DIY Classroom Crayon Valentines

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If you’ve spent anytime on Pinterest, you know it’s full of really cool DIY projects.  There are soooooo many great ideas and just not enough time!  I really think I could make creating DIY projects found on Pinterest a full time job.  Melting crayons within molds has been pretty popular on Pinterest lately and, although my children can now be considered young adults, I’ve really wanted to give it try and thought Valentine’s Day would be a great opportunity.

So, all you need to make your own melted valentine crayons are crayons (you can use old crayons too), the mold (I purchased mine at Walmart), foil and a cookie sheet.  That’s it.

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First peel the paper from the crayons and break the crayons into chunks.

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Then just place the crayon chunks into the heart molds.  You may wish to color coordinate your hearts, but this is totally not necessary.  Be sure to completely fill the heart mold with crayon chunks.  If I were to do this project again, I would really heap the crayons in the molds as when my crayons melted, they were a tad bit thin.

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Place your mold on a foil covered cookie sheet and place in the oven.  I heated the oven to 250 degrees and it took about 5 minutes for the crayons to melt.  Just be sure to watch the process carefully.  When the crayons are melted, remove the mold from the oven and let them cool.  I let it sit for several hours.

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Carefully remove the hearts the from the mold.  Aren’t they awesome!

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So now I have twenty four melted crayon hearts!  I thought I’d make cards for teachers to give them to their students on Valentine’s Day.  If you choose to give this project a try and would like to use them as gifts for your students, feel free to download the template below.

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 Just click the following link to download this file:  Classroom Valentine Templates

To adhere the crayon heart to the card, I just used a velcro dot.   I really think the kids will love these!

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 Enjoy!

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A FREEBIE for Valentine’s Day

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Kyle (fabulous artist) created this cute little bear and rabbit for decorating Valentine’s Day bags for collecting cards.  Aren’t they just adorable??  Your students will have tons of fun creating their very own collection bags.  Simply copy the bear or rabbit for each child and have them color and glue the pieces on a paper bag.  Super simple!

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Be sure to have your kiddos write their name on the heart.  To download the patterns for your own classroom set, just click the following links:

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 To download the pdf file of the Valentine Bear, just click the following link:  Valentine Bear

 

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 To download the pdf file of the Valentine Rabbit, just click the following link: Valentine Rabbit

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Just Another Fun Find at Walmart

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You gotta know I love my local Walmart.  I always seem to stumble upon something a little unique that’s perfect for creating an activity.  Well, my newest find are these dry erase sticky circles from Elmer’s.  They were in the sale basket too!

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So what can you do with these sticky circles?  They are perfect for sound sorting!  I simply placed a sticky circle on a cup and wrote a letter on the circle.  You can change the letter/sound matching activity by simply erasing the letter and writing another. So simple.

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I’m sure there are many uses for these dry erase circles.  If you’d like to use the circles for sound sorting, these pics are just one activity contained in the Response to Intervention Alphabetic Principle Kit.

 

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3 Freebies for Teaching and Practicing Short Vowels and CVC Words

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Here are a few of my favorite activities for introducing and teaching short vowel sounds and CVC words.  There’s a little bit of assembly involved for each activity, but you’re done, you’ll have three activities that will last for years!  Enjoy!

1. Vowel Sticks

Those short vowel sounds can be so tricky!  It’s so important that our kiddos learn to hear the differences between the short vowel sounds so that they can decode and write words correctly.  These vowel sticks are quite helpful in teaching students discriminate the sounds.  You can easily differentiate the activity by choosing which and how many vowels to use during your lesson.  For students who are having a great deal of difficulty with vowels, I recommend starting with only 2 vowels with very dissimilar sounds (e.g. “a” and “o”).  You can then increase the difficulty by adding more sounds and similar sounding vowels (e.g. “a” and “e”).   For those students who are quickly learning this skill, try providing words (e.g. “cat”, “beg”) and have them hold up the correct vowel.

