Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Another Valentine's DIY

How stinking cute is this?!?

My daughter received this last year on Valentine's Day from a classmate.

She continues to use it a year later.

I was thinking about how cute it would be for me to give one to each of my reading students... or maybe have them make their own???

Anyway, here is what you need:

* Plastic Bookmark Covers

* Paint swatches from your local hardware store

* Ribbon

* Heart Shaped Hole Punch

* Address Labels (optional)

* Cute Stamp and Ink (optional)

Steps: **Note** Check that your paint swatches will easily slide into the sleeves; some trimming may need to be done before you begin the following steps.

1. Use hole punch to punch hearts into each color on swatch. (see image above)

2. Stamp image on bottom corner opposite of heart punch. (see image above)

3. Type a sweet message (don't forget to sign who it is from) and print on address labels. (see image above)

4. Stick labels to the back of each swatch.

5. Slide finished swatch into bookmark sleeve.

6. Tie a ribbon through the hole at the top of the bookmark sleeve.

7. Rejoice in knowing that you are giving a gift that will be used and treasured for days, weeks, years to come!

How will you be spreading love and joy this Valentine's Day? Comment below, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Valentine's Day DIY

Valentine's Day DIY

Teachers, Moms

Here is a great DIY for Valentine's Day.

My daughter and I have been doing this for a few years and it has been a big hit and a fun project that we look forward to working on together each year!

I really get tired of all the candy and the little cards that just get tossed aside. This is a gift that is usable and won't create a sugar spike in the kiddos!

Before you begin, you will need a few supplies. The first one is a little bit of an investment, but can be used year after year.
Head to Amazon and purchase a Wilton Heart Mold.

While you are on Amazon, you will need to purchase these 3x4 inch bags as well.

Okay, so now you are ready!

Step 1:

If you are a mom, find your child's old stubby crayons. You know the ones, the broken, gross looking ones. If your house is anything like mine, I'm sure they won't be hard to find!

Teachers, you can just find all those stubby, broken, used crayons at school.

Step 2:

This is where children come in handy. Peel off any remaining paper that might still be left wrapped around the crayons. I usually let my daughter do this dirty task.

Step 3:

Break or cut the crayons into tiny pieces.

Step 4:

Place tiny pieces together in heart molds. Be sure to fill the mold up all the way to the top so that it is practically overflowing.

Step 5:

Bake at 230 degrees for 15 minutes.

Step 6:

Cool, then pop out.

Step 7:

Place crayon(s) in the ziplock bags and attach a tag using a stapler.

There are many tags out there on Pinterest. My favorite is this one by Cherished Bliss:

It is free to print and comes in both girl and boy colors. If you have card stock, print it on that for added durability, or do as I do and print it on plain copy paper.

This project is not only great for Valentine's Day, but could be used as Christmas gifts with this mold as well!

It would also be fun as a science experiment or craft at school, camps, VBS, etc. Use a mini muffin tin for those occasions:

My kids and I created a fun tutorial that you can find on my Facebook page - Timeouts and Tootsie Rolls - if you'd like more information.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Middle School Classroom Tour

Here is a mid-year look at my Middle School classroom. We keep the overhead lights off 90% of the time per student request. They love the darker atmosphere. There are lamps and string lights placed along the room and the projector is on most of the time as well. Having the lights off really provides a calming environment.

Here is the view standing in the back of the room:

Here is the back wall:

And the side wall where I meet for reading conferences:

My favorite accessory to decorate any classroom with is the tissue pom pom...

Check out Amazon to get a great deal on a variety pack.

I can't hang them from my ceiling, but that would be super cute too!

Now here is a look at our 6th grade teacher lounge makeover!



This was super easy and didn't cost a dime. I used left over boarder and pom poms from my classroom, some decor I wasn't using at home and put the whole thing together in no time flat.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to follow me on Facebook at Timeouts and Tootsie Rolls!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hello friends!!!

I am back!!! I took a few years off from blogging and sooooooo much has happened during my hiatus.

My last post says I was packing up and moving to New England, which did happen.
We lived in Massachusetts and I taught in Rhode Island at a charter school for two years. I absolutely loved it!
It was so different from anything I had ever done in my teaching career and I learned so much from
my experience and made incredible friends to boot. I was so busy though, that my creative juices just kinda
came to a halt. The charter school experience was hard core and time consuming, but oh so rewarding!

Then, my family got the opportunity to move back South just an hour from our hometown. We couldn't
pass up the opportunity, so for the past year and a half we've been in the suburbs of Nashville, TN.

It's been 17 years since my husband and I have lived this close to family, so it has been a breath of fresh air!

This school year (2016/2017) has been a first for me!
I am teaching MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!
I never in a million years thought I'd be a middle school teacher.
I mean James Patterson even wrote a book about middle school...
and right there in the title it says "worst years of my life" !!!!!!

Let me go back to the charter school experience I mentioned above.
I was hired there as a 3rd grade ELA teacher. At that particular charter school, we taught with co-teachers.
Everyday, all day, I had a co-teacher in the room with me!!!! (Feeling my happy feet a-dancing?!)
We taught 3 classes of 3rd grade ELA per day for 90 minute blocks. And it didn't even include writing; someone else taught the
writing portion.

So, now I am teaching 6th grade ELA. And let me tell you - I love it!!!!
It has been one of the best years I have ever had!!
The kids are great, I love the curriculum, and my school/colleagues are amazing.

Well, friends, it feels so good to be back.
I really look forward to bringing you more tips and tricks, more teachers-pay-teachers items, and more ideas to help you through tough days at school and home.

Spread the word that I am back and please follow me on Facebook.

I will bring you live videos, product suggestions, pictures and posts there as well.