Wednesday, December 9, 2020

PUZZLE PIECE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT PARENT GIFT

 Every year I like to try out a new craft that can be used as a student-made parent gift for Christmas.  I like to find something that is simple, cute, and cheap for students to make.  This year I decided on these puzzle piece wreath ornaments!

Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

I enlist the help of my four year old son Landon to test out the craft to see how easy it would be for first graders to make and also find the perfect step-by-step process to use with my students.  He loves being my helper!

Christmas Crafts for Kids

The front of each ornament will have each child's picture on it.  (Here we used a picture of Landon with his twin sisters.)

Puzzle Piece Christmas Tree Ornaments

The back of the ornament has each student's information such as their name, the date it was made, how old they are, and/or the grade level they are in.

Student Made Parent Gifts

Below are the step-by-step directions on how to make these puzzle piece wreath ornaments.  You simply need puzzle pieces, green spray paint, green glitter, Mod Podge, ribbon, and red pom-poms for this craft!

Classroom Christmas Crafts

Step 1: 
For this craft you will need a puzzle with at least 1000 pieces (or more depending on how many students/wreaths you are making).  You can find 1000 piece puzzles at Wal-Mart for around $10.00.  You can even use old puzzles with missing pieces or ones that you can find at garage sales!
Puzzle Piece Crafts

Step 2:
Find an old carboard box or anything else you can spray paint on.  Tape wax paper down on top of your cardboard so the pieces don’t stick after you spray paint them.  Next, spread the pieces of the puzzle out.  Make sure you turn all the puzzle pieces going the same direction.  I like to turn them all picture/smooth side up.
Puzzle Piece Crafts

Step 3:
Use a can of green spray paint to paint the pieces of the puzzle green.  I make sure as I’m painting the pieces to spray all the parts – even the sides.  Let the puzzle pieces dry really well before taking them off and putting them in a bag.  If they aren’t really dry the pieces will stick to each other.
Puzzle Piece Crafts

Puzzle Piece Crafts

Step 4:
Print the wreath templates (found HERE) on cardstock paper.  Give each of your students one of the wreath templates.  Have them use a green marker to color the circle green.
Student Made Parent Gifts

Step 5:
Next, have your students cut out the wreath template.  They will need to cut out the middle circle as well.  To cut the middle circle have your students slightly fold the template in the middle and make a single cut.  From that single cut they can go around and cut the remainder of the circle out.
Student Made Parent Gifts

Step 6:
Using bottle glue have your students glue a single layer of puzzle pieces on their wreath template.  Let this single layer of puzzle pieces completely dry before adding additional layers to the wreath.  If it’s not completely dry the puzzle pieces will slide all around making it hard to glue more on.
Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Step 7:
You can have your students add as many layers of puzzle pieces to their wreath as you would like.  Just make sure the glue of each layer is completely dry before adding another layer.  I like to have my students do four layers of puzzle pieces for their wreath.  For each layer I have my students add a puzzle piece in between the two puzzle pieces below it for a fuller look.
Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Step 8:
Once your students have completed their puzzle piece layers and the glue is completely dry it is time for them to add Mod Podge.  I have my students use a sponge brush to paint Mod Podge all over their wreath.  The sponge brush allows them to get down in the hard to reach spots as well.
Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Step 9:
While the Mod Podge is still wet have them sprinkle green glitter on top of the Mod Podge.  They can sprinkle as little or as much as they want.
Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Step 10:
Once the Mod Podge and glitter is dry it is time to add ribbon to the wreath.  You will need one piece of ribbon (about 5 inches long) to create the hoop the ornament hangs from.  You will also need to tie a bow out of the ribbon.
Classroom Crafts

Step 11:
For this step I glue the hoop and bow on each student’s wreath ornament using a hot glue gun.  I like using hot glue for this step because I think it holds better.
Classroom Crafts

Step 12:
Once you have added the ribbon it’s time for your students to add red pom-poms on their wreath.  You can use any size balls for this.  They can place single medium size balls around their wreath or they can group a couple tiny size balls together like pictured here.  Just make sure your students use a good amount of glue so the pom-poms don’t easily fall off.
Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Step 13:
Next, it’s time to add each student’s picture in the wreath frame.  I used wallet size pictures and they fit perfectly.  Just tape whatever picture you would like to the back of the wreath.
Student Made Ornaments

Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Step 14:
Using the name plaque template (found HERE) fill out each student’s information like their name, the year, and what grade they are in.  Tape the name plaques on the back of the ornaments.
Crafts for the Classroom

Step 15:
The ornaments are now complete!  Have your students wrap their parent gifts and send them home!  These ornaments make for a simple and cheap parent gift!  You can grab this cute snowman gift bag that your students can make to wrap their parent gifts in by clicking HERE!
Christmas Parent Gifts

Click HERE to download the printable snowman gift bags from my TpT store!

