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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Adding a little Harry *magic* to the desks of my students!

Hello buddies!

I just finished creating a product for my classroom that I LOVE!

After redoing my theme thanks to School Girl Style I couldn't imagine using my old green Desktop Name Tags in my new purple, blue, and silver room.  Therefore I knew I had to take matters into my own hand.  I bought some HP clipart from Blackleaf Studios and then I went to work!

I plan on cutting these out, writing the students names, and laminating them so that they last the year.  I am going to use double-sided tape to attach them to the kid's desks.

Harry and Ron for the boys!

Harry and Hermione for the girls!
I don't know about you, but they just make me SMILE! I particularly LOVE the quote from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone " It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities" -Albus Dumbledore.  What a GREAT message for my students, and yours, to see everyday!

You can grab these from my TPT Store by clicking here:  Harry Potter Desktop Name Tags

Let me know what you think!
-Damien of The Reading Buddies

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Floating Through School

 So I am panicking because I haven't been to my new room to attempt to unpack!  I keep putting off the inevitable, instead I have been creating products which I can use at the beginning of the year.  Since I am keeping with my ocean theme I came up with these adorable floating tubes with kids to hang from the ceiling.  Did I mention that I am not allowed to hang anything from the ceiling!!  Oh, well I am not a good rule follower.

  So I will have my students create these the first week of school for Back to School Night.  For those of you who have Open House it would work great for then also. They should make a great  atmosphere for my under the sea classroom.  Take a look at some pictures I took, keep in mind these are hanging in my house.  The hardest thing about this craft is hanging it from the ceiling, I used fishing line. 

 These would also be a great project for summer school!  Damien is going to try it out with his summer school kids, can't wait to see pictures!!

I went to the dollar store and bought 20 inch kid tubes and added  the legs and bathing suits.

Here are the tubes the kids will make by filling in answers on tube and making the legs and bathing suits.  I used scrapbook paper for the adorable bathing suits.

I also included this sign which can be hung from the ceiling also.

Three different graphs and one graph analaysis are also included.

To get your copy just go to my tpt store or click the link below.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Made it Monday!

Kelly's First Made It Monday!!

Just got back from vacation and thought I would share my first made it Monday project.  Yes, it has to do with my vacation.  I love to take pictures especially on vacation and I love scrapbooking.  Last year after becoming a little more technically advanced with my class scrapbook, that's right I went digital, I went digital with my family vacation scrapbook.  I went to Lake George, NY twice this summer and have created a digital scrapbook with memories for my family.  Thanks to tpt and learning how to use graphics and power point to create products I now have awesome family memories.  Below is a picture of my class gift which includes their scrapbook.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Damien's Made-it-Monday #2

Hello Buddies-

I am back with my Made-it-Monday as sponsored by 4th Grade Frolics, and I am happy to say that I have completed TWO items!

First is my classroom window unit shelves.  When I inherited my room, and I say inherited because there have been a LONG line of people in it before me, the shelves were gross.  But, I threw my stuff on it and never thought about it again, until I entered the blogging world. After being inspired by I painted my window unit.  Take a Look:
See what I mean?

Not exactly gorgeous or magical!
So my co-teach and I got to work.  Now my co-teach is FANTASTIC, there is no better word for it.  So when the kiddos went home for the year-we went to work.
From "yucky" tan to *magical* silver. 

The Finished Product!
The final product looked SOOOOOOOOO much better than it previously did.  My teacher friends, still packing up their rooms, kept coming by and telling me how much better they looked- I AGREE!  They fit in to my new color scheme-Silver, Purple, and Blue!

 The problem... Now, my filing cabinet, which never bothered me before, looks terrible. Since it meets right up to my newly painted shelves, I couldn't have it looking like a terrible eye-sore.
Can you see where this is going?

So I got to work on that as well.

Don't you just LOVE it?   It has inspired me to continue to paint a few other items to work with my color scheme for the upcoming year.  Keep an eye on my blog to see what else I have covered in PURPLE and SILVER paint. I really love how it came out, especially the purple.

My last task is something I spruced up for my blogging buddy Kelly. Only she doesn't know about it yet (shhh! Don't tell her). This school of fish used to hang in our main office and no longer have a home.  I quickly grabbed them for Kelly's ocean themed classroom and hope she likes the final result!

The copper fish as they were.
My dog Copper watching the painting of the copper fish.
(The irony is not lost on me)
Half-way through the painting process.

Look, GOLDfish!

