15 August 2012

schoolwork table divider

Our table divider has been a huge improvement to our school time, especially in math.  I was inspired by this cozy homework corner.  Ours is made from a piece of black foam core in a tri-fold so two students can sit opposite each other. 

His side:
Her side:
Besides displaying multiplication tables, fraction charts and other references for schoolwork, the board holds supplies well.  Re-covered crayon and ink cartridge boxes hold pencils and a calculator.  An old marker package houses an abacus.  (We use RightStart Math and highly recommend it!)  Some boxes are still held with binder clips as I'm testing out the use of foam tape. So far so good.
Upcoming worksheets are below the abacus in a holder made from folder pockets- cut down and one turned upside-down.

Not so much fussing across the table, or getting discouraged when the other knows the answer first. Like fences make better neighbors, school work dividers make better students!

17 February 2012


Interruptions are typical for us in the middle of a school day. Rain, for instance, draws us outside and causes requests for trench digging and boat building. But today the distraction was tape. The boys asked to use the masking tape. I said yes, and didn't pay attention to what they were doing with it in the school room.
Tape ladders and bridges everywhere! This was fun to walk into, or under, over and through. Meanwhile, Sarah was reading another American Girl book- Kit. I'm so thankful for these books!

13 February 2012

more valentines

Sarah jumps right in to make her valentines.  She chose to make them attached to heart lollipops she found at the store.  After her design is made, I scan it in and print more.
Her box was something I was making from a cereal box.  I was just trying to come up with something for my students that might be easy to make in class. (not) So, after my construction of the heart was finished, she took over with purple tissue paper, purple glitter and purple ribbon for a strap. (This girl likes purple!)
Cole came up with his "mailbox" before his valentine.  He wanted a creature who could be fed valentines, so he went to work from our recycle bins.  (We keep many, many items from the recycling bin for when ideas strike.)
Mouth eating air head valentines. Who wouldn't like one?

12 February 2012

frog valentine

Chase is hilarious sometimes.  Just look at that tongue.  He cut one valentine heart after another and until all 12 were cut.  He wasn't as eager to write his name on them, so we spread that out over a few days.  (I am so thankful for SonShine Club, where we have the opportunity to share valentines with friends!)  Meanwhile, Scott (his super talented Daddy :) was building this frog mailbox for him from a cereal box:

Because, well Chase is so frog crazy.  His valentine for classmates looked like this last year, with help from Scott:

(And here's the one Scott made for him personally last year):

His frog craze began at age 3 when he first heard a Froggy book read aloud at library story time.  Since then, he's requested to dress like Froggy for Book Character Days (SonShine Club) and Fall Festivals at church.
My sweet Froggy! :)

11 February 2012

gum valentines

These were fun to make and give away!  I'm thankful to have students to make them for.  I bought a bunch of Big Red gum packs without knowing how I could use them.  Just in time, I found a creative idea on Family Fun for Cupid's Arrow - made with a pack of gum, wooden skewer, and tissue paper.  (I made them with a paper heart arrow instead of a gumdrop.) 
My students really liked them.  I'm glad to find a way to give away more than a single stick of gum.  Over the years, Cole, Sarah and I have all made and given away these matchbook style valentines.  They're inspired by Martha, made with paper, a staple and one stick of gum. 
The only tricky part to making this one is finding a pack of gum that has the pieces in individual paper sleeves.  Gum is sold so creatively these days, they're hard to find this old fashioned way!

19 November 2011

learning time

This is a fun way my kids learned to tell time (we've had it up for a few years now). All it takes is a clock, large embroidery hoop (mine is 18"), 12 clothespins, and cards. Instructions can be found on Martha Stewart for pinup wreath.
This helped so much when Cole and Sarah were little. Now, it helps reinforce the multiples of five.
At Christmastime, it serves the purpose of hanging cards nicely.

17 November 2011

our art room

Here is the room that keeps me busy! Doing Art with K-6 kids, also homeschoolers, once a week is so rewarding. This is year two, and I'm still amazed at how full-time teachers do it!

I learned so much about kids last year, even though I have 3 of my own. Especially:
kids are so great
they expect you to remember everything they tell you
seating charts are great
organization is key!
I was so happy to get this paint palette up above our bulletin board this year; I was inspired by one in a Pottery Barn catalog, but made it cheaply with cardboard, paper plates and paint. Inside the palette are the words "Red, Yellow, Blue: I Hear You". (Not my idea, but this art teacher's, and it works to get attention beautifully!)

The table organizers were my idea, and have been so helpful. Scott helped to make them. Tools are kept in order by the student (not me!) since each seat is designated a color and side to the organizer. I can now tell whose pencil is on the floor! It's the little things...

24 November 2010

homemade gifts: notepads

inspired by this diy project at Design Sponge

Time to think about Christmas gifts! I hardly have the time (who does?!) but handmade is so much fun to give away. Especially little notepads which are handy for most everyone. Think scrap paper, recycled chipboard (cereal, pop tart, cracker boxes), twine, staples . . .

12 November 2010


Usually the kids are the only ones having fun with paint, but not this time. It's been way too long since I've used watercolor. Always something else needs to be done. But sometimes I just need half an hour to make something without a purpose; something meant only for fun.

(inspired by this artist)

10 February 2010

dot valentines

Cole was playing with the 3-hole punch when it came open and the dots almost fell out. He decided to pour them into a cup. The kids were fascinated by a bunch of paper dots, which gave me an idea for Chase's simple valentine. I poured glue in a heart shape on red rectangles.

He sprinkled paper dots on the glue and then shook them off. I backed the red rectangles with white and thought and thought, and finally came up with a saying to put on them.
Good job, Chase! I'm glad you had fun.