30 March 2014

Chevron Obsessed!

I don't know about you, but there's only a few things I love more than chevron-print anything, Pinterest, and combining the two in a fun project with sister.  My sister found this adorable pin, and we decided to take it on!

Let me start by saying we only spent about $7 each at Michaels. We each used a 40% off a regular priced item, and I used my teacher discount.

- Canvas (we used 12 x12, Artist's Loft brand - it was 50% off, which made it $4.24)
- Paint (we used Craft Smart brand - they had the colors we liked best, and they were only 69 cents!)
- Good Old Fashioned Elmer's Glue (which we forgot the first time, because like, seriously? What teacher person doesn't have Elmer's Glue? Oh, that'd be me!!! In all fairness, I have glue sticks!)
- Glitter (2 oz. container was $1.99, 4 oz. container was $2.99)
- Paintbrushes (I already had these)
- Painter's/Masking Tape (we got this at Target for $1.99)
- Ruler
- Pencil
- Scissors

The first thing you're going to have to do, is to actually make your chevron pattern. The ONLY reason we have straight lines, is because I drew them on with pencil first, then taped, and then painted/glittered. I actually really loved this step because it was so precise, and well, I'm a nerd. My sister, however, well, let's just say I made the "stencil" for both of our canvases.

If you're using a 12 x 12 canvas like we did, then I've already done the math for you, as long as you want the same number of chevrons. I wanted to mark the canvas into fourths, and you can see in the picture below, I made little hash marks at 3, 6, and 9 inches. I marked near the top and bottom vertically, then drew lines to connect the hash marks. 

I'm sure you could have just done one set of hash marks, however, I wanted to make sure my lines were going to be straight. Drawing two sets of hash marks gave me a better chance of actually accomplishing that. 

Once you have a set of lines running vertically, turn the canvas, and repeat the process, so that you end up creating a grid. Again, if you're using a 12 x 12 canvas, and want the same number of chevrons, then your grid will have 16 squares. 

Now that you have your grid, you're going to want to draw a single diagonal line through each square. In each square of the first column, my diagonal went from the top left corner, to the bottom right. In each square of the second column, my diagonal went from bottom left to top right. Column three repeats column one, and column four repeats column two.
Now. it's time to tape. Before you start taping, you'll want to think about which chevrons you want painted/glittered, and what you want to do first. For the sake of this post, I'm going to share what we did. 

Since my sister was making alternating chevrons glittery, she needed to glitter first, and wanted two out of the five to be gold glitter. I was painting my entire canvas, so for me it didn't matter so much, other than me knowing what color I wanted where. The tape is used to create the outer edge, so that you're painting inside of the tape. 

To tape, just tear a piece of masking tape, and lay it along the pencil line. Not quite straight, or not laying right? Simply gently peel up the tape, and re-lay. Easy, easy, I tell ya.

You're ready for painting! Or gluing, so that you can sprinkle glitter! Hooray! I didn't take a picture of sister gluing because it's white and wouldn't show, however, she did one chevron at a time. Glue, then glitter, and repeat. She didn't tap off any extra glitter until both chevrons were finished. 

If you're painting, you'll definitely want to do 2 coats. I waited about 10 minutes (I started getting dinner ready), and then painted a second coat. And then the real waiting game begins...seriously, the worst part! We wanted to make sure everything was completely dry before peeling off any tape. So, I made dinner, we ate, and I think I even cleaned up the kitchen before heading back to our project.

Peeling off the tape was super easy, but I would definitely recommend going very slowly. The glittered looked AH-MAZING! It was perfectly crisp, and the lines were so clean. I was seriously impressed. The paint was ok. Not as crisp as I would have wanted, but honestly, it didn't end up making a difference. I got so excited about this step, I didn't take many pictures. 
The next step is to finish painting. Neither of us taped the alternate sections. The awesome thing for sister, was that the glittered made sort of a raised border which made painting a piece of cake. For mine, it was a bit more challenging, mostly because I really had to take my time. We both did 2 coats, and I was able to touch up any areas where I didn't think the line was a crisp as I wanted it.
In the next pictures you can definitely tell that it looks a little funny as it's drying, but no worries, once your second coat is dry, it looks beautiful!

Seriously, super easy project! I even thought about selling these they are so easy, however, now that you know how inexpensive, and easy these are to make, you'll easily be able to make your own! 

As sort of an afterthought, I decided I loved the glitter so much, I wanted to add a bit of glitz to mine. I'm going to hang this outside my classroom door (I think).
Happy Chevroning!

17 March 2014

Management Monday - Anchor Charts Galore!

Button Credits: KG Fonts, Hello Fonts, Melonheadz, Creative Clips
I absolutely love anchor charts! Like seriously, obsessed! Markers, paper, borders, doodles, drawings (which I'm working on) - what's not to love?

I must admit though, when I first started making anchor charts, I made them ahead of time, because like, if I made them WITH my class, they'd be sloppy. Gross.

However, those oh-so-adorable-could-sit-and-stare-at-my-own-handiwork-because-they-look-ahhh-mazing-anchor-charts weren't doing what I wanted them to do. Ummm, hold the phone...you mean my kids are supposed to actually USE those things on the wall?!?! Crap.

