictures of the things I was creating for my classroom. You see I am a HUGE fan of Pinterest! I find something on there to get my creative juices flowing, tweak it a little and create something with my own twist! Other teachers would ask me (knowing my Pinterest addiction) "Did you find that on Pinterest?" I would respond with no, I got that on "Manterest"! (Mandy and Pinterest combined) They would say oh well if you put that on Pinterest, you would get lots of Pins! With that idea in mind, I decided I would blog about the ideas I would come across and create to share with others and see what would end up on Pinterest!

So, with that I will give you my FIRST "manterest" idea!

Yesterday was our 4th grade field trip to the State House. MAN! I didn't know how much a field trip could wear you out! We had a great time and I am SO thankful to all of the parents who volunteered to go! The parents were amazing! They were chaperons of a small group of children. Their were so many chaperons that the teachers didn't have a group of students and we could tour at our leisure! That was nice! I wanted to do something special for the parents who volunteered in my room so I went to my creative source PINTEREST! I searched "thank you gifts" where I found a picture of a little gift using EXTRA gum. With that, my juices were a flowin! Here is what I created!
I cut some hands from our school die-cut machine and purchased each of my parent volunteers a package of EXTRA gum. On each hand I printed "Thank You for your EXTRA hand on our field trip!" (I kind of have this thing for a play on words!) I gave them to each of my students to take home to their parents and I think the students were just as excited to give them to their parents as I was to make them for their parents! The parents went out of their way to re-arrange their daily schedules and come with us so the least I could do was give them a small token of appreciation!