July 30, 2013

Pennant Tutorial and a TPT Sale!

Sandy, over at Kinder-Gardening (cutest blog name EVER!), commented on my last post, asking if I make the pennant banners for my classroom on the computer. The answer, Sandy, is YES! It's easier than you think, I promise. Today, I am going to provide step-by-step instructions for creating a pennant banner; I'm sure there is an easier way to do it than the one I'm about to show you, but this way works for me!

First, you will need to download some cute backgrounds and frames. I love to use Ashley Hughes' creations; they are simple, but adorable, and she offers some amazing freebies!

I use Power Point to create for TPT. I used to use Word when I first started getting crafty, but Power Point is waaaay easier. Start with a blank Power Point document. Click on Insert, then Shape.

The pop-up menu below should appear.

Choose the triangle shape in the second row on the far right.

You will be able to click and drag to create a triangle that looks like this one.

Now, click on Format, then Shape.

Click on Fill.

Click on Picture or Texture. Choose From File: Choose Picture.

Choose the file of the background that you downloaded.

Your triangle should now look like this:
If you're working with polka dots (I LOVE polka dots, so I have to go through this next step all the time!), you may have to do the following:

Be sure that the Tile box is checked (otherwise, your polka dots will look a little crazy!).

Now, click on Format, then Shape (again). This time, instead of clicking on Fill, click on Line.

Change the color of the line to match your background.

For this example, I made the line red to match the red chevron background.

Ta da! Not done yet, though...

Click on Insert, then, Photo, to choose the frame that you downloaded.

I chose a red frame that I nabbed from Ashley Hughes (FREEBIE!). Re-size the frame as necessary to fit on the triangle.

Click on Insert, then Text Box.

Add the text of your choice. Use the green button to rotate the text.

Upside down (depending on how you look at it, I guess!)...

Right side up!

Select the entire pennant that you have just created.

Click on Edit, then Copy, then Paste. Move your new pennant to the right side of your document. Use the green button to rotate it. Change the text as needed.

That was the hard part, I promise. Now, to finish your banner, simply click on Insert, then Duplicate Slide.

Now, all you have to do is edit the text on subsequent slides.

Once you've finished your pennants, simply print on card stock and laminate for durability. You can either hot glue them to ribbon (make sure to have your pennants overlap slightly, or your banner won't curve), or you can hole punch the corners of each pennant and string ribbon through the holes. 

I hope that this tutorial helped! Please leave me comment or email me with any questions or if something is unclear.

Oh, and also...I just sold my 100th product on TPT (not a big deal for some, but it's a HUGE deal for me!)! In celebration, I am having a sale! Everything in my store will be 10% off through Friday, August 2nd!

July 29, 2013

Monday Made It

I actually accomplished something today (which is a miracle, considering that I have an injured dog and two kids who refuse to go outside and play!)!

Kin, who is a Border Collie, tries to herd everything. Yesterday, he made the mistake of trying to herd KShaf's truck, and he got more than he bargained for: two shattered teeth and a (possibly) fractured jaw. He has surgery to remove the teeth tomorrow, but in the meantime, he is getting lots of love.

As patient as can be. This dog should be sainted.

Because I actually got a few things made over the past few days, I get to participate in Tara's Monday Made It linky party.

MADE IT # 1:
This may not qualify as a legitimate Monday Made It, but I did get around to making pennants for each of my focus boards. This is the colorful polka dot set that I've used for my classroom theme this year; I am in love!
(Sorry the lighting is terrible: I took this pic during a thunderstorm last evening, and the light was super weird!)
MADE IT # 2:
I am super excited about my second project! I finally got around to making no-sew curtains for my classroom. (Yes, they are polka dot.) 

Here's what you will need for this incredibly easy, inexpensive project:
  • 8 bandanas (I got mine from Hobby Lobby for $0.99 each)
  • 2 spring rod curtain rods (I got the 18-28" rods, but I found that I'll need at least 28-48" rods to fit the windows in my classroom)
  • iron
  • hot glue gun
  • plenty of hot glue sticks
Step 1:
Fold the top of each bandana over about 1 1/2 inches (all measurements are approximate; there is no science to this project). Press with an iron to create a pocket.

Step 2:
Use the first bandana as a template for the other seven bandanas. Just eyeball it!

Step 3:
Once you have created pockets at the top of all 8 bandanas, heat up your glue gun. Use the glue gun to seal the pocket (just a thin line of glue will do). 

Step 4:
You can fit at least 4 bandanas on one rod (particularly if you go with the 48-78" spring rod). Bunch and fluff them so they look the way you want them to.

I had to hang these in my daughter's bedroom doorway (hence, the light purple wall in the background) to get a decent pic. She wanted me to leave them there.

