Christmas Craft - DIY Coasters

I always like to make a gift for my coworkers at Christmas time and this year I was very inspired by the coasters that I have been seeing all over Pinterest. I used The Cottage Home's tutorial to make my coasters. I had originally thought that I would make my own tutorial, but theirs is so good there is no need! So instead I will just show you how mine turned out!

First up we have the blues and greens -
 Next the neutrals -
 And lastly the pinks and reds -
I really adored how easy these were to make - though I did learn as a first time Mod Podge user, that it is rather odorous!! I sprayed mine with a finish just as tutorial suggested and they were done! Oh except for the felt...

This is the topside of one coaster...

and here we have my attempt at cutting felt for the bottom!
Not exactly Martha Stewart quality crafting but it still served the purpose!

My coworkers love them, as do my mum & I! My favorite part is always seeing what everyone chooses, and I must say a lot of times it is not the ones you would expect! 
Oh I wanted to mention that there are still 2 Days left in my sale at my TpT shop, 20% off all items from now till 1/1/13!

Do you make crafts for your coworkers? If so what were your projects this year? Leave me a note in the comments below!

A Winter Wonderland (the day & a game)!!

First off I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday!  I wish everyone lots of rest and relaxation for the rest of their vacations and for the New Year!
I thought this name would be fitting for the game I made today as New England is enjoying quite the winter wonderland today! If only this had arrived a few days earlier we would have had a white Christmas! However, I am just happy that we are finally having some snow now!
As I was reveling in the beauty of the snow whilst drinking my morning coffee,  I made this penguin and decided he would be the host for my game!
Lately my third graders are having a bit of trouble with digraphs (I have actually had several sound out each letter!!!) I wanted to create a set of games to boost their awareness of these sounds. These games feature the digraphs ch/sh/th/wh as well as short, long and R Controlled vowels. (I know my students can not be the only ones who need more practice with the R Controlled vowels!!) There are a total of six boards - one for each vowel and a mixed vowel for review.
I included grayscale copies of the boards as well, to save on ink and to make them easier (and more affordable) for me to print and send home with my students!

This set is available in my TpT shop shop!

I also took our three black labs out for a romp in the snow today - sadly I am more exhausted than they are! What did all you other snow buried people do today? Anyone out and about enjoying the weather? Let me know in the comments below!

December's Nail Art

I love this glitter!!! It is China Glaze's Pizzazz and I looks good on every color polish! I used Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails for my base colors. I was going a for gradient glitter look on the pink and white nails, but it was my first attempt so it is not quite how I would have liked it to look. (Side Note: My sister often tells me that I need to stick with one technique for a bit so I can perfect it. I know she is right - but I tend to be a little spastic with my nail art and I am always amped to try some new technique that I find on on Beautylish!!) The black nail was supposed to have a glitter stripe running down the middle but the brush I used was a bit too it just came out odd looking!! I definitely want to try this look again...maybe for New Year's Eve, it is definitely sparkly enough!!
Reindeer nails!! I got this idea over at Polishpedia, she is awesome and was able to do it on all her nails. I could barely handle two! My students were obsessed with this nail, they did not believe that I painted it! (I am only showing you the good one, my right hand had the saddest/most confused looking reindeer ever. I showed them that one and then they were like " did paint it. Why is his nose crooked?" Perhaps my New Year's Resolution should be to only have nail art on my left hand since my right never looks quite right!!

I used Zoya's Ornate Holiday 2012 Collection for the red and green, I love the sparkles in that set! The reindeer is a mix of random tan and goldish polishes I have had for years. Please disregard the mess on my other nails. It was late and I wanted to take the picture before the reindeer got too beat up at school!

I have a Christmas Tree on one of my nails this week...however I neglected to take a picture before it became rather beat up. (Putting away oodles of laptops in the Computer Lab before vacation is a tad rough on ones nails!!) I want to try a few more Christmas patterns on my nails before the holiday, if all goes well (or at least better than the sad reindeer) I will upload them soon!

What is on your nails for the holidays? Let me know in the comments!

Christmas Sight Word Games

I love using the first 100 sight words with my first graders as it has really improved their word recognition! I wanted to create a Christmas version to use with my students this week. I am hoping that it will hold their attention a bit as it is beginning to be pulled by all things Christmas anyway! (Who am I kidding, all their attention has been there for at least a week now!)

I made flashcards for all 100 words (they are divided into the four sets of 25 words by pattern.) These cards work great for Go Fish or Memory too, so I included Rules of Play for both games.

I also made four game boards for each set of 25 words. I am looking forward to using the first two sets of cards & boards with my littlest Intervention kids this Monday! So I am off to stock up on card stock and laminate!

This set is available in my Tpt shop!

Have a great night!

Easy Skill Sheet Display

My 3rd, 4th & 5th grade Intervention students use Reading Plus in Computer Lab. It is a really great program that has helped them make some amazing gains over the years. My students love how they can keep track of their own progress, and they adore the certificates they get when they level up. I like to incorporate skills and writing into the block whenever possible. They tend to get burnt out if they try to do too many Guided Reading stories in one day. I wanted to find a way to display the skill sheets they need in a way that is easily accessible. I decided to modify The Homework Spot my sissy Kristen blogged about earlier this year.

It was so easy! I just taped some colored pocket folders up onto my bulletin board, slipped in the sheets for the week and I was done! Whenever the pockets start looking sparse I know that it is time to restock the skill sheets.

I started using it about a week ago and it has been working really great! I like how it is in a separate place from where we keep all our other materials.
I am going to take an updated picture of this shelf soon. The front side of this now has all their journals and materials. I decided to put most of the headphones in the desks - it cuts down on tangled cords, a definite plus!

Having these in different areas of the room has cut down on traffic when they are going to and fro getting ready for the next activity. We have a motto in my room "walking with purpose!" It is a bit of a pet peeve of mine when students wander all around the room when they are switching activities. Intervention is way to brief as it is - and many of their classmates are still working on their Guided Reading or Cloze Plus portions of the program. Keeping the skill sheets and journals away from each other has really cut down on distractions and unnecessary talking during the Work Period of our block. I really like how organized these displays keep the room too!

What do you do to keep spots from becoming traffic jammed in your room?

Dolch Words Bundle - Pre-Primer through 3rd Grade!

My students have been having lot of fun using these cards in Intervention these past few weeks! I am currently reviewing Pre-Primer words with my first graders and these cards are a huge help! My students spend half the Intervention block on Raz-Kids and the rest of the block working on skills with me.
This is the Pre-Primer set, which we have been mostly focusing on. I like allowing my students to choose whether we will use them for Matching or Go Fish. I divided each set into 2 colors to make it a bit easier to separate the words into smaller groups. 

After we have played whichever version of the game they prefer, I collect all the cards and use them as flashcards for a quick post-assessment on how quickly they can recall the words. I add in two or three new words each day. This has really improved my students word recollection. I am going to print out the Primer Words today so I can add those into the mix this week!

I wanted to bundle all these cards into one set to make it easier to print the cards needed for each individual group. This bundle includes Pre-Primer, Primer, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade Dolch Words - a total of 220 cards!

This set is available in my Tpt shop!