Monday, February 18

One Page Wonders!

Hey Everybody!

It's been a while since I posted something about my papercrafts!

I have been trying to go outside of my little box.  I have discovered that I have taken less pictures than I have in the past.  Back then I had to have a minimum number of photos in order (10 photos) for an 'event' to get scrapbooked, however, I have noticed there are a lot of important events that weren't making the quota of pictures.  This caused me to go investigate better layouts.  Today's entry will feature pictures that have 5 pictures or less. 

This is the result of our "Sober Sleepover Night." The colors were tricky to match, but I am content with the final results.   It's not my absolute favorite, but it's done and now I can put it in my enormous scrapbook for people to look at when they come and visit me:)

This was a night when Liz, Meredith and I went out and about in De Pere one night!   What I like about it is space that is on the page.  It focuses one to look at the photos and appreciate them:)  It was one of my very first "lots of space pages."  It took me a while to make this page look the way I wanted it to look!  I originally had browns and reds, but then I added the black paper and BOOM, it came to me! The papers were from Hobby Lobby (I forgot the name of the book I got them from.)  I used stickers I got on sale (from HL), to add as little embellishments.

This is another awesome page layout that took a long time to create!  I had issues with getting the photos to line up.  I had quite a few choices, but I had to be selective because not all the photos would fit in a nice row like the one you see.  In fact, this was the 3rd incarnation of this page.  The other photos ended up going into the "pile of future projects for friends."  I love the ribbon!  It is from JoAnns.  I used a sticker (something I have gotten away from.)  I'm also proud of the bright color choices!   I used my inner-Brittany-De-Laurelle to create the page.  I usually do dark and vintage pages; but this one is a true blue summer page!  (Even though this event happened in May 2012, just before Graduation!)

This is from Kasey and Ben's wedding back in October 2011!  Kasey is a art chic, so I wanted to have some paper that matched her awesome off-beat taste in fashion!  Her wedding was nothing less than a true fashionista event.  What pressure to create a page that reflected this special day.  Truth is, wedding pages always stress me out!  They are such special days and I sometimes feel I just "throw it together."  This page was created in the 11th hour while at Brittany's apartment while the Packers were getting their butts kicked!  While the Packers lost, I sure felt like I succeeded in what I wanted to present in this page!  The paper is from BoBunny (one of my favorite paper lines!)  I used the Stone Font Cartridge for the writing.  I didn't bother writing anything because the page speaks for itself!

Yet another favorite of mine!  I decided to try to use stickers and ribbon to make this page look more "vintage."  I love the combination of colors; the picture sadly does not do this picture justice!  I am super glad that I decided to do this page.  Originally I was not going to scrapbook this page, but because I decided to try one page scrapping, I ended up making this page.  And it is one of my absolute favorites!  I'm glad I did, because this was the time when Vicki and I were at Captains Walk and the Press Gazette decided to snap our picture sampling wine.  While some people got a kick of me tasting wine, others were highly offended by this LEGAL and CHEAP way to spend the afternoon with people I happen to like.  Oh well!  Two years have passed, so people probably forgot!

And last but not old photo shoot Niki and I were at my favorite park: Greene Isle.  Since I was wearing flowers, I decided to continue the flower theme in my papers!  The paper is from Paper Studios, another favorite of mine.  I like the punch flower border; the orange makes the colors pop.    This was a hard page to design because I liked so many of the photos, however, I only had enough room for one page in my album.  This particular page is from not one, but TWO years ago!  Yes, that is how far behind I am with some of my pages!  It was a hard decision, I wanted equal photos of both Niki and I.  However, I also wanted flattering images of me.  (Niki always looks good, I don't!) Therefore I used the other photos in collages and added them to my "need to make a photo gift with these" pile. 

So overall, I will keep one page events in my future scrapbooks.  It sure saves some room for me!  It also saves me money overall! 

I hope these pages inspire you to do something fun and creative!


Sunday, February 17

Let's Not Forget I Teach [Middle School] Spanish Too!

Hey Followers!

Happy Presidents Day!

I have been writing a lot about the adventures in the pre-K/kindergarten world, but I do not want to neglect the other side of my job: Middle School Spanish.  Yes, that's right.  For those who have forgotten about my entire job description (I have been just short-labeling it "I teach Kindergarten" to save myself some breath), I do happen to also teach the pre-k program  and 3-8th grade Spanish. 