MADE IT # 3:
I created black and white polka dot (noticing a theme here?) classroom library labels. Check them out in my TPT store (they are on sale for $1.50).

MADE IT # 4:
This one totally doesn't count, but in order to get all of this work done, I had to bribe my children with the promise of homemade playdough. Check out this awesome, easy recipe!

Head on over to 4th Grade Frolics and link up!

July 27, 2013

Saturday Snapshots

I'm linking up with Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera! for her Saturday Snapshots linky party. Love it!
I mentioned in one of my prior posts that I spent Monday-Thursday, learning more about the Common Core, specifically English Language Arts. As a culminating activity, we worked in teams to create mind maps.

Does your brain spin when you look at this, too? Yikes!

Last weekend, Princess A helped me make the most amazing coffee cake (find the recipe here!). 

As any good baker knows, the best part of baking is licking the spatula!

My kiddos are pretty good about helping out around the house (cleaning up their toys, putting their dishes in the sink after a meal, etc.), but they were getting too accustomed to receiving little toys and treats for no reason. So, I started using chore jars with them. Every time they do something helpful, they get a gem (thank you, Hobby Lobby!) for their chore jars. When they have 25 gems, they can buy a toy for $5 or less. They can choose to save their gems, and when they have 50 gems, they can buy a toy that is $10 or less.

It's very motivating, apparently!

Deedle and Princess A challenged KShaf to a game of UNO the other evening.

KShaf didn't stand a chance against these two.

Deedle had a really tough time settling down for bed the other evening, so I did something I haven't done since he was a little tyke: I snuggled up with him in the recliner, and sang some of his favorite songs to him.

I will take as many of this little guy's smooches as I can get!

Yesterday, KShaf took Princess A to her riding lesson, much to her delight. While they were gone, Deedle and I went to Starbucks for a breakfast date.

KShaf bought me a new desk chair today...it is awesome, and I am in heaven! He also bought the kiddos a tent (we aspire to go camping some day, but in the meantime, the tent is set up under the maple tree in our backyard); why do I get the feeling that we'll be sleeping on the ground tonight?

July 26, 2013

Feelin' the Bloglovin' Love!

As always, I'm a day late and a dollar short. But...I finally jumped on the Bloglovin' bandwagon! Click on the icon on the right side of this page and start following me on Bloglovin'...I can't wait to feel the love!

Thinking ahead to Monday Make It...I am chomping at the bit to get started on my black and white polka dot curtains for my classroom (I'll post pics, Miss Nelson!!). I'm also thinking about creating a set of black and white polka dot classroom library labels to coordinate with my classroom decor set, teacher binder, and binder covers. I'm also working on editing and improving a lesson plan bundle that teaches the 6+1 Writing Trait, Conventions, to firsties. My Ideas bundle is already up on TPT, if you're interested. Whew! Lots to do!

Enjoy your weekend!

July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Sheesh! I'm pooped! Today, I wrapped up Educator Effectiveness Academy, and my brain is just swimming with ideas! I'll admit, though...I am tapped out (for now!).

So, I thought I'd link up with Cara over at The First Grade Parade for her Throwback Thursday linky party (especially since it doesn't require too much energy or creativity...I don't have much of either to spare right about now!).

Since I'm kind of burned out on work right now, I thought I'd throw back to one of my favorite personal posts. I wrote this original post in celebration of my baby boy's fourth birthday back in April.

Originally posted April 13, 2013

I didn't plan to have my children sixteen months apart. When I found out I was pregnant with Deedle, Princess A was only six months old (I'm an educated woman...I swear I know where babies come from!). Being pregnant while trying to handle a baby was tricky (and exhausting), but I really believe that God knew what He was doing when He blessed us with a surprise pregnancy (either that, or He has a really sick sense of humor!).

Princess A doesn't remember a time in her life without Deedle. She learned to share and to be patient at a very young age. She is fiercely protective of her little brother. She is instinctively maternal and nurturing. Deedle, in turn, adores his big sister. When she is hurt or sad, he goes out of his way to give her an ice pack or a hug. Even though they have different interests, they play surprisingly well together.  In short, having my children sixteen months apart is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

It's hard to believe that four years ago tonight, I was in labor, anticipating Deedle's arrival.

 Pop-Pop with his namesake, just a few hours after he was born.
"Can we send him back, Daddy?"
Today, we celebrated Deedle's birthday at the local park. The weather was beautiful, and the kids had a fantastic time! They raced and chased, ate cupcakes, and opened presents. All in all, it was the perfect day.
 Princess A and her BFF
Deedle and two of his friends, playing "Pirate Ship"
Happy birthday to the best surprise I've ever gotten! You are one amazing little person, Deedle.