Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chalkboard Message Center - Classroom Decor

I am happy to be a part of the Bright Ideas Link Up this month!  A huge thank you to Shelley Gray and the fellow participants for making this link up possible.  

My "Bright Idea" is creating a message center using chalk board paint, and a (cork) bulletin board.  The reason for the bulletin board is that you can use push pins to put messages on the board, AND the chalk board paint will allow the surface to be written on.

For this project,  I chose to use a smaller bulletin board because it is easier to handle  for an example.  Plus, I have a perfect place for it after I am done. :)

Materials Needed:

• Chalk Board Paint (either spray paint or acrylic paint)
• Paint Brush
• Painters Masking Tape
• Push-pins 

Project time under 2 hours.
Cost:  $5.95 for the board, chalkboard paint $2.95, paint brush, 2.95, painter's masking tape: free (got it from my Mom.)  

Step 1.   Using the painters masking tape, go around the edges of the bulletin board.  It doesn't matter if you use the acrylic chalkboard paint or the spray paint.  You'll still want to use the tape on the edges so that it doesn't get paint on it.

Chalkboard paint can be found at most craft supply stores. Manufacturer is Plaid. (Which also has a lot of craft paints, and adhesives).

Step 2.   Put an even layer of the chalkboard paint on the bulletin board.  Make sure that all of the cork is covered completely.  Let the layer of paint completely dry before moving on to the next layer.  It takes about 45 minutes or so to completely dry.

Step 3.  Put a second layer of chalkboard paint on the bulletin board.  This layer of paint will go on a little bit easier because the first layer completely covered the cork.   It will take a little longer for this layer to dry.  Leave it over night if you aren't in a hurry to use it.

Step 4.  Once the bulletin board is completely dry, remove the painter's masking tape.  Be careful how you pull it off to make sure that none of the paint lifts off.

Step 5.   The last step is to use chalk to write the names of students, or other information.  To clip messages,  what I did was use small binder clips and used flat thumb tacks to attach it to the board.  The binder clips will hold a few notes/papers.   You could use a board like this to hold schedules, or attendance notes.  The edges of the board can be painted with bright colors too.  I liked the dark frame, so I did not paint mine.

I hope that you enjoyed this project.  I'd love to hear from you, please leave a comment below!  

To see all of the other projects in the Bright Ideas hop, click the links below!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Booking Across the USA - Travels with Charlie Down South - Arkansas

I am excited to be a part of the "Booking Across the USA"  Hop.  Each of the 50 U.S. States are represented.  The Travels with Charlie series was chosen as there are 4 separate books covering each state. Travels with Charlie was written by Miles Backer and illustrated by Chuck Nitzberg. The publisher, Blue Apple Books provided each of the participants with a copy of the book representing their 

The book I received is called Travels with Charlie Down South as I live in Arkansas.  This book is colorful, and fun.  It's similar to the "I Spy" game played as kids, with a hint of "Where's Waldo or in this case, Charlie!"  For each state, the pages open up to show a map with different landmarks and places to visit.  On the other side of the map is a list of locations in question form so that the person reading it can locate those places on the map.

This book, as well as the others in the series are a great addition to any classroom library to share with students about the state they live in as well as other parts of the country.  

Meet Charlie.  He is the main character in the Travels with Charlie books.   He wanted to learn more about Arkansas!

Arkansas was the 25th state to join the union on June 15, 1836.  The state capital is in Little Rock. The state is known for it's natural beauty.  It was nicknamed "The Natural State" because of this.   The state bird is the Mockingbird.  Would you like to learn more Arkansas facts?  Click here.

Even though I am not originally from Arkansas,  I was engaged in looking at the map in the book too!  I learned something new!  I didn't know that the state of Arkansas had a sanctuary for Elephants!!!  I just love elephants and it made me happy to know that there is a retirement home for them right here in my own state! I didn't get a chance to visit the elephants, but I did find their website online and hope to make a trip there in the future! {The link is below in the virtual tour!}

It isn't uncommon to see the white tailed deer walking around along roadways and in yards.  {This picture was taken in my own driveway.  I thought it was nice of the deer to pose!}

One of my favorite places to visit in Arkansas is Lake Norfork.  It is approximately 45 minutes from my home.  I share these pictures because I think it is one of the most scenic areas in Arkansas. There is a large bridge that spans the middle of the lake.

This picture shows one of the bridges (in the background) that spans the lake.  

Arkansas is located in the Ozark Mountains.  There are locations like this one in the picture where you can see the rolling hills.  In other places, it doesn't feel or look like you're in the mountains at all.

This picture was taken to show the water tower.  Water here in Arkansas is stored in big water towers.  Many smaller towns have these, and they hold millions of gallons of water that are pumped into the towers by wells.  The water towers are symbolic of the south.

