Paper Bag Books, part 2

Sunday, August 26, 2012
I’m back with some directions for making paper bag books.  If you missed my first post about bag books, you can read it here.  For this project any type of paper sack will do.  I’ve made small ones with lunch sacks like in the pictures below and I’ve made larger ones from regular grocery sacks.  My principal bought a ton of grocery sacks from Sam’s Club and I love them because there are no logos on the bags.  Grocery stores will often donate bags to teachers but then you have to work around their logo. 

You will need a rubber band and 2 sacks to create each book.

Take two sacks and lay them so that the bottom of the sack is facing up.  You will want the bottom of one bag to be on the right and the bottom of the other bag on the left.

The bottom part of the bag is used to create a flap. 

Once you have folded the bottoms over to create your flaps, place one bag on top of the other. 

Take both bags and fold them in half. 

Place a rubber band over the two bags and slide it so that it is in the middle of the bag.  I have seen people who have sewn the bags together for craft projects but the rubber band works nicely for class projects.

Ta-da!  Your book is ready for your project!  These books are so simple to put together.  If you decide to make a paper bag book, I would love to see it!

Happy folding!

Paper Bag Books

Saturday, August 25, 2012
I absolutely love creating foldables to organize notes.  One of my favorite projects is creating paper bag books.  The possibilities of what you can do with them are limitless.  Today’s post is about how I’ve been using the paper bag book during our study of matter.

This is the book I made as a model for the class.  The kids put more effort into decorating their covers than I did mine.

This is the inside flap (created from the bottom of the bag) with some basic notes.  I created templates for them to use for their notes to help keep their books organized.

I gave my class notes about solids, liquids, and gases.  They had to create a picture of the atoms in each type of matter and then write about it.  I also had them cut out pictures of solids, liquids, and gases and glue them in the empty spaces on the appropriate page.

This pocket held an AIMS book that we read in class.

This is what the foldable on page 4 looked like after it was opened up.  I got this Properties of Matter page from Teachers Clubhouse.

We explored the physical properties of a Tootsie Roll and put our findings on the right side of this section. Each of the 5 senses are on flaps that lift up and our notes are underneath. The kids all agreed that discovering the properties of taste was the best part!

On the left side we took notes on the physical changes of matter.  The right side has 2 examples of mixtures.  The top one is a mixture of sand and pebbles that we found on our playground.  The bottom example was a mixture of salt and pepper. 

The back pocket held notes on different experiments we conducted throughout the unit. 
It took us a long time to put these books together but it was a beneficial learning experience.  Plus, everything was all in one place so that kids were less likely to lose anything. 
Paper bag books look complicated to make but they are quite simple.  My 3rd graders were able to make their own with me modeling the process.  For those of you who are interested, I will post some directions soon (hopefully tomorrow).  For those of you who have done this before, what kind of projects did you use these books for?

Must-Have Pencil Sharpener

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
There’s a new pencil sharpener in my classroom and I’m in love!  Seriously. 

I got this little baby in the mail from Classroom Friendly Supplies. I immediately set it up and sharpened dozens of pencils right away. I sharpened and both of my kids sharpened.  We sharpened all kinds of pencils.
New pencils.
Old pencils.
Quality pencils.
Cheap pencils.
Even plastic coated pencils.
This sharpener worked perfectly!  Every. Single. Time.  It completely exceeded my expectations and my kids thought it was cool.

The Classroom Friendly sharpener was easy for all of us to use and worked like a charm.  Check out this video to see how easy it is to use.
Video by tdecoff.

This sharpener only sharpens standard-sized pencils and I didn’t have much luck sharpening map pencils. 

You can’t over-sharpen with this sharpener.  Believe me – I tried!  That makes it kid proof.  No more wasting time at the pencil sharpener sharpening until the lead breaks so that even more sharpening can be done.  Does anyone else have students that do that?!

I love it and my teaching buddies love it.  In fact, I plan to get another so I’ll have even more sharpening power.  This is a great sharpener for everyone’s classroom, but don’t take my word for it.  Hop on over to Classroom Friendly Supplies and snag one up for yourselves.

B2S Jitters

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
It’s almost that time again and the jitters have begun.  This is my 20th time to start a new school year and it still happens!  There are just so many things whirring through my mind and so many details that need to be dealt with.

I’m sharing my jitters by linking up with Ms. Jessica at a Turn to Learn.
Back to School Jitters Linky Party

I’m nervous that…I’ll rush through teaching my expectations.  There are just so many things I have to cover during the school year.  Sometimes 180 days seems never ending, but it’s really not enough to teach everything AND teach it well.  I get a little antsy to jump right in and get started.  I need to remember to take it slow and really build a foundation for what I expect and then the rest will come more easily.

