Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to School...

So it's been a few weeks since our last blog and finally things have calmed down a bit from the past two weeks for me to be able to find some time to blog again. It's been back to school for both my mom and I and as we always do, we're trying to get back into the routine again of waking up early, going to lots of meetings, eating at a certain time, and of course synchronizing our bathroom breaks with our lunch time. Since we spent most of this month getting ready to go back to school, I figured this blog could have an entire back to school theme to it and I can share some things I've created for my classroom this year (Some of which I can give thanks to Pinterest).

TRAFFIC LIGHT ($2) - As we started out the year, I found out that we have now implemented electronic device use into the classroom and in order to control when my students can use their devices I created my very own traffic light for $2. Yes, that's right I said two whole dollars. I thought up this idea when thinking about my students trying to use their cell phones at a time that is not allowed. This way, there is no confusion as to when they can or cannot use it. I began creating the light by using a long rectangular piece of cardboard, I cut out two holes for the green and red lights. I then painted the entire piece black and covered the holes using green and red tissue paper. Since I wouldn't be using the yellow light, I just painted it in one solid color. The key to making it light up is to purchase two $1 book lights from your local dollar tree. It's easy enough just to clamp them onto the side of the sign and then you're all finished.

IPAD WORD WALL ($0) - Along with our going digital in the classroom I decided to create my very own IPAD word wall to creatively display our vocabulary. Each word has an app button with an example for easy reference that displays the Elements of Art. It will cost you next to nothing to create this word wall because all you will need is a color printer, big piece of cardboard, black and white paint, and some glue. First cut out the cardboard into an big rectangle with rounded corners. Paint the entire IPAD black and paint a single line of white going all the way around it along with the circle home button at the bottom. Next, create your own custom apps either on a word document or through publisher. Finally, just attach all the apps in the order you will teach them and you are finished. If you want to add extra detail you can add a label to the top and even a WiFi and battery meter.

CREATIVE OBJECTIVE WHITE BOARD ($35) - I'm always having problems switching back and forth between my PowerPoint/Prezi and displaying my objective. I had no board left to write on after my smart board was installed in my room and in no way was I complaining, however I had to brainstorm a way to either buy an expensive big white board or create my own somehow. Therefore, I came up with my own way of creating a custom board. I first had to buy a big sheet of Plexiglas which was in no way cheap ($25), but was actually cheaper than if I bought a whiteboard that size. It's about 2x4 ft. Then I bought some canvas which I painted to look like a huge sheet of paper and then doodled in the columns as well as writing my grade levels with fabric markers. Once finished, I adhered it to a big piece of cardboard and then secured it to the Plexiglas. Now I'm able to change out my objectives daily and still keep the creative background. Overall the project cost me about $35, but was definitely worth it because I will be able to reuse it year after year. 

Lastly, I finally had some time to finish the painting I began of our school for one of our Assistant Principals. It's been painted from an old post card that included a photo of the original look of our school. It's one of the bigger paintings I have painted in a while and am glad it is finished and hanging in one of the offices of our building now. And yes, it's been noted that it closely resembles Hogwarts. Sad to say we don't have animated artworks in our hallways. However, this is where I'll leave you with the image (below) of our school, and as always, stay happy and stay crafty.

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