Welcome to Ms. DeBaylo's Kindergarten! I hope that you will find this blog helpful as you look for innovative ideas to teach diversity, tolerance, love, and global-mindedness to your special kinders!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

august? already??! (Bonus: Storage Crate Seating tutorial!!)

Let's be real. Memorial day was just last week, wasn't it?  I can't believe this summer has come and gone SO fast!  I officially survived my first year teaching, and somewhere, summer #1 slipped out from beneath my fingertips!  We return for our first official day on TUESDAY! This is my last weekend night of summer! I can't believe it!

But, I'm a little bit excited, I must admit!  I've spent the past two and a half weeks getting my furniture in order, visiting every Target within a 30 mile radius, jazzing up my decor, making bulletin boards, and even catching my hot glue gun on fire. (No die-cuts were harmed in the process.)

All of that has me ready to go! And I've totally been such a slacker on this blog; but starting it during the summer sort of set it out on the wrong foot.  So for now, a catch up on some tutorials, tips, and all around classroom decor!

Operation: Storage Seating!
1.  Purchase crates at Walmart ($3.47 each!)
2. Purchase 5/8" particle board at your local home improvement store.  Consider bringing a truck.
3.  Using careful measurements, about 12 7/8" x 15 7/8" (but check for yourself!!!!), cut up to 17 pieces from the particle board! Round the edges by grinding on the concrete :)

4.  Using heavy-duty, canvas-like material (a cute pattern always helps!), situate boards  in a grid-like pattern, allowing about 2 inches around the edge of each board (roughly 4" in between boards).  I used about 2 yards of a 60"-wide fabric for 10 of them.
5. Cut quilting batting to fit on top of boards. (My measurements of the boards were an exact fit to the inside lip of the crate, so I didn't want to wrap any of the cotton batting around the edges of the wood.)
6. Fold corners in and pull tightly.
7. With the corner pulled in, fold the fabric over the side of the board and staple. (I didn't staple the corner because I didn't want to use unnecessary staples!)

8.  Repeat with the other side adjacent to the corner; then repeat with the remaining corners/sides.
9.  After all the edges are stapled, it should look like this! Lay the board on top of a piece of thick, grosgrain ribbon.
10. Fold edge of ribbon underneath the edge of the fabric and staple (the staple will go through the three layers of ribbon/fabric/ribbon into the board).
11. Tada! You are finished! Put these puppies to use at your tables to store journals and notebooks, at centers to store games or art supplies, or even at your small group to help keep things handy and divided for differentiation! :)

Welcome! When I get my kiddo's names I'm going to add their first initials climbing up the coconut tree!

Word Wall! 

Word Wall letters! Die-cut from cute, laminated wrapping paper from Target's dollar bin!

Our classroom helpers bulletin board! I free-handed the globe (circle and continents!) with butcher paper, and used some more cute Target wrapping paper to make the die-cut letters! The hands border I picked up at the Dollar Tree! 
My clip chart! Everyone starts the day on green, and has the opportunity to clip up or down based on behavior.  Used this last year, but made a new one this year with cute scrapbook papers that correlated to the colors! :)

I've seen such cute cork maps on pinterest, so I decided to give it a-go! Using one of my class puzzles as my master, I outlined the continental U.S! (unfortunately, my phone died and I couldn't get a picture of the final product!)

Then my glue gun caught on fire, so I also couldn't get the world map double-cork started!

OOOH! I almost forgot: I FINALLY found those dry erase table-top pocket chart easels everyone has been raving about from Target's Dollar Spot! I went in today, and came out with 2 of them (the only 2 I could find!).  I've been to at least 3 Targets on several occasions and haven't had any luck! Glad I could at least snag two of them today!

Moral of the story:  A little bit of color, and a cute pattern, can turn your basic, primary-colored classroom into something still kid-friendly, but also design-worthy!

How's your classroom set-up going? Got any good tips or tricks you'd like to share?