I need to remember…to put my toys away.  I have a bit of a clutter issue.  I’ve been working on managing it and I’ve done some de-stashing.  Now I need to make sure to put things up as I go so I can stay on top of my game!

What are some things that give you the Back to School Jitters? 

TpT B2S Sale!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It’s B2S time and to celebrate TpT is having a sale.  YAY – it’s the moment I’ve been waiting for!  As you can tell by looking at my wish list, I really could use this sale.

If you need some ideas on how to use your TpT promo code, consider getting Mandy’s Sweet as Pie idiom unit.  This unit is packed with idiom activities that your kids will enjoy.  I did a review on it here.

Or, check out the Magical Product Swap hosted by Jessica from Mrs. Stanford’s Class.  There are reviews for more than 100 different products.

Of course, I’d also appreciate it if you dropped by my store to see if there might be something you can use with your kiddos.  Right now most of my items are math related but I do plan to change that once school gets under way.

You might like…

I will be gone on a mini vacay during the sale.  I set up my shop to have a 15% off sale without me and I’m really hoping it will work.  I’ll be without internet most of the trip but I’m hoping I’ll be back in time to buy a few goodies for myself!
Have a great weekend and happy shopping!  See you next week!

Superhero Theme

Monday, August 6, 2012
I haven’t always had a theme for my classroom but I’ve decided I really like having one.  For me, having a theme makes putting the room together easier.  The last two years I’ve had a detective theme.  If you missed the post, you can see a little bit of what I did with it here.
I decided I needed something new, so this year I’m sporting a superhero theme and I’m enjoying it so far.  Taking a page from Beth Newingham’s book (figuratively speaking), I decided to dress my kids up as superheroes for a photo shoot.  Since school hasn’t started here yet, my lovely daughters helped me so you could get an idea of what I’m talking about.

I plan to add the pictures to one of my hallway displays. To start off with, I made two capes and several masks.  I used felt so that I wouldn’t have to fuss with hemming and I didn’t add any details.  I used the mask patterns from First Palette to create four masks.  The red mask seems to be missing from this picture.

The cape was a little more challenging because I couldn’t find a free, 3rd grade sized pattern that I liked.  I ended up drafting my own pattern which shocks me to no end.  It’s a good thing I also stalk sewing blogs or I never would have managed to pull this off!

My girlie girl really enjoyed modeling the superhero costume but she was pretending to be a super villain the whole time.  Whatever works.  She ended up wearing the costume for several hours and has decided what she wants to be for Halloween.  She looks vicious in her flowery dress. Winking smile

I made my standard back to school water bottle labels.

My superhero super villain snuck up and stole one of my bottles.  She really got into character for my photo shoot.

This is the bulletin board that I plan to add the kids’ superhero pictures to.

Here’s where I’m displaying student work.  We just got these lovely display rails at the end of last year.  I’m counting on them to make everything much neater and more organized looking.

Here are some of the things I created for my classroom:
behavior clip chart

desk tags

lunch menu sign

graded papers sheet

class web site

chrome browser – These are so easy to make!

And…a class memory book.

Whew!  Now you know how I’ve been spending my summer.  I hope the kids are as excited about this as I am.
If you’re shopping for a new theme, you might want to check out these linky parties to get some great ideas:

**UPDATE: I purchased my super hero clip art off of The designer of clip art from the "Hero Headquarters" bulletin board no longer sells on Etsy but there are many other adorable clip art sets available.

August Currently

Saturday, August 4, 2012
Tick, tock, tick, tock. It’s that time again!! I need to hurry up and accomplish a zillion things before school starts. I want to feel relaxed and refreshed for the start of a new school year, but I have too much to do!!!! Can you hear the panic in my voice?!
I’m linking up with Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade to share my August Currently. 

If you don’t have your own laminator, you gotta get one!  I usually don’t have a problem with spending money, but I was a little reluctant to buy my own laminator at first.  It’s not like they cost a lot, but teachers already spend so much of their own money on their classrooms.  Why spend even more on a laminator when you can laminate for free at school?  I’ll tell you why…because it is so dang CONVENIENT!!!!  I don’t have to wait in line or share.  It’s not that I’m selfish but sharing and waiting take up precious time, especially the days right before school starts!  I love my new little laminator and I think we’re going to get along very well.
I know you’re busy, but there are 2 giveaways you need to enter if you haven’t already.   
Fourth Grade Flipper is having a 100 follower giveaway.  You can win a $25 gift card to Amazon.  You can buy your own laminator or laminating pouches.

Michelle at No Monkey Business is having a 500 follower giveaway!  She has all kinds of goodies to win including a $50 TPT gift certificate.  We all need one of those.

I’m going to go slow down and try to relax.  Enjoy your weekend!


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