Teaching Spanish has been a rewarding challenge.  I have three sections of Spanish divided up by so: 3/4 grade, 5/6 grade and 7/8 grade.  I have had some experience teaching all of those grades, but the older the kids get, the more challenging it has become to keep things fun and interesting.  Thankfully the older two groups of kids, it is okay to do things like a "pop quiz," "lots of homework," and "tests!"  But the 3/4th graders are a group of kids that can still benefit from the playfulness in school.   One way I keep it fun and fresh is in the form of centers.

Most of the centers I have had in class, with an exception of a few, I have created on my own.  Ironically the ones that are featured in this entry mostly have the ones that I have found online.   There are not a lot of resources out there that I have found that would be good for our classroom.  Well, let me rephrase that, there are some good resources out there, but I can remake them and therefore save money.  The hard part is finding Spanish Centers pre-made.  Those are a always a challenge to make, even though I only have to prep those once a month!  I have thought about making my own TPT site and selling things, but I don't want to deal with copyrights and what not.  So if anybody decides that some of my ideas are worth copying, just brag about how awesome this website is on your site (or pinterest!)  That's all.  I hope somebody uses my bright(?) ideas in their own classroom.  My goal is to simply pave the way for people who need [good] resources for Spanish but just don't know where to start looking!

Here are a few things that I have done recently in Spanish class.

Here's my bulletin board for the weather!  I made it myself:)  I'm sure you can guess what the words mean, even if they are all written in Spanish!

I used the Cricut to cut up all of my letters.  Then I created the other counterparts by hand.    I used to make every bulletin board by hand.  I used to LOVE making bulletin boards by hand!  It was one of my absolute favorite parts of my homework.  I even felt cooler that I had a Cricut machine and everybody else had to scramble and fight for the one at school.  Not I!  My cool machine actually got people hooked on paper crafting and so forth!  Of coarse, this was back in the day when I only worked 5 jobs, went to school full time, and being creative with making a cool looking bulletin board impacted your grade pretty significantly.  Let me tell now, now that I am out of school, my ambition to make bulletin boards has greatly dissolved.  I enjoy making them, but between all of the other crap I have to do, I just don't find the time to make nice creative ones anymore.  So my advice to you undergrades? When you make your cool bulletin board for your A+ in EDUC373 or whatever class, spend the extra cash to laminate it.  Even if it isn't something you think you are going to teach, you just never know!  I wish I laminated a lot of my Spanish bulletin boards back when I taught first grade Spanish for cash...they would have come in great handy when I started teaching here!  Now I have to remake everything over again!  (I'd buy stuff, but they just don't have cool weather things in Spanish)

Another cool thing I made with the Cricut was my "Tienes" poster.  Too many times I have found the kids have forgotten simple things like oh, a pencil.  It blows my mind how older kids can forget such simple things, but then again, I am sure when I was that age I didn't bring a pencil either.  I'm sure the only things I made sure I had were my comic books and my super cool walkman. 

Well, the kids grades partly depend on their ability to bring all of their materials.  I'm sure it sounds cruel to you non-educators, but I do have a very good reason for this!  I expect the kids to do their job, and part of their job is to be prepared.  That's a life-skill that one needs to acquire and school is the perfect place to acquire that life-skill. 

Enter the poster: this reminds the kids what they need so they can get their "A" for being prepared.  I have seen less stressful, more prepared kids since I posted the poster.  They know exactly what they need each time.  They also know that they cannot leave the classroom to get any of those materials once class starts.  They have to use what they bring to the table for that day.  (Which is very interesting to see done when they forget things like pencils and we have a pop-quiz.)

As for these centers, I was able to find two great resources on  I sadly cannot find their link right now, but PLEASE if you are going to use these ideas, look there!  I did not make them, but I might next time, they seem pretty easy to make.    I used these to help the kids review their numbers.   Most of the kids are doing a great job remembering their numbers from 1-10, but still need a little review with the 11-20 numbers.   I want the 3/4th grade class to have a great foundation for numbers, because next year, they are going to be using those numbers to count and measure various things in class.    I had a few kids love this center, but this one didn't hold the 4th graders attention for too long.  Next time, I am going to make larger numbers!

 This center has been extremely popular with all the 3/4th graders!  I have had two different disagreements on who can play this center because everybody wants to play it!  This center is to review colors and their names. 

Once again, this is NOT mine.  I found this one on TPT as well.   You can purchase this one for a mere .75 cents by clicking right here.   If you do, please brag about how awesome it is! 