Snowman Gift BagSnowman Gift Bag
Another fun spin to this craft is to have your students use puzzle pieces that have green on them instead of spray painting the pieces green.  Let students dig through the puzzle pieces finding the pieces that have green on them.
Puzzle Piece Crafts
Here's an example of how the ornaments turn out.
Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament
Both versions turn out super cute!
Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Click HERE to download the step-by-step teacher instructions, the wreath templates, and the editable name plaques for FREE!

Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Monday, June 8, 2020

Daily Take Home Folders

At the beginning of the school year I make each student their own daily folder, also known as their "Take Home Folder."
Take Home Folder
Daily Take Home Folders
This folder is a communication devise between home and school.  The folder is brought home every night and is returned to school the very next day.  It houses important information such as school notes, homework, graded work, and monthly classroom newsletters.
Parent Teacher Communication Folder
My student's daily behavior is also noted in their take home folder on the monthly behavior calendar.
Behavior Calendars
At the end of each school day my students mark either a green, yellow, or red dot on the appropriate date on the calendar.  This dot communicates to their parents the behavior color card they earned that day.  If the color yellow or red is marked on their calendar I write a brief description of the negative behavior they displayed.  The purpose of this is to encourage a discussion between parents and their child over the misbehavior.
Monthly Behavior Calendar
Parents are asked to sign or initial each night on the appropriate date on the behavior calendar.  This communicates to me that each student's parents saw their take home folder and the information inside of it.
Take Home Folder Basket
The take home folders are brought home every day and are returned to school the very next day.  Any notes from home, money, homework, etc. is to be placed in the take home folder so I will receive it - because we all know how sometimes things get lost in a child's backpack. LOL
Take Home Folders
I have my students turn in their take home folders into the tub each morning.  When they turn them in they place them in numerical order.  This makes it easy for me to flip through and see who is at school, who forgot to turn their folder in, etc.
Take Home Folder Labels
Here's a peek inside my take home folders!

Here's the steps on how I put together my folders at the beginning of each school year:

Step 1:
I always use plastic brad folders to make the take home folders.  The plastic ones hold up much better than the paper ones.
Making a Take Home Folder
Step 2:
I pick a cover with a different clipart character for each of my students.  I add their name, their student number, and my class information to the cover.  I print each cover and laminate it.
Take Home Folder Assembly
Step 3:
I attach the covers to the front of my folders.  You can use staples, tape, Velco dots, etc. to attach the covers.
Take Home Folder Covers
Step 4:
I add additional pockets to my folders.  I use these plastic pocket sleeves I purchased at Wal-Mart.  I add them to the brads of the folder.
Daily Folder Labels
Step 5:
I use the 1" x 2 5/8" labels to label the behavior calendars and homework pockets.
Take Home Folder Labels
Step 6:
I use the 2" x 4" labels for the graded work pocket.
Graded Work Labels
I go over the labels with clear tape to ensure the labels stay on and do not get damaged.
Step 7:
I place additional important handouts (like our school calendar) in a clear plastic sleeve and add it to the brads of the folder.
School Calendar
Step 8:
I pick out different left and right pocket labels for my folders.  I print, laminate, and cut out the labels.
Left and Right Hand Labels
Take Home Folder Left and Right Hand Labels
Step 9:
I attach the labels to the left and right pockets of the folder by stapling them on.
Daily Folder Labels
Step 10: 
I also add a pencil pouch to the brads of my take home folders for money, small notes, etc.
Inside a Take Home Folder
I take the pencil pouches and plastic sleeves out of each student's folder at the end of the school year so I can reuse them year after year.
Step 11:
 I add the behavior calendar to each student's folder.  The monthly behavior calendar also has school events, classroom events, due dates, test dates, etc. on it as well.  This helps parents easily see what's going on at our school and in our classroom.
Behavior Calendar
Step 12:
I send home these introduction notes the first time I send home the take home folders.  The notes explain what a take home folder is, what is inside the folder, and the guidelines to take care of it.
Take Home Folder Parent Notes
Daily Folder Parent Notes
The folders are then complete and ready to use all year long!
Take Home Folder
You can grab everything you need to make your own Take Home Folder by clicking HERE!
Take Home Folder Covers