The Final Result!

So, it has been a pretty busy week, but I am loving all that I am getting done!
Happy Monday!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Owl Themed Differentiated Novel Cards

Hello Buddies-

I have been super busy lately working on a few products that I am EXCITED to use in my classroom and to share with you.

The first is a revamp of something I used in my classroom FOREVER!  They are differentiated questions that can be used with ANY novel.  Until recently they were written on index cards in my own handwriting, now thanks to all the inspiration I have received from all my blogging buddies they have been redesigned. 

Take a peek:

The cards focus on MANY important literacy skills
Different colored owls differentiate the questions

These are PERFECT for my Harry Potter themed classroom and would be perfect for any OWL themed classroom! They also fit in with the magical colors I will be using in my classroom theme this year. 

Stop by our TPT Store to get your hands on some OWLS!

Happy Friday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

My FIRST Made it Monday

Hi all-

I decided to join in on the making things fun and completed my first "Made It Monday".  It's so funny that Tara at 4th Grade Frolics created this connection.  Why you ask, well just the other day I was discussing, describing, complaining about all the things I wanted to create from Pinterest but I felt so lost in my picture boards that I felt Pinterest needed a Made-it button, a digital checklist if you will!  Well, Tara came to the rescue.

These week I have my completed Harry Potter Themed Clipboards done and ready to bring some MAGIC to my classroom.

The side you write on in my SchoolGirlStyle inspired colors,
decoupaged, and sprayed with glitter spray (to add the magic)

Pinterest HP MiniPosters

I made one for each book in the series

I couldn't resist these sayings!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this quote from JK Rowling!

CLOSE-UP: It is filled with quoted from the novel.  LOVE IT!

I absolutely LOVE my clipboards and really can't wait to bring them into my classroom to help add to the fun of Harry Potter.

Although not teacher related, I am taking a cake class, and this was my first cake.

Hey, I made it, and it's Monday!
It is a chocolate cake with a Peanut Butter filling that my Peanut Allergy ridden cousin made fro me while I was off teaching summer school.  Gotta love family!

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Advice...from me!

Anyone who knows me knows that I will give my advice at the drop of a dime.  I have opinions people and will share them.  In my opinion this has established me as a "love him" or "can't stand him" kind of person.  It is who I am, and I accept it!

Now, Deb at Fabulously First is asking for my advice.  Well, not my advice per-say, but advice for a new teachers from her blog followers and it is a LINKY PARTY.  I always hate to miss a good party, and it wasn't long ago that I was a new teacher (6 years to be exact) and boy I wish someone had given me some advice.

So, for better or worse, here goes....

I hope someone out there in the blog-osphere finds my advice helpful.  If not, well I'm sharing anyway  :0)


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guided Reading Task of the Week (TOW)

I used these cards during the 2nd and 3rd marking period as part of my daily guided reading.  I noticed this year that some of my kids were not retaining the skills we had spent a GREAT deal of time on in the beginning of the year.  These task cards and bulletin board sign worked perfectly when my students were working in their Guided Reading novel without my guidance.  (With my guidance, we were working on creating written summaries of fiction titles).

This activity is now available at our TPT STore

Let me know what you think! :0)
-Damien of The Reading Buddies

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Clip Board Craziness

So, after visiting the blog Kelly and I decided our classrooms (which we previously loved) were in the need of a makeover.  Once I have an idea, it is difficult for me to "sit-on-it". I become like five-year-old on Christmas Morning.  Since school was still in session I decided my clipboards were the first, of many, projects to begin.

My clipboards are 110 years old! They aren't that old, but let's just say that they have more than one teacher's name on them.

This isn't even the worst one.
So after some hunting on-line (gotta love Pinterest) I decided decoupage was the way to go. First I painted the edge of the clipboard, about one inch all the way around, with SILVER or BLACK acrylic paint.  Then it was time to decoupage.  In order to stick with the color scheme of my room I used SILVER, PURPLE, or BLUE cardstock.

First a coat over the clipboard and some time to let it dry. After that a second coat was added.
Here are some of the clipboards drying after being given their 2nd coat. 
I had some issues with bubbling of the cardstock and the recent warm weather we are having didn't help as the decoupage was drying really quickly but with the help of the family they are ready for the back to be done.  I tend to add some *MAGIC* to make them fit in with my Harry Potter themed classroom.

Make sure to check back soon for a PART 2 of the process and hopefully the FINAL PRODUCT
-Damien of The Reading Buddies