There are many other locations in Arkansas to visit.  It's a friendly state that welcomes travelers like family.  Below is a virtual tour of my state to accompany the review of the Travels with Charlie book series.

Virtual Tour of Arkansas

I created a printable booklet for students to research states.  The cover is made to look like a small suitcase.  The writing sheets fit inside. I left the design a little generic so they can be used for any state.  The file includes instructions, and the 3 template pieces. 

I created this because the whole time I was reading the Travels with Charlie Down South book, I was thinking about how fun it would be to visit each of the states included in each book.  What is one thing that you take with you when you travel?  A suite case! 

Click image to download booklet file.

There is going to be a  giveaway of a set of all 4 of the Travels with Charlie books - Travelin' the NorthEast, Way out West, Down South, and Across Midwest!    This is a MUST HAVE collection for your classroom!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To visit the other states in this hop...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Wish List Linky Party....

You may have already heard that TPT is having it's annual Teacher's Appreciation Sale starting on May 6th.  It's a great time to go over your "Wishlists" and stock up on the must-haves during the sale.   I'd like to share with you a couple items on MY wish list.  

The first stop on my Wish List tour is special...   A friend and fellow TPT Seller, Teresa Williams passed away unexpectedly last week.  Her friends and colleagues came together to put a few bundles to help generate funds for her family to help with medical costs, etc.   This image is featuring just one of the bundles available.  The bundles are all featured in Teresa's store.  This is a good way to help a fellow TPT family member, and receive some fabulous materials too.  Click on the image to visit her store.

Teresa will be missed!

Next up on my Wishlist Tour is this packet by Anna Brantley.  You cannot go wrong with anything that Anna has put together.  I don't know her personally, but her products are stellar!   **** Stars all the way!   Click on the image to visit her store!

And.... if you're looking for a little clipart..  I love this new collection from my friend Mel at Graphics from the Pond.  Detective Kids!  Aren't they adorable?   Click the image to visit Mel's store!

I would like to share with you my newest packet.  Farm Close Reading!!!   I had been working on this packet for several months.  This is one of those packets that I was so proud of when it was completed.  This packet is the first in my "Once Upon a Barnyard" Series of farm themed products.

This packet features 7 close read passages (non-fiction) featuring the farm animals:  cow, chickens, donkey, horses, goats, pigs, and sheep!   There are "research" pages and writing practice for each animal as seen in the sample images.

Friday, May 2, 2014

May Currently - 2014

Good morning, Peeps! :)   It's that time of the month again! :)  Noooooo... not THAT time of the month.   It's time for Farley's "Currently..."   If you haven't checked it out, click on the Blog link above! :)

Now for the nitty gritty....

Listening:   Silence.   That time of the morning when there aren't any demands or pressures on me.  There isn't any music or Netflix playing in the background.  It's just me.  My bottle of water.  And my thoughts.  (Oh and my binder collection...)

Loving:  Life.   I'm at a point in my life where things are going pretty well. I feel motivated and happy in my own little space on the planet.  Instead of worrying about what ifs, and where fors..(is that even a word?) I am just going with the flow. ;)   (No folks, I have mastered this zen-like feeling without chocolate. :)

Thinking:  Larry.  October 20, 2012 my best friend Larry passed due after what was supposed to be a routine surgery.  Hospital screwed up and as a consequence he passed.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him.  Little things make me stop and ponder what he'd be doing.  Two things I missed most about him ... his laughter.  He had this loud belly laugh.  I also miss his hugs.  I woke up thinking about him this morning. Not sure why, but I'll take it. :)

Wanting:  Starbucks.    Yep,  I am a Northwest girl (who lives in AR and hasn't seen a Starbucks in years).  I miss the smell of a good coffee house.  I miss the taste of a nice venti Frappachino!   

Needing:   Shopping.  I work a lot.   I am a fairly frugal person.  Each month I set aside a little stash of cash to do a little bit of retail therapy.  Not a lot,  but just a little.  Have you ever bought a new bag, or a pair of shoes, or maybe something for the house that just made you happy?   Last month I bought some new area rugs for my house. :)   This month?  Not sure yet.  See that's why I NEED to do it. :)

SURPRISE!:  My friend Cassie from Create-abilities is my surprise pick for this month.   I met her through Teachers Pay Teachers.  She is one of the kindest people that I have met through my journey on TPT.  She always has a kind word to say, and is thoughtful.  She has some really great ideas and I thought that she would be the perfect person to show some Blog love to!    

Well Peeps,  I think that is it for this time.  Stay tuned for more Bloggin' fun coming up this next week. I have some new posts coming up.  One will take you on an adventure... !!! ;)