So, I've learned a lot, let go of being a perfectionist a little, and bring you today's management Monday post. I've spent several weeks compiling pictures of charts I currently have or at one time had hanging in my classroom, along with some FAQs I've gotten about why, when, and how I use anchor charts.

My intention is to continually add more pictures of my anchor charts as I create them, and so I thought it would be simplest to create a page, instead of just a post dedicated to anchor charts. So, head on over to my Anchor Chart page, and check back often for new additions!

I'd love to hear your questions, comments, and requests! Leave your love on the anchor chart page!

You can find it here! Or, click on the picture above!

06 March 2014

Book Talk Thursday - Book Fair Finds

I love a good book fair! This week my school's spring book fair has been going on, and yesterday I made the trip WAAAAYYY down the hall to check it out. (Ya know how Wayside School was built vertically instead of horizontally? Well, my school is the correct version of Wayside School...seriously, pack a lunch and pajamas, travel to the other end of the world). Boy, am I glad I made the journey!

I posted this picture on my instagram (#truelifeimateacher) yesterday!

Here's the breakdown:

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf will be a perfect addition to our fairytale/folktale unit. It takes the traditional version to a more modern level, with a surprise ending! It will be nice to have the kiddos be able to compare/contrast a third version of the story.

Snowmen All Year will be great for helping to teach seasons. We do a big unit of seasons at the beginning of the year, but revisit it each 9 weeks, as the seasons begin to change. My students loved Snowmen At Night, and I'm sure this one will soon become a favorite as well.

Next up is Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora (also the author of this amazing version of The Princess and the Pea). The cover grabbed me right away (yeah, I judged!), with all of the different ways to say hello. I skimmed through it quickly, and knew this would be an awesome book to read at the beginning of the year when we are learning about Morning Meeting. We spend some time learning lots of different ways to greet each other, and this book will be such a fun way to introduce the different languages.

All Through My Town has adjectives and verbs galore! I think this is going to be a mentor text we use to help with narratives (especially personal narratives), and generating topics. Plus, the pictures are really interesting, and will help with describing. The Amazon blurb states, "Who are the people in your neighborhood? Perfect for the pre-K set, this adorable rhyming text takes a walking tour of your community. The fresh modern art of Leo Timmers features hidden details and a perennial theme reminiscent of Richard Scarry. Little ones will beg to re-read again as they discover the characters who repeat throughout the art in this sweet and vibrant story." It is a very easy read, but I think that's what will make it so relatable as a mentor text.

When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic is perfect for Career Week! Billy is presenting to the class all about the things he thinks he might like when he grows up. But even with many exciting ideas, he's still not sure. I can't wait to read this in two weeks - I'm already thinking of an extension craftivity!

Last, but not least is Froggy's Worst Playdate. I love the Froggy books, and they are so adaptable with what kinds of things can be taught using them. 

Perhaps my favorite part? I only spent $11! 

Happy Reading!

03 March 2014

Management Monday - Sub Rules

Button Credits: KG Fonts, Hello Fonts, Melonheadz, Creative Clips
After sitting for several minutes trying to think up a clever title for today's Management Monday post, I decided to just let it go! Speaking of, Idina Menzel on the Oscars last night was ah-mazing! Her best performance? Not so much, but she's still great in my book.

I digress...has it seriously been almost a month since I've updated? Geesh. What a slacker!?! I honestly can't even give a good excuse, other than I was sick last week, but that doesn't account for the other weeks. It's just been busy - because I'm sure none of you have ever felt that way before.

So, raise your hand if you love having a sub! Oh, you hate it as much as I do? I can't say that I'm surprised. Preparing for a sub is like...well, apparently, words can't even describe it. It takes me forever, I get really anxious, and it's just not any fun.

Fortunately, I haven't been out at all this year, however, I have attended a few trainings. Last Monday (yes, a Monday - ugh!) I had a 1/2 day training in the morning. I stayed late on Friday to make sure everything was ready for my sub, and decided I would leave a note for my kiddos to see in the morning.

Not only do I love how it turned out, my sub said nothing but wonderful things about my class, and mentioned how great she thought the letter was, because she was able to refer to it throughout the morning.

I create sub rules by writing an anchor chart letter to my class if and when I'm going to be absent sets the tone for the class, and lets the substitute teacher know exactly what I expect.

I should mention that Billy Bob isn't real. There are two extra desks in the room, and I often refer to them as Billy Bobs' desks. The kids LOVE it! 

In other news, I just finished my comparing numbers unit, and my kids are having a blast comparing numbers using symbols. I was shocked at how quickly they are catching on! Today was our first day comparing 3-digit numbers, and I'm just so impressed! Check out their awesome work!

I can't wait to see how they do with the rest of the pages in the unit. If you're interested in picking up you can check it out here or click on the picture!

It's also been forever since Valentine's Day, but I just had to share some of the amazing designs my students came up with! Instead of doing tradition brown paper bags (yes, this is my norm), I had my students take a tissue box and transform it into an animal! So.stinkin.cute!

Happy Teaching!
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