Friday, May 22, 2020

Farmhouse Themed Classroom Decor {Wooden Shiplap}

Looking to update your classroom theme with a Farmhouse style look?
Check out these printable posters and labels you can grab from my TpT Store!

These posters come with an editable white stripe.  You can change the white stripe to match your classroom colors.

Farmhouse Alphabet Poster
For example, here's the white stripe changed to purple.
Wooden Shiplap Alphabet Poster

There are many different posters to choose from!

Farmhouse ASL Alphabet Posters

 Farmhouse Shape Name Posters

Wooden Shiiplap Number Posters

 Farmhouse 10 Frame Number Posters

 Farmhouse Touch Math Number Posters

Wooden Shiplap Color Name Posters

Need labels to label your classroom storage bins, containers, carts, and more!
Check out these labels that come in a variety of sizes and colors.
 All labels are EDITABLE so you can add your own text!


Farmhouse Monday through Friday Teacher Storage Bin Labels
Grab these Monday-Friday labels for FREE by clicking HERE!
 Farmhouse Monday through Friday Teacher Storage Bin Labels
These labels fit perfectly on different storage bins like these magazine holders!
Farmhouse Square Labels
Great to use to label and organize all of your classroom books!
Wooden Shiplap Book Bin Labels
Label your books by grade/reading level.
Farmhouse Square Labels
Organize your books by theme.
Wooden Shiplap Square Labels
Use these labels to make student book bins.
 Farmhouse Classroom Labels
Or even label your classroom supply bins! 
Wooden Shiplap Classroom Labels




These labels fit perfectly in the Really Good Stuff Label Clip Holders

These label holders clip on any type of basket, storage bin, etc.
Wooden Shiplap Rectangular Classroom Labels
 Use to label student book baskets.
Farmhouse Book Bin Labels
Label each group's supply bin.
Farmhouse Supply Tub Labels
Wooden Shiplap Supply Tub Labels
Label turn in baskets and more!
Wooden Shiplap Classroom Storage Bin Labels



Farmhouse Book Bin Labels
Use these labels to organize your classroom library.
Wooden Shiplap Book Bin Labels

Farmhouse Supply Bin Labels
You can even use these labels to organize your classroom supply tubs.
Wooden Shiplap Supply Bin Labels


These rectangular labels are great for labeling many different storage bins in your classroom!

Classroom Labels
Center Tubs
Editable Classroom Labels
Supply Bins
Wood Labels
Turn in Baskets


Add these labels to a regular size Sterilite 3-Drawer storage container.
Farmhouse 3 Drawer Labels
These are great when organizing your teacher paperwork!
Wooden Shiplap 3 Drawer Labels

They are also great for supply bins.
Sterilite Drawer Labels


Use these labels on the mini 3-Drawer Sterilite storage containers.
Farmhouse Mini 3-Drawer Labels
Label your crayon bins, pencil bins, and more!
Wooden Shiplap Mini 3-Drawer Labels

Editable Sterilite Drawer Labels


These labels are great on the medium size 3-Drawer Sterilite storage containers.
Farmhouse Storage Bin Labels

Wooden Shiplap Storage Bin Labels

Farmhouse Classroom Labels

Wooden Shiplap Classroom Labels


If you want to transform your 10-Drawer Rolling cart then these labels work perfectly!
Farmhouse 10-Drawer Rolling Cart Labels
Wooden Shiplap 10-Drawer Rolling Cart Labels
Pick and choose what colors you would like and add your own text to your labels.
10 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels


Pick your colors and add your own text to these 5-Drawer Rolling cart labels as well.
5 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels
Farmhouse 5 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels


Editable 5 and 10 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels

Grab my Label  BUNDLE from my TpT store by clicking HERE!
Farmhouse Label Bundle