Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Made It...Almost!

Ok...I'll admit it, I have a Monday Made It in my head that never quite materialized until I looked at this morning's offerings!

Amanda over at Teaching Maddeness shared her take on this cute little pencil dispenser idea that has been floating all over Pinterest as of late:

Using a restaurant-styled straw dispenser seems to be the way to go if you are a "Community Classroom" teacher like me...the kids all hand in their pencils at the beginning of the year (my teaching partner and I ask for yellow, #2 graphics!).  I then sharpen pencils and have them at the ready for my students all day long!  Love how there are no sharpener lines in the classroom and I can cut out some of the shenanigans that go on when kids are moving around the room or waiting in sharpener lines!

If you are stalking blogs like this, then you may have heard about how expensive these little babies can be and how hard they can be to find or purchase.

With nothing in my Monday Made It blog hands, I decided to go on a quest that I started over a month ago...I wanted to find a reasonably priced straw dispenser that I can call my very own...SUPER AMAZING PENCIL DISPENSER OF EPIC PROPORTIONS! ("Epic" is my eleven-year-old's favorite word right now, so it just seemed to fit!  Thanks Noah!) 

It seems like everyone is going to or seeking these out on eBay or Craig's List.  I decided to go right to the source:  restaurant supply!  The first site I checked had these little babies for about $25.00.  However, when I went to the checkout, I found that they had a $50.00 minimum on purchases.  Not so good...

Undaunted, I went to another site where you had to have a special restaurant code to purchase...since I'm not in "the club," this wasn't an option for me either!

Then...finally...(insert sigh here), I found a site that had an acrylic straw dispenser for $27.20 + $7.99 shipping and handling!  No minimum orders here...and no special can even say you are purchasing for yourself!  

It looks like a 2-3 day turnaround and your order comes via UPS!  I so love this!  So place your order today, and you should have it by the end of the week! 

Since I'm the type of girl to plug AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE, I'm going to share the source and give a huge shout out to Account Manager JENNIFER BEACH!  This sweetie called me less than 2 hours after placing my order, just to see if there was anything else she could do to make shopping with her organization any better.  Are you kidding me?  This is GINORMOUS!  

So, what are you waiting for?  Go online and get your own "Super Amazing Pencil Dispenser of Epic Proportions" (a.k.a. straw dispenser) at:

Don't forget...share the love!  Pass this info on to a colleague who wants to make his/her own "Super Amazing Pencil Dispenser of Epic Proportions!"  Sharing is caring!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Classroom Tours Linky Party

I guess that I can "double dip" with my Monday Made It since both focus on the classroom environment!

Won't you join me in Brigid's amazing little classroom tour?  Right now, I know that I can use plenty of inspiration!


Monday Made It #8

It's Monday!  And I've made it!

Actually, I'm glad to be back...Last Monday, I "made it" through a much needed, highly feared surgery, so I took some time on the weekend before to get my room at least "Back to School Night ready" and then headed home to prep emotionally for a surgery that will keep me close to home for the next two or more weeks.

I decided to take some time and spend it with the hubster and son instead of uploading what I did in my classroom last weekend.  So, today I'm showing what I've done in my classroom so far...and I need to say "Thank You" to all of you who shared ideas with me that made putting my classroom back together lickety-split!  (I've been doing this for 21 years and, by far, this is the least stressed I've ever been!)

To Melanie over at  Schoolgirl Style...thanks for so many great ideas!  My school is going with a back-to-school theme of "Rockstar."  There were plenty of great ideas on her blog that had me thinking and dreaming about what my classroom could look like this year.  Keep in mind that I refuse to "throw the baby out with the bathwater," so I'm not getting rid of everything just so that I can be extremely cute and color-coordinated.  (Just warning ya!)

The best idea I found was using wrapping paper as a background for bulletin boards.  I found some great zebra-print wrapping paper and used that as my communication board in my classroom.  The Dollar Tree had lots of cut out letters with stars on them and I found some great wire garland with multi-colored stars to complete the look.  Dollar Tree also had some funky little glittery guitar sunglasses that helped to add a little more "rock and roll" to the bulletin board.  I really love how the board turned out!  Here are a few views:

I also put together my word wall using the great black and white borders from Schoolgirl Style/Creative Teaching Press.  Using the cute pennant border, I added my letters for the word wall by punching 1 and 1/2 inch circles and putting on some mismatched black lettering from my scrapbook stash.  The Creative Teaching Press catalog shared a great idea for creating a "storefront" styled bulletin board.  I rigged one together using tagboard and the pennant border strips.  Here's how my word wall turned out:

It's not exactly "Rock Star," but the black and white does add a bit of flair.

Here's my collaboration table in use...

The totally terrif picture frame was featured in a former Monday Made It on my blog.  I love how it looks and the little bit of bling on the mat is so great!

Other features in my classroom include:

Gutters...these are just THE BEST way to store things in a classroom where storage is at a minimum and so is space.  I love how I can store needed resources openly.  The gutters allow me to have everything I need at the ready!  Plus...they are super cheap and easily installed.  The hubster and son installed these for less than $20.00 for about 20 feet of storage under my bulletin boards!  Love love love these!

My classroom library, complete with colorful floor mattress, mood lighting, a claw-foot bathtub full of pillows for "just clean fun" and assorted Reading Buddies.  Notice that Greg Heffele from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series makes an appearance!

Wish I could take credit for the Reading Buddies (aka Characters on a Plunger), but alas...I cannot!  My  teaching buddy, "The Wonderful Linda" and I are huge fans of the Into the Book series.  There are so many great ideas on this website that you must check it out!  The Reading Buddies are part of the classroom decor on stage in Mrs. Pingle's room, and we just put our own together!  Since you can remove the heads and replace them with others, we have taken other character's pictures and added a few "around the school" characters (i.e. teachers, superintendent, principal, custodian).  The great thing about the Reading Buddies is that they are not cuddly.  They stick to the floor and allow the student to sit eye-to-eye and read aloud to them.  They just become a cool part of the furniture and are not overly distracting to our readers!

Some former Monday Made Its...including my Digging Up Words carrots now have a special place in my classroom!  I've been dying to put them all away and at the ready for use in a couple of weeks!

I'm looking forward to putting a few things together while I'm on the mend.  As always, remember that "Sharing is Caring."  The Wonderful Linda came to help me pull myself together and move the heavier items around in my classroom right before surgery!  I'm a lucky lucky girl indeed to have such an amazing teaching buddy!  Help when you can, and as always, make doubles!