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 Just click HERE to download the printable for creating your own vowel sticks.  The directions for assembling the activity as well as using the activity during instruction are included in the file.

 

2. Word Family Sliders

Word sliders are often helpful when introducing word families.  When you download this file you’ll receive the printable for creating 18 word family sliders. You could print the activity on card stock and call it good, but if you’d like to add a little color and durability to your activity print the word family cards on a full size Avery label and adhere them to Glidden paint samples (Home Depot).  I color-coded the borders of the word family cards to the paint samples and the letter sliders are also color-coordinated so that the students can easily match them to the card.

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 Just click HERE to download the printable for creating your own word slides.

 

 3. Build It- Write It Cards

The Build It-Write It cards are great for your independent centers.  To create this activity you will need counting tiles, adhesive chalkboard paper and liquid chalk.  You could substitute adhesive dry erase paper and a dry erase marker for the chalkboard paper/liquid chalk.  For specific directions for assembling this activity, visit the Build It-Write It for CVC and CCVC Words.

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Just click HERE to download the printable for creating the Build-It Write-It deck

 Enjoy these freebies!

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Recycle those bike tubes!

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This summer I took up biking.  We are so fortunate to live right by a “rails to trails” path which connects two of our cities.  The path is a gorgeous tree-lined trail which extends 15 miles through rural Northern Michigan.  Every bike ride brings with it a new adventure.  There’s always turtles at the pond, snakes who quickly scurry across the path and, occasionally, a deer stops for a quick pic.

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Well, last Monday was quite an adventure in a different-sort-of-way.  Two miles into my bike ride, I blew a tire.  Oh, boy.  That has never happened.  Fortunately, I was with my dad who is an avid biker.  Little did I know that pack he always carries on the back of his bike contained a tire repair kit complete with a replacement tube.  Thank goodness for dad.  As I stood by helplessly as dad changed the tire, I spied the popped tube laying on the trail.  It reminded me of a blog post that I wrote a year ago featuring an idea to help those kiddos who just need to move.  Scott, from Bouncy Bands, asked if I could try out a new product he just developed and I absolutely LOVED this idea.  Basically, you place PVC pipes on the desk legs and tie an old bike tube on each leg.  How simple!  Here’s a pic:

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They are so easy to make and quite inexpensive.  The Home Depot people often volunteer to cut the tubes if you tell them you are a teacher and bike shops often have old tubes on hand.  This is a great DIY project!

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 Be sure to stop by Scott’s website.  You can also order them from the site.  Just click HERE.

After running to Home Depot, I’m going to take a quick trip to the bike shop and pick up one of those packs.

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DIY Play Doh Recipe

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Making Play Doh takes me back to when I used to teach preschool.  I just loved making my own Play Doh- homemade Play Doh is so much softer- and it was so much fun changing the colors and even, at times, adding scents.  I’ve tried a billion different recipes and found that the recipes that used cream of tartar and required cooking were hands-down the best.  Of course, it’s a bit more work, but well worth the extra effort.  I made this seasonal-themed Play Doh for the Winter Themed Math Activities for K-1 Packet.  Using the glitter added just the right touch to give it that glittery-snow effect.  So here’s the recipe:

1 cup of flour

1/2 cup of salt

2 Tablespoons of cream of tartar

1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil

1 cup of water

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First mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a pan.  Add the water and mix well.  Now cook the mixture over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.  You’ll need to stir constantly until the mixture becomes firm.  When the mixture is firm, remove from the pan and knead until soft.  Now just add in the food coloring.  I like to use the Wilton food coloring because I find that the colors are so vibrant.  Now just add the glitter and you’re all done!

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Here’s my little friend, Eleanor, using the Play Doh.  Great hands-on activity for learning numbers and number concepts.

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So go on- give it a try.  You’ll never go back to buying Play Doh from the store.

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