This center is an ode to the wonderful and awesome Senora Taft.  Senora Taft was my 7/8th grade Spanish teacher.  She's the one responsible for a lot of my classroom elements (flashcards, ladder game, review packets, etc.)  This is another Senora Taft inspiration.  This game is called "Fly Swatter Game."  There are three students that play this game.  Student 1 pulls a card and reads it out loud.  The other two students have to find it's partner and slap it AS WELL AS shouting it out loud in the opposite language before the other person.  First person to slap the correct word gets a point.   There are two sides to this.  Purple side has the cards in Spanish and they have to shout the word out in English.  The red side has the words on the card written in English and the kids have to shout the word out in Spanish.  It's a great way to also assess the kids on how to speak the words properly.  I have also done this game as a full group and it works!  The older kids get all worked up because it is fast paced!

Last but not least... I have purchased three books that are going to make my classroom super awesome!  They are...

 (The Very Grouchy Ladybug)

 (The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog)

(From Head to Toe)

My plan is to record myself reading these on my iPad and having the kids listen and follow along for a future center.  Then they can practice reading these books out loud.  Even if they don't completely get how the story goes, they can start to slowly get used to hearing and speaking the language.  I want the kids to hear and speak as much Spanish as possible!

So what do you think...? Not bad for a teacher who wasn't planning on teaching Spanish!

More to Come(?) (I'm kidding, yes there is!)


Sunday, February 10

These Last Few Were Have Been DINO-MITE!

Hello Bloggers!

What a crazy few weeks it has been for me!  But now the madness has slowed down for a wee bit, I have found sometime to blog about the adventures!

Two weeks ago our school had our annual "Kindergarten Round Up."  When I first heard about it, I honestly thought it was a rodeo for the current kindergartners.  (Don't ask.)  Well that's not exactly what it was.  It's a day where the pre-k students that are currently attending our school AND are coming to kindergarten next year, come and spend a day "as a kindergartener."  I was told that this was going to be the best day in kindergarten and be prepared for it to be a fun, fast and crazy day.

And I was lucky enough to get to run with it.  [Thanks Angie!]

The theme of the week was dinosaurs.  This is my principals' favorite thing in the world, so I had no pressure on making my room look awesome. 

So I looked at my Cricut and said..."you need a Dino cartridge."

And I die-cutted and die-cutted and die-cutted some more...

This is what I came up with...

Dino 1-1 correspondence.  A number on a dinosaur...? Put that many "scales" back on them!

Likewise, I had another set of these that had higher numbers.  The kids had to count the number of dino's and put the clip on the corresponding number.   I was very impressed with how much the kids could count!  I'm glad to know they have a great foundation in math!

These two can be found at  I sadly don't have the exact name of the center, but I know it is a quick search on their site.  Please don't copy from me...go get the original from them!  It's totally worth the ten seconds it takes to find, download and print! 

Counting to 100 Dino Chart!  The pre-K kids didn't get to play with this chart, but the kindergartners sure had a great time with them!  I pulled out a few of the numbers and the kids had to put them back in the correct spot.  This was great because the kids were learning numbers and patterns!

For one of the centers, the kids got to make their own dino-frames! They are still waiting for their pictures though... [I keep forgetting to pick them up at Walgreens!]  We ran out of stickers, so I had to get new ones out.  One of our kids decided to dump all of the stickers out onto the table...which caused a huge mess! This center was extremely crazy.  Next year, I decided that if I get to do Round-Up Day again, I will limit how many stickers the kids can use.  Then have extra coloring sheets for the kids to color with once they are done with their frame.   No more dumping things!

The kids practiced counting to 10 with dino feet.  The kindergartners had numbers up to 20.  On the other side, there were blue numbers that practiced counting by 10's.  There were also pink words that had the number words written out...another great practice at reading and figuring those tricky words out!

 I used guessed it...Cricut to make these feet!!  I purposely put them in a colored pattern too, to help kids recognize patterns!  Because they are smaller, they took a lot of time to make.  I think I watched about three Dr. Phil shows while making these!  (Remember I had different numbers and words on the back.  The ones featured here are only half of the created feet.  ...cutting those letters out took the most time!)

And my favorite creation....

The kids made dino hats! 

I was pretty impressed with this one.   This center was to assess how well kids could pattern, count and cut.  First I die-cutted enough dinosaur's to make my head spin!

Then I asked them how old they were.  If they were five, they got five dino's, if they were four, they got four dino's.  Then they had to make a pattern with them.  Some of the kids understood the concept of a pattern, while others did not.   

After they glued on their dino's, I drew a line and they had to cut on that line.

Afterwards, I stapled the hat together and viola! We have a dino hat!  I had the kids pose in front of the mini dinosaur display that's featured underneath.

Sadly, the only photos that I have with the finished product are on students' heads.  Since I don't want to share the identities of my will have to just use your imagination!  I'll post a new one up next time promise!

And last but not least...the biggest dino of them all!!!

That's all for now!